Wallace E. Dixon, Jr., Ph.D., Chair
420A Rogers-Stout Hall
Eric Sellers, Ph.D., Director of Experimental Training
424-A Rogers-Stout Hall
Main Psychology Department Phone: (423) 439-4424, Fax: (423) 439-5695
Web Address: https://www.etsu.edu/cas/psychology/
Kylie McGee, Department Executive Aide
The primary mission of the Ph.D. Experimental Psychology concentration 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 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. Both PSYCAS and ETSU applications are required for admission. Students initially apply to the M.A./Ph.D. program through the PSYCAS centralized application service for graduate psychology at https://psycas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login. Students who receive interview offers will subsequently apply to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies at https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/applynow.php prior to the interview. The application to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies should not occur until directed by a representative of the Department of Psychology. Applications to PSYCAS that include all required materials must be completed by December 1st for admission the following fall semester. Invited applications to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies must be completed by May 1st for admission the following fall semester. Students holding bachelor’s or master’s degrees may apply.
- 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) (43 hour program of study with thesis) en route to Ph.D. completion. Students seeking a terminal master’s degree will not be considered.
- 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.
Students seeking admission to the experimental concentration in the M.A./Ph.D. program in psychology degree program must meet the requirements established by the School of Graduate Studies (see https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/admissionsrequirements.php for details). They must also meet the following superseding minimum program requirements.
- Completed PSYCAS application (due December 1st for the following fall semester)
- 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;
- Either a baccalaureate degree or master’s degree in psychology or 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.;
- Letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with the applicant’s academic background, aptitude for graduate study, and future performance as an academic psychologist (submitted through PSYCAS);
- A personal statement of 500-750 words (submitted through PSYCAS) indicating the applicant’s academic experiences, research interests, faculty member or members with whom the students would like to work, why the student feels they would fit well with that/those faculty member(s), and career goals (Prior undergraduate research interests and involvement are weighted heavily.);
- A willingness to be interviewed by members of the admission committee.;
- Completed ETSU Graduate Studies application form (due May 1st for the following fall semester, but should be completed only after the applicant is directed by a representative of the Department of Psychology).
WES evaluation is required for international applicants and Certification of English proficiency is required for students whose native language is not English. WES evaluation should be chosen as an option within the PSYCAS application. See https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/internationaladmissions.php for further information about international admission requirement.
Offers and Acceptances
For students applying to the Experimental Psychology Concentration, offers will be made after the December 1st application deadline until all positions are filled. The length of time for the student to make a decision on the offer will be clearly stated. The length of time may vary, but students will have at least one week in which they may visit the university before making a decision.
Transfer of Credit
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. A maximum of 9 semester hours earned elsewhere could be applied. 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.
Students must designate either the Experimental or the Clinical concentration of the Ph.D. Program in Psychology upon application and be admitted into a specific concentration. A student desiring to change concentrations must formally reapply to the program and concentration. Changing concentrations within the Ph.D. Psychology program CANNOT be accomplished by filing a Change of Program of Study with the School of Graduate Studies.
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. Refer to that document for critical departmental guidelines and policies concerning Teaching Experience and Supervision, Annual Student Evaluations, additional Ph.D. requirements, Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines, Preliminary Project Examination, Oral Defenses, Academic Performance requirements, Academic Probation, Dismissal, and Appeal, Graduate Assistantships, and Professional Development.