A student with a BA or BS may apply to the Department of Psychology for admission to the doctoral program with a concentration in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or experimental psychology. All students must submit an online application to the Graduate Admissions Office and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (general).
Clinical Psychology concentration
This program is designed to lay the groundwork for a career as a clinical psychologist capable of working in both academic and applied settings. The program emphasizes the theoretical foundations of psychology, as well as supervised experience oriented toward the development of practical skills. The program embodies a model of clinical psychology in which practice and research are integrated.
After forming the doctoral committee, each student must pass a comprehensive examination administered and evaluated by the committee. Clinical Program students must complete a pre-dissertation research project by the end of the second year.
The comprehensive examination is organized around a research case study of one client who has been assessed and/or treated by the student in the Departmental Psychological Clinic. In addition to the case presentation, the paper presents the student’s comprehensive review of relevant research and theory as a context for procedure, results, and discussion of the case. All doctoral students must complete a minimum of 78 hours of graduate-level courses, including courses required by their program; at least 6 hours in courses outside of psychology; and at least 24 hours of dissertation research (Psychology PSYC 600 ). Finally, students must complete an acceptable doctoral dissertation and conduct a satisfactory oral defense of the dissertation.
Requirements are as follows.
- Apprenticeship with one faculty member during the first year, two days each week.
- A written pre-dissertation research project (completed before forming a doctoral supervisory committee) reported in a form acceptable to two members of the faculty or, if reviewed and accepted for publication or external presentation, by one member of the faculty.
- A supervised clinical placement two days (16 hours) each week during the second year and the following option during the third and fourth years – continued two day clinical placement in the third and fourth years or teaching assistantship in the department in either the third or fourth year and two-day clinical placement in the other year.
- Satisfactory completion of listed courses (or equivalents) in the following categories.
- Foundations of Psychology: Biological Factors, Perception, Learning, Thinking, Motivation (PSYC 513 ).
- Research Practicum (PSYC 509 ), 4 hours.
- Developmental Psychology (PSYC 511 ).
- Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior (PSYC 570 ) and Developmental Psychopathology (PSYC 597 ).
- History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC 565 ).
- Research Questions and Designs (PSYC 580 ).
- Psychological Assessment I and II (PSYC 594 -PSYC 595 ) and Laboratory (PSYC 596 ).
- Analysis of Variance for Social Sciences (PSYC 521 ) and Multiple Regression for Social Sciences (PSYC 522 ).
- Social Psychology (PSYC 550 ).
- Field Placement in Clinical Psychology (PSYC 695 ).
- Clinical Psychopathology (PSYC 599 ).
- Ethical Issues in Professional Psychology (PSYC 598 ).
- Psychotherapy I and II (PSYC 670 -PSYC 671 ) and Laboratory (PSYC 673 ), 4 hours.
- Doctoral Research and Dissertation (PSYC 600 ), 24 hours.
- Students who choose a teaching assistantship in the third or fourth year must have satisfactorily completed PSYC 528 .
- Satisfactory completion of a one-year clinical internship at a site approved by the program.
Counseling Psychology concentration
The counseling psychology program is based upon the scientist-practitioner model of training which stresses both research and practice. It is designed to enable students to become behavioral scientists skilled in psychological research and its application. Students are trained to work with people who have generally integrated or intact personalities, to focus on these individuals’ strengths and assets, and to use relatively brief interventions to further enhance these strengths or to remediate deficiencies within them. While working with others, counseling psychologists tend to focus on the interactions of the personal, educational, and vocational environments of the individuals, groups, families, and organizations with whom they work.
The counseling psychology program consists of a minimum of 107 hours of graduate credit. This includes 83 hours of course work and 24 hours of dissertation research (see below).
Students are assigned a temporary faculty advisor upon admission to the program. By the end of their first calendar year, students are expected to have selected an advisory committee. Prior to taking their comprehensive examinations, students must form and meet with their doctoral committee, present an acceptable program of study to the doctoral committee, and have their research competency approved by the program’s research review committee. The examinations cover the counseling psychology core and the student’s cognate.
In addition to approving a student’s program of study, the doctoral committee approves the student’s dissertation proposal and verifies that the student’s dissertation is acceptable for the doctoral degree. The doctoral dissertation is original research that is theoretically based and psychological in nature. It must fulfill the requirements and procedures as stated in the current University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Graduate Catalog.
The following are required of all students.
- Students must accumulate a minimum of 600 hours in practicum experience. Students are required to have three semesters of individual practicum and one semester of group practicum. Practicum sites include the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Counseling Center; community agencies; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Career Resources Center; and area schools. Opportunities for additional practicum experiences exist in the community.
- In addition to course work, students must demonstrate competency in research methodology and academic scholarship prior to the doctoral committee’s approval of the student’s dissertation proposal. The research project is to be initiated after the student has entered the counseling psychology program.
- Satisfactory completion of the following curriculum.
- Psychological Foundations – minimum of 21 hours.
- History and Systems of Psychology.
- Biological Bases of Behavior.
- Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior.
- Social Basis of Behavior.
- Individual Behavior – minimum of 6 hours.
- Life Span or Developmental Psychology.
- Quantitative and Research Skills – minimum of 15 hours.
- Statistics – minimum of 6 hours.
- Qualitative Research – minimum of 3 hours.
- Research Design – minimum of 3 hours Directed Research.
- Counseling Psychology Core – minimum of 39 hours.
- Prepracticum in Career Development.
- Vocational Theory and Practice.
- Practicum – minimum of 9 hours.
- Foundations of Counseling Psychology – minimum of 6 hours.
- Cross-cultural Counseling.
- Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Psychology.
- Assessment – minimum of 6 hours.
- Group Counseling.
- Departmental Seminar.
- Students are also required to complete a 2000-hour internship prior to graduation. In consultation with the student and the student’s doctoral committee chair, the training director approves the internship site, which must meet APA Guidelines.
- Students who wish to have experiences as a teaching assistant must first satisfactorily complete department’s teaching practicum course.
Experimental Psychology concentration
The PhD program in psychology with a concentration in experimental psychology is designed to allow students to select from a variety of specializations oriented toward careers in research, teaching, and application of psychology in academic, institutional, or industrial settings. The program is flexible, individualized, and emphasizes a professional apprenticeship model of training.
Twelve hours of quantitative course work, including:
Nine hours comprised of one course from each of the 3 core area offerings:
- PSYC 527 Behavioral Neuroscience.
- PSYC 546 Evolutionary Psychology.
- PSYC 547 Conceptual Foundations of Evolution and Behavior.
- PSYC 524 Brain and Behavioral Development.
Six additional hours from any of the core course offerings, but that may also include:
- PSYC 565 History and Systems of Psychology (or 420 for graduate credit).
And completion of the following:
- 6 hours of Research Practicum PSYC 509
- Two semesters of PSYC 515
- PSYC 528
- Two 600-level graduate seminars
- 6-hours of graduate level courses outside the Psychology Department
- A Pre-dissertation research project involving the collection of original data or the original analysis of existing data reported in publishable form and accepted by the student’s advisory committee.
- A comprehensive examination determined and evaluated by the student’s doctoral committee. The examination is comprised of an integrative review of theoretical paper and an oral exam or additional questions.
- 24 hours of dissertation research PSYC 600
- An original piece of research in the form of a doctoral dissertation, proposed, conducted, and defended.