Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Psychology Major, PhD


A student with a BA or BS may apply to the Department of Psychology for admission to the doctoral program.

 

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures


  • All students must submit an online application to the Graduate Admissions Office. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (general and/or Psychology) may be submitted, but are not required.

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.

Credit Hours Required


  • Minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s, or 
  • Minimum of 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s (exclusive of the 6 credit hours of thesis)

Additional Course Requirements


Students who choose a teaching assistantship in the third or fourth year must have satisfactorily completed PSYC 528.

Non-Course Requirements


  • Clinical Program students should complete a thesis or pre-dissertation research project by the end of the second year.
  • After forming the doctoral committee, each student must pass a comprehensive examination administered and evaluated by the committee.
    • 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.
  • A written thesis or pre-dissertation research project (completed before forming a doctoral supervisory committee) reported in a form acceptable to the major professor and at least one other clinical faculty member (and approved by the Clinical Faculty for the pre-dissertation project). The student must pass an oral defense as part of the thesis requirements; a defense is not required for a pre-dissertation project.
  • 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 in the community or
    • teaching assistantship in the department in either the third or fourth year, and two-day clinical placement in the other year

Counseling Psychology Concentration


This is designed to lay the groundwork for a career as a counseling psychologist capable of working in applied and academic settings. The counseling psychology program is based upon the scientist-practitioner-advocate model of training which stresses an integration of scholarly research, counseling psychology practice, and social justice advocacy.

Students are eligible to concurrently earn a Master’s degree in Psychology with a thesis en route to earning the doctoral degree.

Credit Hours Required


Minimum of 108 semester credit hours of graduate credit, including a minimum of 84 credit hours of graduate coursework and 24 credit hours of dissertation research (see below).

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


Students who wish to have a teaching assistantship must first satisfactorily complete PSYC 528.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The counseling psychology faculty that comprise the doctoral committee also advise and approve students’ comprehensive exam portfolio. The portfolio covers various artifacts of the counseling psychology core. Students prepare and present both a written comprehensive exam portfolio and hold an oral defense.
  • Students must complete a written thesis project and oral defense of the thesis approved by the student’s major professor and master’s committee.
  • Students must propose, conduct, and defend an original dissertation research study approved by their doctoral committee.
  • Students are required to complete supervised counseling practica and field placements in the community. These experiences must result in
    • a minimum of 500 hours of Intervention and Assessment Experience, of which at least 300 hours must be in the category of Individual or Group Counseling.
    • In addition, 100 hours of Supervision Received must be accumulated.
  • 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 American Psychological Association Guidelines.

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.

Credit Hours Required


  • Minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s or
  • Minimum of 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s (exclusive of the 6 credit hours of thesis)

Required Courses


Non-Course Requirements


  • 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.
  • An original piece of research in the form of a doctoral dissertation, proposed, conducted, and defended.