May 18, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog 
2014-2015 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology (Graduate Program)

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For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here. 

Program Overview

The department offers training in the following primary specialty areas: Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology, and School Psychology. The program is a doctoral program—it is not appropriate for students seeking to complete their education with a master’s degree. We do not offer degrees in Counseling Psychology or Social Work. Appropriate departments for these programs at LSU are the College of Education and the School of Social Work, respectively.

The Department of Psychology at LSU is committed to the view that psychology is both a science and a profession. Both faculty and students in psychology endorse the model of the psychologist as a scientist-practitioner. The program’s major emphasis is on research training and experience, and the teaching of psychology. All graduate students, regardless of intended area of specialization, receive broad training to develop research capability for scholarly contributions to the discipline of psychology throughout their careers. If you are interested only in the professional application of psychology, without regard for research, you will not be comfortable in the graduate training program in this department. Graduate students in this department are expected to develop a lifelong commitment to science and to the highest social-ethical ideals of the profession of psychology.

The graduate program in psychology follows the mentor model. For this reason, it is recommended that prospective students review our faculty web pages along with this document ( Each faculty member has additional information regarding his/her interests and publications listed there. This is an effective way to determine if your goals and interests match those of our faculty and our program, as well as to find examples of the research conducted here at LSU.


Robert C. Mathews, Chair
Jason L. Hicks, Graduate Studies Director
TELEPHONE 225-578-8745
FAX 225-578-4125


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School: Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Student Services, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission are received in early December and evaluated by the department within the following two months. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School and the Department of Psychology.

Students seeking admission must submit satisfactory credentials from previous study, acceptable verbal and quantitative GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Minimum undergraduate course experience should include an introductory psychology course, a basic statistics course (preferably from a behavioral/social science program), and a research methodology course (preferably from a behavioral/social science program). International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

In-depth information about the department, its faculty, and specialty areas for prospective students is available at

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to some students. A student should contact his or her home department for more information on available assistantship positions. The department makes every effort to obtain financial support for graduate students to the extent that funds are available. Sources of funds include departmental teaching and research assistantships (approximately $10,500 per academic year). The department also arranges support from outside agencies, such as mental health centers and community or industry research programs. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all  application materials should be submitted in accordance with the psychology department’s December 1 deadline, and in accordance with those established by the LSU Graduate School.


  • Audubon Hall contains numerous rooms and lab facilities.
  • The department’s Psychological Services Center (PSC), an on-campus facility located in Johnston Hall, is operated by the department to offer graduate training and research in adult clinical, medical clinical, child clinical, and school psychology. The PSC Adult Clinic and Child Clinic provide diagnostic and therapeutic services for adults and children in the Baton Rouge community, excluding students enrolled at LSU. Children of LSU students are seen, however, and LSU Student Health Center referrals are taken there.
  • Other sources of clinical populations are local clinics and schools, Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation, and Pinecrest Developmental Center. Clinical doctoral students work with autistic, mentally retarded, and visually impaired children, as well as preschoolers described as non-categorical (children who have some handicap, but are too young for well-delineated symptoms) for both practicum and research purposes.
  • Additional research is conducted at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Graduate Faculty

(check current listings by department by clicking this link)


Claire D. Advokat (EM) • Biological—Psychopharmacology, drugs used to treat mental illness and neurological disorders, ethics of clinical research, drugs of abuse
Alan A. Baumeister (M) • Biological—History of biological psychiatry, neuropharmacology
Melissa R. Beck (M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Visual memory and attention; the roles of encoding, retrieval,M decision making and metacognition in the perception of a continuous and stable visual world
Phillip J. Brantley (M) •Clinical—behavioral medicine, emphasis on the effects of stress and learning on illness
Julia Buckner (6A) • Clinical—Adult anxiety disorders with an emphasis on the transactional relations between anxiety and substance abuse; use of motivation enhancement to encourage seeking of and adherence to empirically-supported treatments for anxiety disorders and addiction
Katie E. Cherry (M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Cognitive aging, especially memory processes in healthy older adults; memory interventions for cognitively impaired older adults; interdisciplinary studies of healthy aging in theoldest old
Alex S. Cohen (M) • Clinical—Severe adult psychopathology, emotion and neurocognition-based abnormalities in schizophrenia, computerized measurement of symptoms, social dysfunction and mental illness
Amy Copeland (M) • Clinical—Role of motivational variables (e.g., outcome expectancies and affect) in the etiology and cessation of stimulant use; smoking cessation; HIV risk and substance abuse
Thompson Davis III (7M) • Clinical—Assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults, in particular, the phenomenology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of specific phobias (i.e., intense, persistent fears of specific animals, situations, environments, and the like)
Emily M. Elliott (7M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Memory and the development of memory in children; attention, and in particular, the interaction of attention and immediate memory
James H. Geer (EM)
Paula J. Geiselman (7M) • Biological—Behavioral, nutritional, and physiological control of appetite and body weight
Drew Gouvier (EM) • Clinical—Clinical neuropsychology; base rates, post concussion syndrome, malingering detection, and social implications of disabilities
Frank M. Gresham (M) • School—Use of problem solving methods to remediate academic and social behavioral difficulties of children and adolescents; use of a response to intervention approach in the assessment of learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders; social skills assessment and training for children and adolescents
Mike F. Hawkins (6A) • Biological—Central nervous system regulation of stress responding and ingestive behavior
Jason Hicks (M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Human learning and memory; source memory; prospective memory; recognition memory; control and decision processes in memory retrieval
Glenn N. Jones (3F) • Clinical—Behavioral medicine; psychology in medical settings; clinical interviewing and rapid screening for psychopathology; cognitive behavioral assessment and treatment of adult disorders; psychopathology and substance abuse among HIV+ patients.
Mary Lou Kelley (M) • Clinical—Behavioral assessment and treatment of children and adolescents; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; behavioral pediatrics
Irv Lane (EM)
Sean Lane (7M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Memory and cognitive processes; memory for eyewitness situations; source memory; metacognition in learning and decision-making; cognition in complex real‐world events
Anna C. Long (6A) • School—Treatment integrity of evidence-based practices in schools; teacher effectiveness
Robert C. Mathews (M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Applying cognitive theory to real-world problems (e.g., developing training to enhance learning and decision-making); interactions between conscious problem solving processes and nonconscious, or implicit, processes
Johnny Matson (M) • Clinical—Mental retardation and related developmental disabilities; social skills training; childhood depression; differential diagnosis; behavioral assessment and treatment
Janet McDonald (M) • Cognitive and Developmental—Language acquisition; age of acquisition and grammatical mastery; bilingualism; language comprehension
George Noell (M) • School—Behavioral consultation, treatment integrity
Megan Papesh (6A) • Cognitive and Developmental—Episodic memory; the role of eye movements in learning and
retrieval; face perception and recognition; pupillometry and human cognitive neuroscience
Tyler Renshaw (6A) • School—Positive psychology; mindfulness; aggression and bullying; school climate; population-based service delivery
Tracy Rizzuto (7M) • Industrial/Organizational—Acceptance and training, new technology implementation
William F. Waters (EM)
Donald A. Williamson (M) • Clinical—Psychopathology and treatment of eating disorders
Joseph C. Witt (EM)

Degree Programs

LSU’s doctoral program in psychology only admits students interested in working toward a doctoral degree. The MA may be earned along the way, as explained below, but is not a terminal master’s degree program. Students desiring only a master’s degree should not apply. Training is offered in the following specialty areas: biological, clinical, cognitive and developmental, and school psychology.


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Arts

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