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The PhD Program is designed to train all students in the fundamental areas of Psychology. The department extends this training with three concentrations in

  1. Health
  2. Legal
  3. Social, Cognitive, and Neurosciences

Students with a Health concentration have an opportunity to conduct research in areas such as adaptation to chronic illness; food and fluid intake; judgment and decision making; risk taking; smoking prevention and cessation; and underage drinking and driving. Students with a Legal concentration have an opportunity to conduct research in areas such as detection of deception; facial recognition and eyewitness identification/memory; interviewing and interrogation; jury decision making; and suggestibility in legal cases. Students with a Social, Cognitive, and Neuroscience concentration have an opportunity to conduct research in areas such as addiction and drugs of abuse; behavioral regulation; bilingual memory; multilingual language processing; social neuroscience; and social perception, prejudice, and stereotyping. PhD candidates are required to complete 78 semester hours.

Yearly Evaluations and Satisfactory Progress

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degree. Faculty will provide all students with annual written evaluations and feedback. Failure to make satisfactory progress toward one’s degree can result in dismissal from the program.

Department of Psychology Evaluation of Advancement to Dissertation

Students must apply for Department of Psychology Evaluation of Advancement to Dissertation. This can be done once students complete

  1. statistics and research method courses,
  2. breadth courses,
  3. first-year research, and
  4. thesis research requirements.

Maximum Time for Completion of the PhD Degree

Students in the PhD program in Psychology must complete all requirements for a PhD within one eight-year period. The eight-year period begins with the term of the first course listed on the student's degree plan. Use of advanced standing will proportionately decrease this time.

PhD Oral Examinations

A dissertation proposal must be defended orally before the student's committee prior to the student’s collecting data. In addition, students must make a public presentation of their dissertation and successfully defend their dissertation during a final oral examination conducted by the dissertation committee. The final oral examination can include committee examination on any appropriate material.

A copy of the dissertation in PDF or Word electronic format must be submitted to the Graduate School for format check prior to the scheduled defense date. The dissertation, including an abstract not to exceed 350 words, must be prepared according to the Graduate School’s thesis and dissertation guidelines available at the Graduate School Web site. The student will receive email confirmation from the Graduate School after the format has been approved. The final Graduate School approved dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School in PDF electronic format on a CD in a case by the deadline as published in the Class Schedule, along with a hard copy of the signature page with original signatures of the dissertation committee members. The signature page must be included in the PDF file but it should not be signed.

Doctoral candidates are also required to submit the Graduate School approved dissertation at the University Microfilms International Web site for online publication, http://dissertations.umi.com/utep. Dissertations are regarded as publications and will be made public once they are approved and submitted. Online publication does not preclude subsequent publication of the dissertation, in whole or in part, as a monograph or in a journal. Copyright at the author’s expense can be arranged through University Microfilms International. In order to protect patent or any other rights, the Graduate School can be requested to delay publication for a period of one year. This request must be supported by a written recommendation of the supervising professor.

Department of Psychology Academic Policies

Departmental Academic Standards

In addition to the University requirement that all students admitted into graduate programs must maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all upper-division and graduate courses, the Department of Psychology requires in all graduate programs students who attempt a course or courses and receive two grades of C or lower in Psychology courses be dismissed from the program. Students who earn a grade of C or lower in a course must retake the course the next time it is offered and earn a grade of B or better.

Language

The University of Texas at El Paso’s location on the U.S.-Mexico border provides a nearly unique opportunity to investigate how language use, specifically proficiency in English and/or Spanish, affects cognitive processes. To investigate the importance of English/Spanish proficiency, it is essential that people comprehend and speak both languages. The psychology faculty, therefore, view language as an important and often necessary methodological tool for conducting research and strongly encourages and promotes proficiency in both languages.

Transfer Students with Graduate Credit

Students accepted into the PhD program with graduate credit from The University of Texas at El Paso (including the Psychology Department) or from another university must satisfy the same requirements as those beginning their PhD graduate training in Psychology at UTEP without previously earned graduate credits. The student can petition the Graduate Program Committee to accept a maximum of 24 hours of graduate credit (excluding thesis hours) completed at UTEP or at another institution. Approved credits will appear as Advanced Standing Credit on the Preliminary Plan of Study. Students who have taken PSYC 5301 (Research Applications) from UTEP prior to admission to the PhD program can request that a maximum of three (3) credit hours for this course be included in the 24 hours that can be counted toward their PhD degree, as long as those hours were not used to meet requirements for a previous or separate degree.  A doctoral student who wishes to apply more than six (6) transfer credits toward a master's degree at UTEP must obtain prior approval from the department's Graduate Program Director.
The student must make a written request to the Graduate Program Director for Advanced Standing Credit. It is the student’s responsibility to provide all evidence and material necessary for the Graduate Program Director to review the request. Advanced Standing Credits are subject to final approval from the Graduate School. Transfer students can be considered for Department of Psychology Evaluation of Advancement to Dissertation only after they complete two academic semesters and all relevant requirements.

General Requirements for Graduate Programs

Admissions Requirements

Because all of our graduate programs focus on research and require extensive one-on-one contact between faculty and student, we can accept only a limited number of students each year. Admission is competitive, and admission recommendations are made by a committee that carefully reviews each applicant’s academic history, performance, and interests. To be admitted, one must have a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent for non-U.S. students) from an accredited university. Students who are still working on their bachelor’s degree and who will complete it before starting graduate work are given full consideration. Individuals who do not have a degree in Psychology are also given full consideration, but admission might be conditional on the student’s satisfactorily completing a few undergraduate Psychology courses.

