University Catalog

Psychology - Graduate Programs

Admissions Criteria

There are no fixed criteria for admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Psychology; many aspects of the student's application inform our admission decisions, but a complete application package before December 15 is highly recommended to ensure a timely review of the student file (NOTE: the Master of Science in Learning Analytics has a departmental deadline of June 30 for Fall admission, see their webpage for more details). There are, though, some standard requirements. A student is expected to have successfully completed the appropriate work prior to admission, including an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree. The Office of Graduate Studies requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate work for unconditional admission to the program. Graduate coursework will also be reviewed for those who are applying to a degree bound or direct Ph.D. program, if any. For those applying to the direct Ph.D. program already having earned or will earn a masters, a minimum of 28-30 graduate hours with a GPA of 3.0 or better as calculated by the Graduate School is typically required. The Department of Psychology strongly encourages undergraduate courses in statistics and experimental methods prior to admission.

A. Admissions Focus

Graduate admissions committees are subcommittees of the Graduate Studies Committee. Each specialization (i.e., Psychological Sciences, Health/Neuroscience, I/O) will convene an admissions committee to make recommendations to the Graduate Studies Committee regarding advisors of applicants. Each is composed of faculty representatives from the specialization, the graduate advisor and the Department Chairperson. Admissions decisions are based on interpretation of indications of potential success in the program. The following points are generally considered:

  1. Grade point average. Most candidates for admissions present averages greater than 3.2. We do, however, examine the applicant's coursework as evidence of research interest. Positive indicators of success in our program include greater than average work in biological and physical sciences, mathematics and psychology. In similar fashion, evidence of research experience is viewed as a predictor of future research potential. For students interested in specialization in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the Master's level, appropriate coursework is taken into consideration.
  2. Submission of Verbal and Mathematics GRE scores is required unless otherwise noted. High GRE scores are viewed positively, but lower GRE scores need not exclude a candidate who shows positive indicators in other areas. We do not require the GRE Subject Test in Psychology. (Not required for MS in Learning Analytics only).
  3. If applicable, submission of language-based tests for applicants who do not have a US-based degree: An applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate a sufficient level of skill with the English language to assure success in graduate studies. This requirement will be waived for non-native speakers of English who possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution. Applicants are expected to submit a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, a score of at least 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 40 on the TSE, a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS, or a minimum TOEFL IBT total score of 79. Further, When the TOEFL IBT is taken, sectional scores of at least 22 on the writing section, 21 on the speaking section, 20 on the reading section, and 16 on the listening section are preferred. However, admission to any graduate program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance and programs may give preference to students with higher scores. Only scores submitted directly by ETS or IELTS to UT Arlington are acceptable. English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants: Students whose native language is not English must provide a score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) of at least 45, a minimum score of 23 on the Speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT exam or a minimum score of 7 on the Speaking portion of the IELTS exam. The English proficiency requirement will be waived for non-native speakers of English who possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution.
  4. Letters of reference (minimum 3). These are important insofar as they offer evidence of commitment to research, the ability to think independently, critically and creativity, and to integrate knowledge. Letters also provide additional information about a candidate's experience and interests. Evidence of success in employment relevant to I/O psychology will be considered for the Master's degree in that area.
  5. The personal statement is required.  The personal statement is meant to be specific concerning your career goals/interests regarding our program. This should describe the applicant's laboratory, field, or applied interests, career plans, and a discussion of how the UT Arlington program can serve to further these interests and plans. The statement is required and will be examined for evidence of the appropriateness of the candidate to the UT Arlington program. The personal statement should contain information about the student's intended specialization and preferred faculty mentor(s). Students are encouraged to contact specific faculty members during the application process. 
  6. Finally, successful completion of a Master's degree in another department may be viewed positively even when the degree was received in an area outside of psychology. In this latter case, some conditions in terms of make-up (or deficiency) coursework may be specified.

B. Admission Status and Eligibility for Assistantship/Fellowship

As noted in the Graduate Catalog, there are several categories of admission in addition to unconditional admission to the Graduate Program in Psychology.

