Jan 15, 2021  
2017-2018 General Catalog 
    
2017-2018 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Ph.D.


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(PPSYC)

The departmental-level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee, and varies depending on the area of specialization. The committee will include the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty such that the LSU Graduate School’s requirements for graduate committees are satisfied.

The degree is a thesis degree requiring a dissertation project. Forty-eight hours of credit at the graduate level must be earned including a maximum of 12 hours of credit for the dissertation project. The curricular requirements include:

  • At least 24 hours at the 7000 level or above, exclusive of any type of independent studies credit except for special project credit earned.
  • A primary area consisting of a minimum of 15 hours of earned credit in a specified field of study.

The student must pass a general exam consisting of a written exam and a comprehensive oral exam, at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee. The nature of the written and oral portions of the general exam is listed below in the area-specific curricula section for each area.

Core Statistics and Methodology Courses

Satisfactory completion of these courses is required to be qualified for advanced doctoral study. Satisfactory completion constitutes passing the required courses with a grade of at least a “B-“ (“B minus”) by the end of your 2nd year in the program. Each course is generally offered once a year. If you feel you have a particularly strong background in one or more of the core areas, you may take the final exam in any course; you will have satisfied the core requirement if you earn a grade of “B-” (“B minus”). You must secure a letter from the course instructor giving your exam grade for inclusion in your file, as evidence of satisfying this requirement. Be aware that this will not  show up on your transcript.

 

Core Statistics and Methodology Courses:

 

Intermediate Statistics (PSYC 4111 )
OR
Advanced Statistics (PSYC 7111 )
If PSYC 4111  is waived based on prior graduate work in statistics, then PSYC 7111  must be taken; both courses cannot be waived.
 
AND
Methodology and Research Design (PSYC 7117 )
OR
Measurement of Behavior (PSYC 7020 )
 
Note: Measurement and Behavior (PSYC 7020  may be required in certain program areas (see program-specific handbooks for more details), but it is not required within the first two years if you successfully complete PSYC 7117 

Required Content Courses

Satisfactory completion of the content courses is required. Satisfactory completion constitutes passing the required courses with a grade of at least a “B-” (“B minus”) by the end of your 4th year in the program, or prior to degree completion, whichever comes first. Each course is generally offered once a year. If you feel you have a particularly strong background in one or more of the required content areas, you may take the final exam in any course; you will have satisfied the core requirement if you earn a grade of at least a “B-” (“B minus”).

Required Content Courses:

Biological Basis of Behavior (PSYC 7034 ), Cognitive Basis of Behavior (PSYC 7030 ), Social Basis of Behavior (PSYC 7040 ), History of Modern Psychology (PSYC 4008 )

If you do not complete the courses with satisfactory grades within four years, you will be dismissed from the program. Any new student failing more than one core course on the first attempt will be dismissed from the program.

Area-specific curricula


Below are further requirements for the different program areas: Biological, Clinical, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Industrial/Organizational, and School. These area requirements include those listed above, but address others that are area specific. Additional details about each area-specific curriculum may be found at http://www.lsu.edu/hss/psychology/grad/index.php.

Biological Psychology


Biological Core Courses (must take five of the courses below in Groups A through F; at least three must be from Groups A and B)

Note:


*Additional hours may be taken, but the number listed is the maximum allowed to apply toward degree.

In the Biological Psychology area, the general examination consists of a written and oral examination. The written portion consists of an essay exam based on questions supplied by the student’s advisory committee. The oral exam focuses primarily on the written portion of the exam and is undertaken only after passing the written component.

Clinical Psychology


Note:


*Additional hours may be taken, but the number listed is the maximum allowed to apply toward degree.

+All clinical students must take and pass PSYC 4111  and PSYC 7111 . The student must take PSYC 4111  unless granted permission by the instructor of PSYC 4111  to take PSYC 7111 . This decision will be based on a determination that a course equivalent to PSYC 4111  has been taken previously.

The general exam will consist of two components: a written literature review and an oral defense.

Written Examination

The written portion of the general examination is an integrative literature review that makes an important theoretical contribution to psychological research and/or provides clear directions for future empirical studies that will make an important contribution to research. The written document must be approved by the student’s major professor before it is disseminated to the general examination committee. The final version of the written review paper should be submitted to the examining committee at least two weeks prior to the oral examination.

