Program Requirements

The Experimental Psychology Ph.D. Program at The University of Montana provides training for the Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. Within this framework, students may choose many possible areas of emphasis that correspond to their primary faculty advisor’s research area. General Requirements For the Ph.D.

All University-level Graduate School requirements are applicable to this program. Students should also refer to the Psychology Department’s “Policy and Procedure Handbook” for additional important information. For example, the Psychology Department “Policy and Procedure Handbook” and the Graduate School catalog (and website) include all other pertinent details regarding MA research projects, dissertations, comprehensive examinations, deadlines, etc. Students should keep a copy of each and should refer to these sources for details.

Statement of Research Expectations/Course of Study. This is an Experimental Psychology program. As such, it is expected that students will be engaged in research in some form in almost every term they are in our program. The exact nature of this will be arranged with the faculty advisor. Students are urged to conduct research not only with their primary advisor, but with at least one other member of the Psychology Department faculty as well. Each student’s program of study will be at least somewhat individualized. Thus, the specific courses a student takes and the sequence of those courses will be decided upon in careful consultation with a primary advisor (or advisors) in the student’s major area. In addition to faculty in a student’s major area, all faculty within the Psychology Department should be viewed as potential resource persons available to enrich the training experience of all Experimental students.

Required Credit Hours for Ph.D. To receive a Ph.D., all students must complete at least 72 hours of coursework, including research/MA research project/dissertation credits.


Required Courses for All Experimental Ph.D. Students (the year in the program the course is usually taken is indicated in the parentheses):

PSYX 501               Teaching of Psychology (1st year)

PSYX 520               Statistics I (1st year)

PSYX 521               Statistics II (1st year)

PSYX 523               Research Design (1st year)

PSYX 599               M.A. research project (2nd year)

PSYX 699               Dissertation (4th year)

PSYX 594/694         Seminar (a minimum of two -2nd, 3rd, or 4th year)

Core Content Courses - All students must complete at least four of the following core content courses:

PSYX 522               Multivariate Statistics

PSYX 540               Advanced Developmental

PSYX 550               Advanced Social

PSYX 551               Advanced Personality

PSYX 560               Advanced Learning and Cognition

PSYX 565               Advanced Cognition

PSYX 571               Advanced Physiological

Additional Courses

Students may also take PSYX 597/697 – Research in order to fulfill remaining credits.  Note that PSYX 597 and 697 are both repeatable up to 9 credits. Further, students may also take relevant courses in other departments for credit upon approval of their advisor and the Experimental Program director.

Requirements Specific to Each Emphasis

Each emphasis (e.g., Animal Behavior, Developmental, Quantitative, Cognitive, and Social) and/or specific faculty advisor may have additional requirements for each student.   Check with your advisor to determine the exact requirements. 


Typical Timeline

1st Yr.  Fall Semester

1st Yr.  Spring Semester 

PSYX 501     Teaching of Psychology (3 cr.)

PSYX 520     Statistics I (3 cr.)

PSYX 597     Research (3 cr.)

(Outline Master’s project)

PSYX 521     Statistics II (3 cr.)

PSYX 523     Research Design (3 cr.)

PSYX 597     Research (3 cr.)

(Develop and propose Master’s project)

2nd Yr.  Fall Semester

2nd Yr.  Spring Semester

Core content course (3 cr.)

PSYX 597     Research (3 cr.) 

PSYX 599     MA research project (X cr.)

(Complete Master’s project)

Core content course (3 cr.)

PSYX 599 MA research project (X cr.)

(Complete/defend Master’s project)

3rd Yr.  Fall Semester 3rd Yr.  Spring Semester

Core content course (3 cr.)                                                

PSYX 697     Research (3 cr.)                                            

(Comprehensive exam)                                                       

Core content course (3 cr.)

PSYX 697 Research (X cr.)

(Propose Dissertation)

4th Yr.  Fall Semester 4th Yr.  Spring Semester

PSYX 697     Research (3 cr.)

PSYX 699     Dissertation (3 cr.)

(Complete Dissertation)

PSYX 699 Dissertation (X cr.)

(Complete/defend Dissertation