  1. Probationary Admission: If an applicant does not evidence a majority of the positive indicators for the unconditional admission described above, they may, after careful examination of their application materials be given probationary admission. Probationary admission requires that the new student receive a 3.0 (B average) GPA or better in the first 9-12 hours of graduate course work at UT Arlington.
  2. Deferred Admission: A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when denial of admission is not currently appropriate.
  3. Provisional Admission: An applicant unable to supply all documentation (including certified transcripts, GRE scores, letters of reference, and personal statements) prior to the admission deadline, but otherwise appears to meet admission requirements, may be granted provisional admission.
  4. Denial of Admission: Applicants whose records in the aggregate do not show sufficient positive indications of potential success will be denied admission. Please note that not all "qualified" applicants are admitted. Successful admission depends upon the competitiveness of the applicant pool, the number of positions available, and the applicant's fit with the current research interests of the faculty.
  5. Eligibility for Assistantship/Fellowship available for PHD Applicants Only: PHD students who wish to be considered for assistantships should have their application and Department forms sent to The University of Texas at Arlington by December 15 for the Fall Semester. Students unconditionally admitted to the program are eligible for scholarship and fellowship support. Students who are provisionally admitted (pending receipt of their transcript or because they are international students who have not yet met the English language requirement) can receive 1-semester waiver from the Graduate School to hold the assistantship until these missing items have been received. International graduate teaching assistants who make scores that fall below the required test score on the TSE, SEA, or Speaking Section of the TOEFL iBT test must contact the English Language Institute Office at 817-272-2730 or at No funding available for master programs.

The criteria applied will be the same as those applied to admission decisions. To be eligible, candidates typically must: be a new student, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their last 60 undergraduate credit hours, plus any graduate credit hours as calculated by the Office of Graduate Studies; and be enrolled in a minimum of 9 hours of course work in both long semesters  (6 hours in the Summer) to retain their fellowships (see section entitled "Department Enrollment Policy" below). Assistantship assignments are made by the Department Chairperson in consultation with the Associate Chair and the Graduate Advisors. Students may be eligible for other forms of support including fellowships. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies for further information under Financial Aid Resources (

C. UT Arlington Graduates

GRE requirements: Submission of Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing GRE score is required of all applicants unless otherwise indicated, including UT Arlington alumni, with the exception of "Facilitated Admission" (see below).

Facilitated Admission of Outstanding UT Arlington Undergraduates: Students with extraordinarily strong undergraduate records at UT Arlington may receive advanced admission to the program without having to pass through the normal application process. Qualified students will be able to gain admission without completing a formal application or paying application fees. The following conditions must be met in order to qualify for advanced admission of outstanding undergraduates:

  1. The student must have graduated from a commensurate bachelor's degree program at UT Arlington no more than one academic year prior to the semester for which admission to a graduate program is sought.  A commensurate bachelor's degree program is on that is a normal feeder program for the master's degree or doctoral degree bound program to which the student seeks admission. Undergraduate students in their final year of study are also eligible; in such cases, facilitated admission is a conditional upon a successful completion of the bachelor's degree.
  2. The student's GPA must equal or exceed 3.5 in each of the following calculations:
    1. The grade-point average in the last 60 hours of study as calculated in the Office of Graduate Studies for admission purposes.
    2. All work completed at UTA to date.
  3. The student's record will be assessed for strengths relevant to success in the program. All prospective facilitated admission applicants must also submit a personal statement and two (2) letters of recommendation with the understanding that submitting the facilitated admission form does not guarantee admission into the program; all facilitated admission applicant's will be reviewed by committee the same as applicants applying via regular application.

Students who are accepted via facilitated admission will be admitted directly to graduate school without completing the application for admission, submitting an application evaluation charge, or taking the GRE. Students who believe they qualify for this program should contact the appropriate Graduate Advisor in the Department of Psychology.

Master's Degree Requirements (Earning a Master's in Passing)

In addition to the requirements outlined elsewhere, the Department of Psychology will require undergraduate courses in statistics and in experimental methods. These courses may be taken as deficiency courses.

Degree requirements for the Department of Psychology are established by the Committee on Graduate Studies in Psychology and supplement those established by the University (see general requirements of the Graduate School as stated under the section entitled "Admission Requirements and Procedures").

Each entering graduate student will be furnished a copy of the departmental rules which will serve as guidelines for departmental actions and recommendations.Students are urged to consult the Department of Psychology's Graduate Student Handbook to obtain the most up-to-date information on department policies and practices that may impact their degree plans.

