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PhD in Psychology, General Psychology

Harold Abel School of Psychology

The doctoral General Psychology specialization is for learners who want flexibility in designing a program based on their professional interests. Learners may use their electives to design an individualized area of psychology study or to design an interdisciplinary area of study that blends psychology with education or business. Upon successful completion of this specialization, learners are prepared to pursue careers as university professors, researchers, consultants, or program administrators. The requirements for this specialization are not designed to prepare graduates for licensure as professional counselors or psychologists.

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Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (PSY-R8925, PSY-R8926, PSY-R8927). See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

 

 

Nineteen Required Courses

 

 

At least 78 quarter credits

Core courses:

PSY8002
Foundations of Theory and Practice for Doctoral Psychology Learners

In this course, learners improve their ability to navigate the virtual campus and become familiar with library, career center, and writing center resources. Learners identify the educational steps and requirements necessary for successfully completing the doctoral degree program in their chosen specialization; review their specialization’s requirements, associated professional roles and organizations, and ethics and professional standards; and articulate a professional identity based on doctoral-level psychology training. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7115
Research Foundations of History and Systems in Psychology

Learners in this course explore historical and contemporary schools of thought such as behavioral, humanistic, and psychodynamic psychology. In particular, learners begin the process of becoming independent researchers by developing a dissertation topic that is appropriate for their specialization and aligned with foundational theories within their chosen school of thought. For PhD learners in Psychology only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7543 *
Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology

In this course, learners analyze multicultural perspectives and factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and their influences on the ethical behavior of psychology professionals. Learners evaluate and articulate multicultural issues within the context of different settings and practice applying ethical reasoning principles and standards within their profession. Prerequisite(s): PSY5002 or PSY5005 or PSY8002.

5 quarter credits
PSY7868
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7868 or RSCH7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
PSY8625 *
Advanced Inferential Statistics

Learners in this advanced course examine a variety of statistical analyses, including statistical power and effect size in research design, factorial and repeated measures of analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), selected nonparametric analyses, and bivariate and multiple regression. Learners are expected to have proficiency in the use of statistical software appropriate to dissertation-level research. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8658 *
Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

In this course, learners synthesize knowledge of quantitative research methodology and use it to develop a quantitative research design that may form the basis of their dissertation research project. Learners compare their quantitative research design to a previously developed qualitative design on a similar topic and identify and justify the methodology most appropriate for investigating their research topic. For PsyD and PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY7860, PSY7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY-R8925 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY7115. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868, PSY8625, PSY-R8925. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY8658, PSY-R8926. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Choose one from the following two courses:

PSY8626 *
Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application

This course focuses on the theory and application of multivariate statistics, including discriminant analysis, factor (components) analysis, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and logistic regression. Using SPSS, learners perform and interpret the results of these analyses. Learners also apply multivariate analysis, read and understand research results in peer-reviewed psychology journals, and utilize SPSS to produce output consistent with the correct parameters and assumptions of specific multivariate procedures. In addition, learners have the option of exploring the mathematical aspects of multivariate and inferential statistics theory and application. Prerequisite(s): PSY8625.

5 quarter credits
PSY8635 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis

This course extends the topics covered in PSY7868 by further exploring the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and inquiry and emphasizes effective execution of the six school-approved dissertation research methodologies: ethnography, case study, grounded-theory phenomenology, heuristics, and generic qualitative research. Learners examine primary source references, books, and journal articles written by the developers of the six methodologies and gain an understanding of their nuances and applications. This course is designed to prepare learners to develop and conduct their own qualitative study for a dissertation. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868.

5 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

PSY7610
Tests and Measurements

This course focuses on essential concepts, principles, applications, and social and theoretical issues of psychological testing. Learners gain understanding in the construction of tests; analyze the development and use of tests in measuring aptitudes, achievement, attitudes, interests, and personality; and identify underlying theories of various tests. Learners analyze the characteristics desired in psychological and educational tests, with particular emphasis on reliability and validity, and examine best practices and professional standards for educational and psychological testing, including test bias and fairness. In addition, learners study the role of technology in delivery, administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests.

5 quarter credits
PSY7660 *
Survey Construction and Administration

Learners in this course explore the conceptual and applied aspects of survey construction and administration processes. Course topics include comparative study designs (crosssections versus panels); sampling techniques; data collection procedures and methods (face-to-face, telephone, paper, and Internet); survey question design that accurately measures behavior, attitude, and personality; data processing and analysis; results reporting; ethics of surveys; causal inference; and survey critiques. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864.

5 quarter credits
PSY8763 *
Program Evaluation

This course provides an examination of the theories, techniques, methods, and processes of program evaluation. Learners synthesize knowledge and skills gained from prior coursework to design a program evaluation, plan its implementation, and communicate the results in appropriate and effective formats. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864.

5 quarter credits

Choose one from the following two courses:

PSY8626 *
Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application

This course focuses on the theory and application of multivariate statistics, including discriminant analysis, factor (components) analysis, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and logistic regression. Using SPSS, learners perform and interpret the results of these analyses. Learners also apply multivariate analysis, read and understand research results in peer-reviewed psychology journals, and utilize SPSS to produce output consistent with the correct parameters and assumptions of specific multivariate procedures. In addition, learners have the option of exploring the mathematical aspects of multivariate and inferential statistics theory and application. Prerequisite(s): PSY8625.

5 quarter credits
PSY8635 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis

This course extends the topics covered in PSY7868 by further exploring the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and inquiry and emphasizes effective execution of the six school-approved dissertation research methodologies: ethnography, case study, grounded-theory phenomenology, heuristics, and generic qualitative research. Learners examine primary source references, books, and journal articles written by the developers of the six methodologies and gain an understanding of their nuances and applications. This course is designed to prepare learners to develop and conduct their own qualitative study for a dissertation. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868.

5 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

PSY9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes and learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using pointscale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSY9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

PSY9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): PSY9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

 

 

Five Elective Courses

 

 

At least 25 quarter credits

Choose any graduate courses. 

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 103 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Please note that some courses within this program have prerequisites that are not listed as required courses, which may increase the total number of courses needed to complete this program.