The doctoral program in Psychology prepares students for scholarly careers and for leadership roles in a variety of organizations. Study is organized around six defined major concentration areas.
- Applied Cognitive Psychology
- Applied Social Psychology
- Evaluation and Applied Research Methods
- Organizational Behavior
- Positive Developmental Psychology
- Positive Organizational Psychology
Admission requirements are detailed in the Admission section of the Bulletin.
All students are expected to be engaged in a research project each semester. In addition, students are expected to regularly attend colloquia and research discussion groups as part of their education.
Coursework. A minimum 72 units is required for the degree.
Required Courses. All graduate students must meet the following course requirements and pass these courses with a grade of B- or better.
- Research Methods (PSYCH 302 - 4 units). Students who have taken a comparable graduate level course should consult with the instructor about a waiver examination.
- Statistics Sequence (PSYCH 308a,b,c,d - 2 units). Students who have taken comparable statistics courses may consider taking the waiver examination given at the beginning of the semester. Courses from other institutions cannot be considered for transfer credit unless the waiver examination is passed and grades in the course were B- or better.
- Methodology (PSYCH 315 - 2 or 4 units each). A minimum of four units of methodology courses are required beyond PSYCH 302. Courses from the PSYCH 315 series will meet this requirement.
The University’s policies on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and transfer credit apply.
Core Courses. Within the first three years of beginning their graduate study, students must take and pass the core courses in their area of concentration.
- Three Applied Cognitive Core Courses (12 units)
- Four Applied Social Core Courses (16 units)
- Four Evaluation Core Courses (12 units)
- Three Organizational Behavior Core Courses (12 units)
- Five Positive Developmental Core Courses (20 units)
- Five Positive Organizational Core Courses (20 units)
Credit for qualifying examinations requires a grade of B- or better in core courses.
Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units)
All PhD students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from Claremont Graduate University’s “TNDY” course sequence.
Master’s Project. All doctoral students in the program must meet the following two deadlines.
- Proposal for a thesis or Master’s project must be approved by two faculty readers by the end of the student’s third semester in the program.
- Thesis or first year empirical project must be completed and approved by two faculty readers by the end of the student’s third year in the program.
Failure to meet these deadline will result in the student’s program being changed to a terminal Master’s degree program and financial aid adjusted accordingly.
Directed Research. All students must enroll in PSYCH 306 (Directed Research) during their first two semesters. This course provides a valuable, educational experience for participating in faculty-directed research. An approved research proposal is required by the end of the second semester to successfully complete this course.
Field/Teaching Experience. At least one semester of field experience is required. This can be completed in 4 units of a Supervised Teaching Seminar or 4 units of Field Placement (PSYCH 450).
Portfolio. All students are required to assemble a portfolio to provide evidence of professional development within an area of specialization. The compilation must include a minimum of six different products or experiences, accumulated over the student’s period of graduate study, that are relevant to the professional goals and specialization area of the student. Selection of portfolio items is expected to occur in consultation with the student’s research advisor and the second faculty member on their committee. Approval of the portfolio plan is recommended in each student’s second year in the Ph.D. program but must be obtained by the end of the third year in the Ph.D. program.
Research Tools. In lieu of a language requirement, the program requires demonstrated proficiency in research tools tailored to the individual needs of the student. Faculty approval of specific tools and satisfactory evidence of their mastery is required within the first three years of graduate study. Two research tools must be completed before taking the oral qualifying examination.
Qualifying Examination. The oral qualifying examination is intended to demonstrate the student’s ability to organize, integrate, and evaluate knowledge in an area of concentration. Satisfactory completion of the qualifying examination and approval of the dissertation proposal are prerequisites for advancement to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
Dissertation. University policies and procedures regarding dissertations are detailed in the Academic Policies - Doctoral Degree Regulations section of the Bulletin and on the registrar’s Completion of Degree webpage. The Psychology program requires the following additional specifications.
- Acceptable dissertation research, conducted with the approval of an advisory committee, must be submitted.
- Dissertation committees must consist of at least four examiners, of which one member must be a visiting examiner from outside the Claremont community.
Time to Degree Limits. University policies on time to degree apply. For doctoral students, the time to degree expectation is seven years, although this period of time may be reduced by the acceptance of transfer credit. The Psychology program imposes the following additional specifications for its students regarding extensions of time to degree.
- Extensions of time are granted for only one year at a time.
- Only students who have completed the oral qualifying examination may be considered for a second extension.
- Only students who have been advanced to candidacy will be considered for a third extension.
- The Psychology program does not authorize more than three extensions.
University Policies. University policies detailed in the Academic Policies section of the Bulletin apply.
Master’s Along the Way
CGU’s degree requirements for the Master of Arts in Psychology apply. Students may qualify for a Master’s degree, received along the way to the doctoral degree, provided all of the following conditions are met.
- A minimum of 48 units of coursework must have been completed.
- Completed coursework must not have been used toward conferral of a Master’s degree from CGU in another discipline.
- A Master’s thesis has been completed and approved.
To receive the Master’s degree, students must follow degree completion procedures and comply with the deadlines applicable for the semester in which the degree is requested. Degree completion deadlines are also published in the University’s Academic Calendar .