Each student must adhere to the code of ethics of the American Psychological Association.

Master of Science in Psychology

As soon as is feasible, a student should decide on an area for specialization and research. After discussion with, and consent of the involved faculty members, the student selects a supervising professor and a thesis committee. No student may enroll in PSYC 5698 (Thesis - 6 hours) until the thesis committee has approved a proposal for the thesis project and cannot be retaken more than 4 times.

The MS program in Psychology requires completion of a Master's thesis (with the exception of the I/O program) and may be considered as preparation for doctoral work. Progress toward the Ph.D. degree requires completion of a Master's degree in a specialization in psychology or a "Master's equivalency paper". The MS thesis proposal must be approved by a thesis committee consisting of at least three members of the Psychology graduate faculty (additional members are optional) before the candidate for the MS degree may enroll in PSYC 5698 (Thesis - 6 hours). The completed thesis must receive final approval by the committee in an oral defense, which is open to any interested member of the Department, including students.

Students are to post signs and make e-mail announcements informing the local academic community about their upcoming defense no later than two weeks prior to the defense date.  A Final Master's Examination Report must be completed, signed and filed no later than two weeks before the date on which the candidate expects the degree to be conferred. For students who elect the thesis substitute, the final examinations(s) will be determined and administered by all of the members of the student's supervising committee. As above, a  Final Examination Report must be filed by the dates listed in the Graduate Calendar.

Specialization in Psychological Sciences or Health/Neuroscience Psychology (Masters in Passing)

Thirty (30) credit hours, as well as six hours of thesis (PSYC 5698), are required to earn a masters in passing while remaining in your Ph.D. program. The masters in passing is designed to form the basis for the doctoral program. Required courses are the following: PSYC 5110, 5405, 5407, 5307 (or 5324), 5333 (or 5334)*,  5313*, 5322*, 5342*, and a 3 hour research course (a combination of 5191 and 5291 or 5391, or 5600). Thesis research and thesis document, approved by a thesis committee, are also required for the Psychological Sciences and Health/Neuroscience specializations. More details about each course can be found at (*must take 3 of the 4 courses.)

Master of Science in Psychology (Industrial/Organizational Emphasis)

The program and curriculum are designed for students who intend to pursue an applied, professional career as practitioners in the field. The program offers both a thesis (41 hours) and a non-thesis option (38 hours); however, all students enter the program under the non-thesis option. The decision to change to a thesis option will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be based on the student's aptitude and career focus, as well as on the fit between the student and the faculty mentor. Whether thesis or non-thesis option is chosen, all students earn a Master of Science in Psychology (Industrial/Organizational Emphasis) and will therefore be required to conduct research related to I/O Psychology. Required psychology courses include PYSC 5405, 5407, 5324, 5325, 5326, 5327 (5127 and 5227), 5330, 5342, 6300, and 5391 OR 5698. Students are also required to complete 400-hours of an outside internship. Students typically complete their thesis or non-thesis option (Individual Research) at the end of their second year.

A typical program of study looks like this (pending final University approval):

First Year
Fall SemesterHoursSpring SemesterHours
PSYC 53253PSYC 53263
PSYC 52272PSYC 53243
PSYC 54054PSYC 54074
 9 10
Second Year
Fall SemesterHoursSpring SemesterHours
PSYC 53303PSYC 53423
3-hr Restricted Elective*3PSYC 5391 or 56983 or 6
PSYC 63003PSYC 51271
 3-hr Restricted Elective*3
 9 10-13
Total Hours: 38-41

Note: Total hours correspond to a non-thesis (38 hrs) or thesis (41 hrs) option.  

*Restricted Electives
Other courses subject to department approval
Any graduate level Psychology course 3
Other courses subject to department approval

Master of Science in Learning Analytics

Thirty-six (36) credit hours are required for the Master of Science in Learning Analytics. Required courses are the following:

  • Core Courses (18 hours): LAPS 5310, 5320, 5330, 5340, 5350, 5360
  • Four Electives (12 hours) from: LAPS 5370, 5375, 5376, 5377, 5378, 5380, 5388, 5390, 5391, 5392, 5393, 5394, 5395
  • Capstone (6 hours): LAPS 5610

Details about each course can be found at

If a prospective student does not have sufficient statistical experience in prior coursework, they may be required to take LAPS 5370 – Introduction to Statistical Analysis as a leveling course at the end of their core coursework. This course would count as one of four required electives.

