May 27, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Experimental Psychology, Ph.D.

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About the Psychology Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. programs typically require five to six years of full-time study. Extensive details regarding a typical curriculum are available in all of the program handbooks, which are online at Students may elect to earn an optional master’s degree during their pursuit of the doctoral degree.

The American Psychological Association accredits the clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs. The accrediting association can be contacted at: American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street N. E., Washington, DC 20002-4242, 202.336.5979, 202.336.6123 (TDD/TYY) 202.336.5978 (fax). The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) accredits the Human Factors concentration within the experimental psychology doctoral program (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, P.O. Box 1369, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1369 USA).

All three doctoral programs in psychology require courses specific to their own specialty, along with more general psychology courses that are department-wide requirements for graduate students, such as research methods, statistics, and some of the psychological bases of behavior (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and historical bases of behavior). Courses in ethical and professional issues, multicultural issues and underserved populations, and supervision and consulting for the provision of psychological services are also required in clinical and counseling psychology.

All doctoral students are required to complete a second-year research project or its equivalent (e.g., an empirical master’s thesis), doctoral qualifying exams specific to each doctoral program in the department, and a dissertation. Students in the clinical and counseling psychology programs also complete numerous practicum courses and an approved one-year predoctoral internship. Interdisciplinary study with other relevant and cooperating departments/colleges on campus is also available. For example, some psychology doctoral students take elective human sciences courses such as child and adolescent development.

Application instructions and forms for psychology graduate programs are available at the Graduate School online application website. Deadlines for receipt of the complete application for the clinical and counseling psychology programs is December 1. The deadline for the experimental psychology program is January 15. Note that applicants must apply through the Graduate School of Texas Tech University; applicants cannot apply directly through the Department of Psychological Sciences.

Many graduate courses in psychology—and all graduate courses in psychology with a practicum component—are limited to full-time graduate students who are officially admitted and enrolled in one of the psychology degree graduate programs. Full-time graduate students from other degree programs must get written permission from the instructor before enrolling in a psychology graduate course.

About the General Experimental Psychology Doctoral Program

This Ph.D. program also offers a terminal master’s degree (M.A.) option in experimental psychology and a combined B.A.–M.A. option with a concentration in one of the concentration areas of experimental psychology, human factors. The doctoral program typically takes four to five years of full-time study, and the terminal master’s program typically takes two years of full-time study. Graduate students in the human factors concentration frequently complete an approved internship, often for one to two semesters, at an appropriate agency (e.g., federal or state agency, consulting company, engineering group, high-tech business, transportation agency, healthcare facility, military base). The concentration areas available in the experimental psychology graduate program at the master’s and doctoral levels are cognitive psychology, human factors, and social psychology. Extensive details regarding a typical curriculum in each of the concentration areas of experimental psychology are available online at

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society accredits the experimental psychology graduate program with a concentration in human factors (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, P.O. Box 1369, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1369 USA).

A doctoral degree in psychology has some variance in the required total hours because of such factors as the differences between doctoral psychology programs, diversity of student interests, range of academic backgrounds, and other practical issues. Doctoral students in psychology at Texas Tech typically earn approximately 72-90 credit hours of required coursework in their graduate program before successfully completing their doctoral degree. In addition, other doctoral program requirements must be completed successfully before the doctoral degree is awarded.

The doctoral program in experimental psychology does admit a few students for terminal master’s degrees in experimental psychology, although the majority of students in this program are admitted for the doctoral program in experimental psychology. Doctoral students also complete requirements for a master’s in experimental psychology as they pursue their doctorate in three concentration areas: cognitive psychology, human factors psychology, and social psychology. The human factors concentration is also available in a combined B.A.–M.A. version in which the bachelor’s degree is awarded in psychology and the master’s degree is awarded in experimental psychology with a concentration in human factors.

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