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Graduate Studies

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Graduate Program Overview

The Department of Psychology offers both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Psychology. Areas of specialization in graduate training include cognitive psychology, social psychology, industrial-organizational, and quantitative psychology.  In addition, the Department of Psychology participates in a multidisciplinary program in Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology.  

The programs of graduate training in the department are designed to produce experimental psychologists who are capable of assuming positions in academia, as well as industry and government. In a rigorous but cooperative and congenial atmosphere, high-quality research psychologists are trained to contribute to the body of knowledge of scientific psychology, as well as to disseminate and apply psychological knowledge.

Moreover, the Department has an exceptionally high placement record. OU graduates have been consistently placed in academic, private sector, and government positions.

Doctoral Level Training

In general, the Department of Psychology seeks graduate student applicants who aspire to doctoral-level training. Many of these applicants apply directly after completing their undergraduate degrees from universities across the nation. These graduate students are awarded master's degrees after making appropriate progress in our graduate academic training program (i.e., after successful completion of required coursework and their master's thesis) on their way to completing their doctoral degree. Some students who have completed master's degree programs elsewhere also are admitted. In such cases, the student's transcripts are reviewed, and transfer credit is authorized for courses deemed comparable to ours in content and quality. The amount of coursework that is transferable is evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Masters Level Training

Norman Campus: While most of our graduate training programs emphasize doctoral-level training, we do accept applications for master's degree-level training and have welcomed many such students. Often these students apply later for admission to our doctoral training program. However, masters-level-only students constitute a relatively small proportion of our total graduate student enrollment. Master's degree-only students are typically not extended department teaching assistantships.

More information about our graduate programs, graduate assistantships, and/or admission procedures may be obtained by contacting the chairperson of the Graduate Admissions Committee for the department: Professor Shane Connelly, sconnelly@ou.edu, 405-325-4583.

Tulsa Campus: We offer the Master of Arts in Organizational Dynamics program on the Tulsa campus. This is a terminal, application-oriented master’s degree program geared toward full-time working professionals. More information about this program is available by visiting the Organizational Dynamics website (odyn.ou.edu), calling (918) 660-3318, or emailing odyn@ou.edu.

General Program Requirements for Graduate Study in Psychology

To complete the Ph.D. in Psychology a student must complete 90 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree.  The individual student, in consultation with a faculty advisory committee, will design a unique course of study that reflects the student’s interests and career goals.  Successful completion of all coursework, the Ph.D. general exams, and the dissertation is required for the Ph.D.   A Master of Science degree is typically completed en route to the Ph.D. and requires 30 hours of coursework and successful completion of a master’s thesis.

Students interested in our Quantitative program also take two courses from the mathematics department: Calculus-based mathematical statistics and linear algebra.  The pre-requisite calculus courses for these may be taken at OU if the student does not have them at the time of admission.