After completing 30 hours of coursework (18 hours core, 12 hours elective) and receiving approval from the program coordinator, students may enroll in the LAPS 5610 Capstone course. Students will work in diverse groups of 5 to 6 students along with a faculty mentor, and the small groups will be designed to combine students with diverse skill sets and emphasize community and collaboration. Students will apply program knowledge and skills learned in prior coursework to complete a small-scale, integrative project involving the analysis of a real world, educational data set. Students will have the opportunity to apply for competitive internships that will provide small scholarships. Once the student enrolls in this course, they must continuously enroll in it until they successfully complete their capstone, but no more than 4 times.

**NOTE: At this time, students in the Learning Analytics program may not earn a Master’s in Passing in order to complete a Ph.D.

Here is a sample program of study:

  • Year 1 (Fall)
    • LAPS 5310 Learning Analytics Fundamentals
    • LAPS 5360 Introduction to Data Analysis and R
  • Year 1 (Spring)
    • LAPS 5320 Experimental Design and Methodology
    • LAPS 5330 Psychology of Learning and Learning Sciences
  • Year 1 (Summer)
    • LAPS 5340 Big Data Methods
    • LAPS 5350 Privacy & Ethics in Learning Analytics
  • Year 2 (Fall)
    • Two (2) electives
  • Year 2 (Spring)
    • Two (2) electives
  • Year 2 (Summer)
    • LAPS 5610 Capstone

Current electives include:

  • LAPS 5370 Introduction to Statistical Analysis (leveling course)
  • LAPS 5375 Probability and Statistical Inference
  • LAPS 5376 Applied Regression Analysis
  • LAPS 5377 Linear Models and Experimental Design
  • LAPS 5378 Multidimensional Scaling and Clustering
  • LAPS 5380 Causal Inference for Program Evaluation
  • LAPS 5388 Advanced Methods in Educational Data Management and Learning Analytics
  • LAPS 5390 Learning Design Analytics
  • LAPS 5391 Independent Study
  • LAPS 5392 Cognition, Computers, and Metacognition
  • LAPS 5393 Natural Language Processing for Educational Research
  • LAPS 5394 Social Network Analysis
  • LAPS 5395 Human and Artificial Cognition

Doctoral Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements outlined elsewhere, the Department of Psychology will require undergraduate courses in statistics and in experimental methods. These courses may be taken as deficiency courses.

Degree requirements for the Department of Psychology are established by the Committee on Graduate Studies in Psychology and supplement those established by the University (see general requirements of the Graduate School as stated under the section entitled "Admission Requirements and Procedures").

Each entering graduate student will be furnished a copy of the departmental rules which will serve as guidelines for departmental actions and recommendations.Students are urged to consult the Department of Psychology's Graduate Student Handbook to obtain the most up-to-date information on department policies and practices that may impact their degree plans.

Each student must adhere to the code of ethics of the American Psychological Association.

Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in psychology requires distinguished accomplishments in both scholarship and original research, and a deep understanding of the strategic role of thoughtful research in the development of an empirical science. Although the student must meet the minimum requirements of a planned course of study, the ultimate basis for conferring the degree must be the demonstrated ability to do independent and creative work, and the exhibition of a profound grasp of the subject matter of the field.

Specializations  in Psychological Sciences (Graduate Advisor: Dr. Jared Kenworthy) and Health/Neuroscience (Graduate Advisor: Dr. Yuan Bo Peng)

The specialization in Psychological Sciences allows students to work in a general experimental context while specializing in one of several areas (e.g., cognitive, social, developmental, personality,  industrial/organizational, etc.) The specialization in Health/Neuroscience Psychology is designed to train researchers in health/neuroscience and behavior, working at the cutting-edge of interdisciplinary, biomedical and bio behavioral investigation in areas such as pain, addiction, stress, psycho-immunology, memory, cancer and aging. Most research activity is based on the neurophysiological, bio-behavioral, or biopsychosocial model of health and illness.