We accept students once a year. New students are admitted to begin during the fall semester only. Applications for admission are due January 15. Interested applicants should send the materials indicated below to

UTEP Graduate School
Administration Building, Room 223
601 West Schuster
El Paso, Texas 79968

  • A UTEP graduate school application (an online application can be found at the graduate school’s Web page).
  • Transcripts according to the requirements of the Graduate School.
  • Official GRE General Test scores from ETS (GRE scores taken within the last five years are required of all applicants, regardless of whether they have a graduate degree in another discipline.)
  • A two- to three-page personal statement outlining experiences, skill, and training. In addition, the applicant should state his or her career goals and how this specific program will benefit professional development.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official TOEFL scores for international students who do not have a degree at an accredited U.S. institution.

Before being admitted into any graduate program, either MA or PhD, the applicant’s undergraduate preparation must include a course in Psychological Statistics and 12 hours of upper-division courses in Psychology, including a course in Experimental Psychology.

Concentrations

  • Health Psychology
  • Legal Psychology
  • Social, Cognitive, & Neurosciences

Degree Plan

Ph.D. in Psychology (General) with Concentration

PhD in General Psychology Core (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Research Applications:
PSYC 6385Research Applications (Complete two semesters)6
Required Courses:
PSYC 6307Appl Correlation & Regres Meth3
PSYC 6308Experimentl Design/Anal of Var3
PSYC 6334Foundations of Research3
PSYC 6380First Year Research3
PSYC 6381First Year Research3
PSYC 6395Thesis3
PSYC 6396Thesis3
PSYC 6398Dissertation3
PSYC 6399Dissertation3
Breadth Courses:
Select three courses from the following:9
Social Behavior
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Research Methods Course:
Concentration
PSYC 6331Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods3
Select one concentration33
Total Hours78
1

An alternate research methods course approved by advisor may be substituted.

Concentration in Health Psychology

PhD in Psychology (Health) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
PSYC 6323Psychometrics3
PSYC 6351Behavioral Medicine3
PSYC 6352Public Hlth/Comm Intervention3
Concentration Electives:
Select twenty-four hours from the following: 124
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Appl Correlation & Regres Meth
Experimentl Design/Anal of Var
Seminar in Psychopathology
Program Evaluation
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Special Topics in Psyc & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
First Year Research
First Year Research
Research Applications
Field Placement
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours33
1

Courses must be approved for your concentration.

Concentration in Legal Psychology

PhD in Psychology (Legal) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
PSYC 6342Special Topics in Psyc & Law3
PSYC 6342Special Topics in Psyc & Law3
PSYC 6344Survey of Legal Psychology3
PSYC 6390Field Placement3
PSYC 6390Field Placement3
Select nine hours from the following: 19
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Seminar in Psychopathology
PSYC 5310
PSYC 5311
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Special Topics in Psyc. & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Research Applications
Thesis
Thesis
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Appl Correlation & Regres Meth
Experimentl Design/Anal of Var
Seminar in Psychopathology
Program Evaluation
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
First Year Research
First Year Research
Research Applications
Thesis
Thesis
Psychology Electives (Legal) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Psychology Electives:
Select nine hours from the following:9
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Seminar in Psychopathology
PSYC 5310
PSYC 5311
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Special Topics in Psyc. & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Research Applications
Thesis
Thesis
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Appl Correlation & Regres Meth
Experimentl Design/Anal of Var
Seminar in Psychopathology
Program Evaluation
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Special Topics in Psyc & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
First Year Research
First Year Research
Research Applications
Field Placement
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours33
1

Courses must be approved for your concentration.

Concentration in Social, Cognitive & Neuroscience

PhD in Psychology (SCN) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
BIOL 5131Ethical, Soc/Pol Dimensions1
Concentration Electives:
Select twelve hours from the following: 112
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Appl Correlation & Regres Meth
Experimentl Design/Anal of Var
Seminar in Psychopathology
Program Evaluation
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Research Design/Data Analysis
Special Topics in Psyc & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
First Year Research
First Year Research
Research Applications
Field Placement
Thesis
Thesis
Dissertation
Dissertation
Psychology Electives (SCN) (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Psychology Electives:
Select twenty hours from the following:20
Quantitative Cert Suppl Req
Structural Equation Modeling
Seminar in Meta-Analysis
Categorical Data Analysis
Attitudes-Attitude Measurement
Appl Correlation & Regres Meth
Experimentl Design/Anal of Var
Seminar in Psychopathology
Program Evaluation
Psychopharmacology
Seminar:Personality Assessment
Theories/Methods Psychotherapy
Psychometrics
Spc Top in Health Psychology
Social Behavior
Cross-Cultural Rsrch Methods
Seminar-Intell/Neuropsych Asmt
Foundations of Research
Special Topics in Psyc & Law
Survey of Legal Psychology
Research Design/Data Analysis
Behavioral Medicine
Public Hlth/Comm Intervention
Seminar in General Psychology
Scientific Writing
Clinical Internship
Animal Learning & Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
First Year Research
First Year Research
Research Applications
Field Placement
Thesis
Thesis
Dissertation
Dissertation
Total Hours33
1

Courses must be approved for your concentration.