Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology (M.S.-Ph.D.)
More courses will be offered for the Ph.D. program. We will post the information as it becomes available.
In order to apply for our program, the following items are required to complete the online application: CV, college(s) transcript, general GRE scores, contact information for three people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you, and a personal essay. The essay should describe your preparation for graduate training, the research interests you might like to pursue during your graduate training, and the aspects of the program that match your training goals and interests, including your interest in the research of specific faculty members. Ideally, this essay will be 2-3 pages in length. All application materials must be received by the December 1st deadline.
Scope and Program Goals
Doctoral training in Experimental Psychology provides students with an education and research training in core areas of psychological science (e.g., behavioral neuroscience, behavioral pharmacology, cognition, developmental psychology, learning, personality, sensation and perception, social psychology, research methodology, and statistics). Although each of these areas is not considered a separate degree program, our mentor model does allow for individualized courses of study. Students are encouraged to select a mentor/advisor working in the student's area of interest during their first semester of study. The advisor serves to guide the student's course selections, thesis, and dissertation. Students may also work with other faculty at the same time.
Students who complete the Ph.D. program may pursue academic or non-academic careers. To prepare for their future careers, students need to (i) have a solid foundation in basic areas of psychology (breadth of knowledge) and also (ii) develop an expertise in their research areas (depth of knowledge). Our program offers a wide variety of courses to help students accomplish their career goals.
Goal 1 - Research Knowledge and Expertise: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills relevant for conducting independent research in a specialized area.
Goal 2 - Breadth of Knowledge and Integration of Core Areas in Psychology: Students will demonstrate breadth of knowledge and ability to integrate across several core areas in psychology.
Goal 3 - Competencies in Research Methodology and Analysis: Students will demonstrate competence in understanding research methods, design, and statistical analyses.
Goal 4 - Effective communication skills: Students will communicate effectively, in both oral and written form, about their research and issues related to their profession.
Goal 5 - Professional Identification and Ethical Research Conduct: Students will conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.
Doctoral degree program applicants will be admitted in the fall. Applicants should submit a completed application packet by December 1. Please see the "How to Apply" link above for application information. Applicants are required to have a BA/BS in psychology or the equivalent and an undergraduate GPA at or above 3.0 for the last two years. Applicants must submit GRE Aptitude test scores to be considered for Admissions. GRE's of 50th percentile or higher on two of the three aptitude tests (i.e., verbal, quantitative, analytical) are preferred. Occasionally, students with majors in other areas are admitted, but only when the student's undergraduate degree provides them with a strong background in experimental design and analysis.
Students entering the doctoral training program at Idaho State University with a master's degree from another institution will receive full or partial credit, based on an examination of completed course work and research. The Department Chair, the Director of Experimental Training, and the departmental subject matter expert(s) will review all relevant documents and determine the course work and research, if any, that will be required to compensate for omissions and/or non-equivalency.
Past Applicant/Student Statistics
Past Applicant/Student Statistics for the Ph.D. Programa
|Number of Complete Applications||14||17||14||20||21|
|Number of Admission Offers||4||5||8||9||9|
|Number of New Students Funded||1*||1*||5*||5||3|
*Note. All new and current students (100%) who applied for funding got funded.
GRE Scores and Undergraduate GPA for Students Offered Admission
Several graduate teaching assistantships (GTA's) are currently available for graduate students in the Experimental program. GTA's work an average of 15-20 hours per week assisting faculty at both the graduate and undergraduate level, performing such duties as grading exams, giving presentations, holding office hours, directing review sessions, and constructing and proctoring exams. Current GTA stipends are $15,640 plus in-state tuition. In addition, some experimental students will be awarded research assistantship positions. These positions, which are mostly funded by federal or state research grants, currently pay $10 to $16 per hour. Some research assistantship positions carry a non-resident tuition waiver. In addition, scholarship funding is available for Idaho residents. Non-residents may apply for a Non-resident Tuition Waiver from the Graduate School. Funded students are not expected to seek or accept additional employment.
Do you qualify for in-state tuition at ISU?
The Experimental Psychology Program is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP).
What is WRGP?
Residents of one of the 16 participating states are eligible to enroll in available programs outside of their home state at resident tuition rates.
- Reside in a WRGP eligible state for at least 9 consecutive months prior to the beginning of the first academic term of WRGP acceptance.
- Proof of a permanent address in the WRGP state.
- Payment of state income tax on wages earned in the WRGP state.