Core Course requirements 

Graduate students entering the Psychological Sciences specialization will be required to take the following 3 of the 4 core courses (Psyc 5333 or 5334, Psyc 5313, Psyc 5322, Psyc 5324) during their first four semesters of enrollment (min. 24 hours). Exceptions may be made only with written permission of the  Graduate Studies Committee. It should also be mentioned that students are expected to maintain their GPA at or above a 3.0 average each term to ensure the successful completion of the program. Therefore, a grade of D is not considered to be acceptable at the doctoral level and if earned, the student risks being dropped from the program. Grades of C have been found to slow down adequate academic progress and should not be taken lightly. All students are expected to consult their faculty mentors if such grades are earned to see how the GPA can be improved.

PSYC 5391RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY (*Or a combination of 5191/5291 or 5600)3

 Having fulfilled the above, the following are also required:

Four courses (12 hours) from among electives and seminars (PSYC 6300), including Human Physiology (PSYC 5334) or Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 5333), Personality Psychology (5321), Human Learning & Memory (PSYC 5345), Neuropharm (PSYC 6320), Group Processes (PSYC 5323), Social & Personality Development (PSYC 6318), Health Psychology (PSYC 5309). The other required elective course must be approved by the appropriate Graduate Advisor and/or Committee on Graduate Studies and can include a graduate level course in statistics, genetics, immunology, endocrinology, or other specialized biomedical topic available at UT Southwestern or another UT Arlington department.

  1. Two six-hour research courses. These may be taken from Thesis PSYC 5698 or Advanced Research PSYC 5600. Students who plan to obtain the MS should elect PSYC 5698 as one of the research courses and students who do not plan to obtain the MS should select two sections of PSYC 5600. If the student does not elect to obtain the MS, one of the research courses must result in a formal thesis-equivalent paper, which will be evaluated by a committee and defended in an oral examination. The two research courses are a minimum requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to take Research in Psychology PSYC 5391 before taking PSYC 5600 and PSYC 5698. Please note that Psyc 5698 should not be taken more than 4 times. Students should only enroll in Psyc 5698 once they have successfully proposed their thesis.
  2. Additional hours of coursework to be determined by the Graduate Advisor and dissertation committee. The student should plan to take approximately 67 hours including PSYC 6999. Please note that a total of 9 dissertation hours are required for graduation (a combination of 6399, 6699, 6999, and 7399). At least 31-34 of these hours must be in organized courses, lectures or seminars. No student may enroll in a dissertation course until the dissertation committee has approved a proposal for the dissertation project.

Students with prior graduate work may be waive up to 9 hours from any of the above requirements by a written request to the Graduate Studies Committee. The request should include a syllabus or other documentation showing that a prior course and one of our required courses are equivalent. Students should discuss course equivalency with the professor(s) who teach the course(s) in question before submitting the request.

A student has completed the course requirements when he or she has maintained at least a B average in all courses.

A typical program of study might look like this:

First Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
Statistics I4Statistics II4
Required Core Course3Required Core Course3
Professional Development1Readings and/or Research elective2
Research and Reading1 
 9 9
Second Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
Required Core Course3Thesis6
Research and Reading/Elective/Thesis6Research and Reading/Elective3
 9 9
Third Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
MAP hours3MAP hours3
Advanced Research6Advanced Research6
or Research and Reading/Elective
or Research and Reading/Elective
 9 9
Fourth Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
Advanced Research6Advanced Research6
Research and Reading/Elective3Research and Reading/Elective3
 9 9
Fifth Year
First SemesterHoursSecond SemesterHours
 6 3
Total Hours: 81

Note: This is based on a 5-year program of study. Students may adjust the speed at which milestones are achieved by adding 4th year courses earlier. A doctoral student must pay non-resident tuition beginning the first long semester (Fall or Spring) in which a) the student has been enrolled previously as a graduate student for 14 or more long semesters, AND b) the student has accumulated more than 99 semester credit hours of graduate study at any Texas state university. Students exceeding either limit will not be eligible for assistant ships supported by state funds.

