Graduate School Contact:
Gail Powers; firstname.lastname@example.org; 423-439-4703
Wallace E. Dixon, Jr., Ph.D., Chair
420A Rogers-Stout Hall
Stacey Williams, Ph.D., Director of Experimental Training
414 Rogers-Stout Hall
Main Psychology Department Phone: (423) 439-4424, Fax: (423) 439-5695
Jan Royston, Department Executive Aide
The primary mission of the Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology at East Tennessee State University is to provide students with broad and general training in translational research in the psychological sciences, including the areas of developmental, cognitive, and social psychology, personality, affective behavior, and behavioral neuroscience. An additional focus of the program is to prepare students for future faculty membership.
Ph.D. in Psychology (Experimental Psychology Concentration) Objectives:
The goals of the Ph.D. in Psychology (Experimental Psychology Concentration) are to:
- train students to be scientists through designing, implementing, and interpreting research studies, and communicating research findings;
- train students in the application of basic and applied research with a translational focus (i.e., “from bench to bedside”), and in the art of grant-writing;
- train students in teaching, research, and service.
The program is designed for full-time study, manifested as a 4-5 year post-baccalaureate articulated M.A./Ph.D. program.
Students accepted into the program must be engaged in full time study. Applicants to the M.A./Ph.D. degree program are evaluated once each year only, for admission in the fall semester; applicants are not considered for spring admission. All application information must have been postmarked by January 15th for a candidate to be considered for admission in the following fall term. All applications are considered with the expectation that the applicant will pursue the Ph.D., and will be accepted from two applicant pools as follows:
- Students holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution will be considered for the M.A./Ph.D. program. Students admitted to the Experimental Psychology Concentration in the Psychology Ph.D. program complete the requirements for an M.A. in Psychology (Experimental Psychology Concentration) (42 hour program of study with thesis) en route to Ph.D. completion.
- Students already holding the M.A. or M.S. in psychology from a regionally accredited institution may also apply to the M.A./Ph.D. program. The master’s degree must be commensurate with the M.A. program in the Experimental Psychology Concentration at ETSU and involve the successful completion of an empirically-based thesis project. Students possessing a master’s degree without an empirically-based thesis will be required to complete an empirically-based thesis before being admitted to doctoral candidacy. Students without commensurate coursework may be required to take additional coursework.
The following are required:
- Completed University application forms;
- A grade point average of at least 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate and/or graduate level work overall and in Psychology courses;
- A minimum of 18 semester hours in undergraduate psychology is desired; minimally undergraduate coursework should include a course on statistics and experimental design. However, presenting an exceptional undergraduate record may be sufficient for graduate admission, but it is expected that all undergraduate deficiencies will be overcome during the first academic year.
- GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Written Analysis);
- Letters of recommendation from at least three persons familiar with the applicant’s academic background, aptitude for graduate study, and future performance as an academic psychologist;
- A personal statement of 500-750 words indicating the applicant’s academic experiences, research interests, and career goals (Prior undergraduate research interests and involvement are weighted heavily.);
- A willingness to be interviewed by members of the admission committee.
Offers and Acceptances
First-round offers are made in writing prior to April 1st. A response is not required until April 15th (or the first Monday after April 15th, if April 15th falls on a weekend). Between April 1st and the decision date, offers may be made to students over the phone if a position opens. These verbal offers are official, but will be followed up by a written confirmation within 48 hours. After being made, offers cannot be withdrawn by the university until after the decision date and then can be withdrawn only if the student fails to respond to the offer by the decision date. After the April 15th decision date, if there are more open slots, offers may be made. If an offer is made after the decision date, the length of time to make a decision on the offer will be clearly stated. The length of time may vary, but students will have at least a week in which they may visit the university before making a decision.
Students with graduate credit earned at another institution, may petition to have these credits applied toward their degree requirements at ETSU. Credits are not automatically transferred and must be approved by the Director of Experimental Training in consultation with Experimental Psychology faculty and the School of Graduate Studies. For students who have attained a master’s degree in Psychology, a maximum of 42 semester hours may be applied toward the MA/PhD degree requirements.
Waiving Core Course Requirements
Students may petition to waive specific courses through examination. The designated course instructor, along with the Director of Experimental Training will review petitions. Students must present evidence of completion of a similar course to that in the petition: transcript evidence and a course syllabus constitute the required documentation. Upon approval to sit for a waiver examination, students will be provided an opportunity for examination by the designated course instructor, and the course instructor will determine pass or failure of the examination. If the examination is passed, the instructor will recommend a course waiver to the Director of Experimental Training. The total number of degree hours will not be reduced, but an alternate course may then be substituted for degree credit.
The program anticipates admitting four students per year, with all students receiving financial support through a graduate assistantship for at least the first three years. The support includes a stipend plus tuition waivers for the academic year (fall and spring terms). Graduate assistantships may also be supported by faculty research grants.
Student Handbook for the ETSU Experimental Psychology Concentration Graduate Program
Matriculating students are responsible for adherence to procedures and policies outlined in this catalog as well as those contained in the Student Handbook for the ETSU Experimental Psychology Concentration Graduate Program. Refer to that document for critical departmental guidelines and policies concerning Clinical and Professional Learning Experiences, Documentation of Clinical Experience and Supervision, Annual Student Evaluations, additional Ph.D. requirements, Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines, Comprehensive Examination, Oral Defenses, Academic Performance requirements, Academic Probation, Dismissal, and Appeal, Clinic Responsibilities, Graduate Assistantships, and Professional Development.