- Proof of the following in the WRGP state:
- Vehicle registration
- Driver's license
- Voter registration
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
NEW WICHE Members: Pacific Islands U.S. Territories: American Samoa, Northern Marianas, Guam, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
The current curriculum is designed to be completed in four to five years. A strong undergraduate psychology major is expected of most applicants. Should a student lack a strong background in measurement, statistics, research design, or other areas judged relevant by the faculty, he or she may be required to complete the undergraduate requirements for such courses prior to obtaining classified graduate student status. These students might take more than four years to complete the program.
The required course work for the Ph.D. program is intended to provide students with a general knowledge of the field of experimental psychology, and the necessary academic background to propose and complete a thesis and dissertation. Elective course work permits the student to specialize in an area of psychology. All students must complete 67 credits of required courses and electives:
Given the Graduate School's continuing registration requirement, once a student initiates thesis or dissertation research, at least one (1) academic credit is required each semester, including the summer semester, and until degree completion.
|Methodology and Statistics (6 credits)|
|PSYC 6627 Statistics and Research Design I||3 cr|
|PSYC 6632 Statistics and Research Design II||3 cr|
|PSYC 6637 Multivariate Statistics and Research Design||3 cr|
|Research (28 credits)|
|PSYC 5583 and/or PSYC 6641 Special Problems||10 cr|
|PSYC 6650 Thesis||6 cr|
|PSYC 8850 Dissertation||12 cr|
|Core areas courses (12 credits)|
|Students must also complete four courses from the following core areas of psychology:|
|PSYC 5531 Behavioral Neuroscience I||3 cr|
|PSYC 5532 Behavioral Neuroscience II||3 cr|
|PSYC 5570 Advanced Topics in Learning||3 cr|
|PSYC 6642 Cognitive Psychology||3 cr|
|PSYC 6643 Advanced Social Psychology||3 cr|
|PSYC 6644 Advanced Developmental Psychology||3 cr|
|PSYC 6647 Advanced Personality||3 cr|
Electives (18 credits)
In addition, students must complete 18 credits of elective classes. Up to nine credits of these electives may be taken from outside of the Psychology Department. Electives should be approved by the student's faculty advisor.
Students entering the doctoral training program at Idaho State University with a master's degree from another institution will receive full or partial credit, based on an examination of completed course work and research. The Department Chair, the Director of Experimental Training, and the departmental subject matter expert(s) will review all relevant documents and determine the course work and research, if any, that will be required to compensate for omissions and/or non-equivalency. Students may be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree upon satisfactory completion of the Master of Science degree (or its equivalent) and the Qualifying Exam. Candidates for the doctoral degree may not propose a dissertation (PSYC 8850) until admitted to candidacy.
Research Development: Upon completion of Area Requirements plus PSYC 6627 and PSYC 6632, and the thesis prospectus, doctoral students are required to pass a Qualifying Exam to be admitted to doctoral candidacy. The exam samples each student's integrative writing skills and conceptual abilities. Students write independently on integrative topics from across the foundational areas of general psychology or from an individualized and focused area of scholarly research.
A five-member doctoral committee will be formed by the student and his/her advisor. Three members of the doctoral committee must be full-time equivalent faculty members of the Department of Psychology, including at least one clinical and one experimental faculty member. The fourth and fifth members must meet Graduate School requirements and include the Graduate Faculty Representative. Students will present findings and implications of the dissertation to departmental faculty, students, and community members at an open forum.
Minimum Credits: Including requirements of the Master of Science Degree, the minimum total credits required for the Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology is 64.
Michele Brumley, Ph.D. *
Associate Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Behavioral Neuroscience and Developmental Psychobiology
Specialty Areas: Metacognition, Memory, Text Comprehension, and Cognitive Aging
Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Accuracy of Personality Judgment
Anna C. McCarrey, Ph.D. *
Assistant Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Aging Neuroscience, Cognitive Aging, Neuroimaging
Tina Miyake, Ph.D. *
Visiting Assistant Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Cognitive Psychology
Erin Rasmussen, Ph.D. *
Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Behavioral Pharmacology and Behavioral Economics
Kandi Turley-Ames, Ph.D. *
Dean of the College of Arts and Letters;
Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Working Memory and Cognitive Strategies
Maria Wong, Ph.D. *
Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Developmental Psychology, Substance Use, Resilience, and Sleep problems
Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, Ph.D. * Assistant Professor, Experimental Psychology
Specialty Areas: Close Relationships, Behavioral Health, and Neuroimaging
Faculty from the clinical program may also serve as mentors to students in the experimental program. To view their research interests, please see the Faculty page.