Research Requirements

Research requirements include general expectations of student involvement in research throughout their graduate career and specific milestones that must be accomplished in order, including the Research Progress Symposium, the Master's Thesis or equivalent paper, the Major Area Paper (MAP; Diagnostic/Qualifying Exam), the Dissertation Proposal (Comprehensive Exam), and the Dissertation Defense. University requirements mandate the completion of six hours of Master's research and another *nine total hours of Dissertation research in the semester that degree requirements will be completed. *Please see the section entitled "Dissertation Hours" for an explanation of the different dissertation registration options.

Prerequisite Conditions for the Major Area Paper

In order to begin working on the Major Area Paper (MAP; diagnostic examination), students must complete:

  1. The Departmental Core Curriculum requirements as set forth elsewhere in the catalog. Generally, these course requirements will be met within the first two years of graduate enrollment.
  2. Students must also satisfactorily participate in the Research Progress Symposium (RPS), a twelve-minute presentation of original research, taking place as early as the third long semester but must be completed by the fourth long semester (Spring of the 2nd year)
  3. Finally, a Master's Thesis (or equivalent) must be completed. Students entering the program with a master's degree must complete the Departmental Core Curriculum requirements and participate in the RPS before being invited to begin work on the MAP.
Major Area Paper (MAP)/Diagnostic/ Qualifying Examination

Upon completion of these prerequisite conditions, students will be invited to begin consulting with their major Major Area Paper (MAP) committee regarding the project, and are expected to finish within one year. Students should enroll in Psyc 6391 in the first long semester following the MAP invite and continue to the course as long as they are working on their MAP.

MAP and MAP Oral Defense

The MAP consists of a comprehensive review paper, which is a summary, integration, and critical review of the literature relevant to a general theme or topic. It is expected that the student will offer a novel and forward-thinking perspective on the topic area. The MAP does not directly propose research hypotheses and designs, nor does it involve the collection of primary-level data. It may be either a quantitative review (i.e., a meta-analysis) or a more qualitative review. It should contain a concluding section in which novel theoretical ideas are proposed and elaborated upon, and which will form a basis for the MAP Oral Defense. The topic area, scope, and timeline of the MAP will be developed with the student's primary faculty mentor and one or two other Department of Psychology Faculty members. 

MAP candidates shall convene a prospectus meeting with their MAP Committee before beginning the work on their MAP, in which they present and discuss a 1-2 page abstract or prospectus, outlining the aims, scope, feasibility and structure of the MAP. This abstract should be accompanied by an annotated reference list of key works, indicating an understanding of the literature to which the MAP will continue. Before beginning the MAP, documentation of this meeting shall be submitted to the department for the student's file.

The topic and content of the MAP should not have substantial overlap with either the student's Thesis or with their eventual Dissertation proposal or project. In accordance with the University policy, MAP Committees must be compromised of three (3) members of the Graduate Faculty. Students should consult their Committee members for general comments and direction before beginning work on the MAP, but Committee member involvement in the writing of the MAP (including that of the student's Faculty mentor) is expected to be minimal. Any feedback from others should not be substantive, but should instead resemble the feedback given by article or grant reviewers.

Upon submission of the MAP document to the Committee, the Committee will evaluate the MAP in terms of its potential contribution to the student's chosen field, and in terms of the degree to which it represents Ph.D.-level thinking, communication, independence, and scholarship. Ordinarily, the Committee will take no longer than 2-3 weeks to evaluate the MAP and communicate their decision regarding the document to the student. If the Committee determines that the MAP document is unacceptable, the student will be given one opportunity to revise it  for a second evaluation by the Committee. If the revised version of the MAP is also judged to be unacceptable, the student will not be invited to pursue the Ph.D. degree in the UT Arlington Graduate Program in Psychology. Such a student's Master's degree will thus be his/her terminal degree.

If and when the MAP document is deemed acceptable by the Committee, the Committee will invite the student to schedule a MAP Oral Defense, which will take place no sooner than two weeks following communication from the Committee to the student that the student's MAP is acceptable. The MAP Oral Defense consists only of the student and Committee members, and is not open to other students, faculty, staff, or the general public. In this meeting, which will normally last between 90 and 120 minutes, Committee members will assess the student's knowledge of the topic area, the theoretical background, the methodologies likely to be employed in related research, limitations to the ideas, and conceptual and practical connections to related issues. The Committee will determine whether or not the student has clearly passed the examination, clearly failed, or passed with conditions which must be met before Ph.D. Candidacy is recommended. Upon passing both the MAP and the MAP Oral Defense, a Diagnostic Evaluation Report form must be completed, signed, and filed. In order to be deemed making satisfactory academic progress, students are expected to complete the MAP within one calendar year once invited.