Oral Examination

The oral examination will involve the general examination committee (including the Dean’s Representative) who will have a vote. The student must demonstrate independent mastery of the research included in the written document during the oral examination. 

Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Note:


*Additional hours may be taken, but the number listed is the maximum allowed to apply toward degree.

+PSYC 7990  and PSYC 7690  may be taken to substitute for one required seminar.

PSYC 4111  and PSYC 7117  double as statistical/methodology core courses and cognitive and brain sciences core courses.

Students have two options for completion of the general exam: a literature review paper or a written/typed exam. Both options involve an approximately 2-hour oral defense after the student has turned in the paper or exam. The goal of the assignment (both options) is to ensure that students have the ability to: 1) integrate and synthesize ideas and concepts from multiple sources, 2) argue persuasively and clearly communicate their understanding of important issues orally and in writing, and 3) think critically. The choice of the option is to be made in consultation with the graduate  advisor. 

  1. A Literature Review Paper - This paper is of the type that would be typically submitted to journals such as Psychological Bulletin. The paper will be on a topic in the student’s area of research specialization. However, this paper should not simply be the introduction for a student’s dissertation. Rather, it should typically be broader in scope. However, the topic can be related to the dissertation topic or on a completely different topic. The breadth of literature covered will be decided in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee. Students should keep in mind that a literature review does not involve simply rehashing prior research, but encompasses a research synthesis (e.g., Cooper, 2003, Psychological Bulletin) that leads to new insights.
  2. A Written/Typed Examination - Together with each Psychology committee member, the student will create a reading list. When the student is ready to begin the exam, s/he will receive two questions from each psychology committee member, with the content based on the general theme of the agreed-upon reading list. The exam will be “open book,” spanning two weeks from receipt of the questions to the time when the student turns in typed, written answers. Students should answer 4 out of the 6 questions, with the understanding that s/he must answer at least one question per committee member and at least one question covering research methodology. There is no length requirement for each answer, and students are not restricted to use only the sources outlined in the reading list. The student should satisfactorily address each component of the selected questions in separate APA style research papers, complete with references cited in the document.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology


Satisfactory completion of the qualifying core courses is required to be qualified for advanced doctoral study.  Satisfactory completion constitutes passing the required courses with a grade of ”B minus” or higher by the end of your 4th year in the program. It is recommended that as many of these classes as possible be taken during the first two years of graduate school.  Each course is generally offered once a year.  If you feel you have a particularly strong background in one or more of the core areas, you may take the final exam in any course; you will have satisfied the core requirement if you earn a grade of “B minus” or higher. You must secure a letter from the course instructor giving your exam grade for inclusion in your file as evidence of satisfying this requirement.

The Graduate School requires that any student receiving a Ph.D. demonstrate proficiency in their area of study.  The General Examination is the arena for this demonstration.  If a minor degree is to be awarded, the student must show proficiency in this area as well.  For this reason, the minor requirements must be met at the time of the General Exam and the minor professor must be present at the General Exam.

The I/O General Exam will consist of a research proposal, a written/typed exam, and an oral defense.  

Qualifying Core Courses


Any new student failing more than one core course on the first take will be dismissed from the program.

You have two attempts to complete these qualifying core courses.  Failure to do so within your first four years will result in dismissal from the program.  If you wait until year four to take the course, you will only get one opportunity to pass the course.

School Psychology


Other required courses


Note:


*Additional hours may be taken, but the number listed is the maximum allowed to apply toward degree.

PSYC 4111 , PSYC 7020 , PSYC 7111 , and PSYC 7117  double as qualifying core courses and school psychology core courses.

The general examination for School Psychology students comprises a series of written examinations and an oral defense. The written exams are designed to assess students’ competency in six areas of school psychology. These areas include: (1) Law and Ethics, (2) School-Based Interventions, (3) School Psychological Consultation, (4) Applied Behavior Analysis, (5) Assessment, and (6) Research Methodology. The written exams are conducted over a period of two days. An oral exam is also administered following completion of the written exams. In the oral defense students are questioned regarding their answers on the written exam or on questions related to the fields of School Psychology.

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