Dissertation Proposal

Students who pass their MAP/diagnostic examinations may continue in the Ph.D. program after having a dissertation proposal approved by their dissertation supervising committee. The committee is formed by a student in consultation with his or her major advisor and the Graduate Advisor, and consists of at least five members, at least  three of whom are from the psychology Graduate Faculty (additional members are optional).

The meeting with members of the dissertation committee is a closed one so that the proposed project can be discussed in a confidential manner. The oral presentation of the dissertation proposal satisfies the University requirement that a graduate student must take and pass a "comprehensive examination" prior to advancement to candidacy for the PhD degree. During the presentation, the student responds to any questions the committee members may have about the project. The committee may approve the project, suggest modifications that would make the project acceptable, or reject the proposal and require a new one. In addition to satisfying the comprehensive examination requirement, approval of the dissertation proposal implies that the project is acceptable as a research topic that the project's conceptualization, design, and proposal methods are acceptable and that particular results ("positive results") are not required. As noted above, approval of the dissertation proposal also is the final step for the student to be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. The dissertation course (PSYC 6399, 6699, 6999 or 7399) can be taken (see dissertation hours section below). During this period, meetings with the committee are on as "as needed" basis. The dissertation project is then carried out as approved, or as modified with prior approval of the committee members, and the dissertation is written. When a student has completed a draft of the dissertation that the primary mentor deems appropriate for his or her committee, a date for the oral defense is scheduled, and written drafts must be provided to committee members at least two weeks before this date.

Dissertation Hours

Doctoral students must take a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation. This can be accomplished by taking 6999 or a combination of other dissertation course options. A doctoral student working on a dissertation should be enrolled in an approximate 6X99 or 7399 dissertation course. A student receiving advice and assistance from a faculty member in the preparation of a dissertation must register in the course even if the student is not on campus. Doctoral students must enroll in the appropriate 6699, 6999, or 7399 Dissertation Completion course the semester in which the dissertation is defended. Students that typically enroll in these courses defend and apply for graduation in the same term.  There are 4 options for dissertation registration:

  • 6399 is the most basic dissertation course and is repeatable, however, this course only has graded options of R and F. P grades cannot be assigned in this course and therefore dissertation defenses must not be conducted when a student is enrolled exclusively in a 6399 course. It is a requirement for graduation that a student be awarded a P grade for a successful defense and this is not a grading option for this course. 
  •  6699 is repeatable with grade options of P, F, or R and should be taken when a student expects to work approximately 6 hours per week on their dissertation.
  •  6999 is repeatable with grade options of P, F, or R. It should be taken when a student expects to work approximately 9 hours per week on their dissertation.
  •  7399 should be taken only in the term in which a student expects to complete all requirements and graduate. Grade options are P, F, and R. This course is not repeatable under any circumstances. If a student receives an R grade in 7399, they must enroll in 6699 in next and any future terms. Enrolling in 7399 meets the university full-time enrollment requirements (note that financial aid, loan agencies, and other organizations may not accept 3 hours as full-time enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to find out).
Dissertation Defense

The PhD final oral examination (that is , the "dissertation defense") is conducted by the dissertation committee in a meeting that is open to any member of the University community and to guests. Graduate students are urged to attend all dissertation defenses, an especially those in their own area(s) of specialization. Defending students will post fliers approved for posting and stamped by the Student Governance Office and make  e-mail announcements  informing the local academic community about the defense at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The PhD oral examination is conducted by the dissertation committee. The first part of the examination is an oral presentation of the research and its findings. This portion of the meeting is open to any member of the University community and guests. The second part is a closed examination and consists of specific detailed questions about the dissertation. Both oral defense and the written dissertation must be passed. A Dissertation Defense Report form must be filed in conjunction with the oral dissertation proposal presentation.

Specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The doctorate of psychology with an emphasis in I/O is designed for students who intend to conduct research in I/O psychology and begin their professional career as either an academician or a research-oriented practitioner in the field. Students working toward the I/O doctoral degree are expected to develop, implement, and complete research as part of the degree requirements. Additionally, students have the opportunity to be involved with a student-staffed consulting organization, The Insights for Organizations Center. The I/O specialization is currently a part of the Experimental program and requires completion of psychology, methods, and I-O specific courses.

Due to the applied nature of I/O MS programs, if an MS degree has been conferred or is conferred en route to the Ph.D., then it is not necessary to conduct a thesis or a formal thesis-equivalent paper. Students may take 6 hours of Advanced Research (PSYC 5600), under the supervision of their major professor, to work toward obtaining additional publications and strengthening research-oriented skills.

Current I/O Master of Psyc students

Students currently enrolled in the I/O Master of Psyc program who wish to be considered for admission into a PhD program must submit the Change of Program form for either Psychological Sciences or Health/Neuroscience and must follow the formal admission procedures as stated previously.  Students must meet the criteria for admission to the PhD program which will be determined, in part, by the scholarly achievements accomplished as well as the fit between the student and faculty mentor.



A variety of University and Office of Graduate Studies deadlines are published each year by the Office of Graduate Studies. Students are responsible for meeting any deadlines that may apply to them. For your convenience, the link to the Office of Graduate Studies Calendar is provided here:

Department Enrollment Policy

All full-time doctoral students are recommended to enroll in at least six hours of course work each regular semester. State law requires that students on support enroll in at least nine hours of course work during the Fall and Spring Semesters (six hours during Summer Semesters) until a student is post-comprehensive examination, at which time the student can drop to 6 and/or 3 hours in their last two semesters and still maintain an assistantship.  Please see the Department’s Administrative Assistant for additional information regarding this policy. The nine-hour requirement may be reduced to six hours during the Fall and Spring Semesters (three hours during Summer Semesters) when enrolled in course work in other UT Arlington departments (see Credit for Courses Taken in Other Departments on the UT Arlington Campus in our graduate student handbook on our website).

Enrollment in Readings (PSYC 5151, 5251, 5351) will not be allowed without prior approval of both an appropriate Faculty member and the Graduate Advisor. (See also the enrollment requirements for teaching assistants under section IV.B Teaching Skills Requirement.) International students are required to enroll in nine hours each semester that they are in attendance.

Academic Honesty

Every student is expected to be intellectually honest and professionally ethical in all aspects of graduate work. Academic dishonesty, such as cheating on examinations, falsification of data or student records, or plagiarism, will result in a review by the Graduate Studies Committee and a potential dismissal from the Graduate Program. All students are expected to be familiar with American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society publications on ethical principles in the conduct of research using online databases, as well as human and/or animal subjects.

Grade Grievances

The student must first discuss the appeal of a course grade with the instructor who issued the grade. This step must be taken promptly. The student must file the grievance within one (1) year from the date that grades are posted, and preferably within 45 days. If the instructor is unavailable, the student may proceed in the appeal process and discuss the matter with the Department Chairperson responsible for the course for which the grade is being appealed.

In the event the student and the instructor are unable to reach agreement, or the instructor is unavailable, the student must follow the departmental protocol for grade appeals:

  1. The student is responsible for contacting the Department Chairperson
  2. The Department Chairperson will convene a subcommittee
  3. The subcommittee will review the appeal and relevant documents, and will provide a recommendation to the Department Chairperson.
  4. The Department Chairperson will review the subcommittee's recommendation and a make decision.
  5. If the student wishes to pursue a grade appeal beyond the Department Chairperson, the student must complete the Student Grade Appeal Form and deliver it to the Dean’s Office, College of Science, with any supporting documentation the student wishes to provide.
  6. The Dean's decision is final.
Withdrawing from the University

Students requiring a medical withdrawal should speak to their faculty mentor and department staff as soon as possible to determine the appropriate course of action and paperwork required. Please refer to the University catalog to review all appropriate procedures and regulation regarding medical withdrawals. In contrast, those needing to withdraw for non-medical reasons (ex. dismissal from the program) are responsible for dropping their own classes prior to the start of the semester. If the classes are not dropped prior to the first day of class, the student accepts financial responsibility for any issues regarding a refund or lack thereof. It is also the student’s responsibility to contact the graduate coordinator to determine how to drop their classes.