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Graduate Program

Ph.D. Program in Psychology

Components of the Program
All students are admitted to the Ph.D. program, which is comprised of a pre-Master's and a post-Master's part. Students admitted to the program with Bachelor's degrees are initially admitted to the pre-Masters component of the Ph.D. program. After completion of the Master's degree, the student formally requests to proceed to the Ph.D. program. The decision to admit the student to the Ph.D. portion of the program is made by a majority vote of the department faculty. Although most students enter the program with a Bachelor's degree, students may be admitted with a Master's degree from another institution and receive advanced standing in the program pending departmental approval. All students are expected to be full time students and actively involved in research throughout their graduate studies.

Program Requirements
The program is based around five major annual milestones:

  • Year 1: First year project
  • Year 2: Propose Master's Thesis and at least 6 months later defend Master's Thesis.
    *Apply to PhD portion of the program.
  • Year 3: Conceptual Review Paper
  • Year 4: Conceptual Presentation
  • Year 5: Propose Dissertation and at least 6 months later defend Dissertation

General Requirement (Years 1-4): Grant/Publication submission

Besides providing an easy way for you to measure your progress in the program, these major projects are designed, along with the associated course work, to provide you with a strong research oriented background in your specialty. The specific requirements for the these milestones are described in detail in the Graduate Handbook.

Transfer Students
Students entering the program with a Master's degree in psychology from another institution must meet with their advisor, the graduate director, and the department Chair to determine which course and program requirements remain to be met. Students entering the program with some graduate credits but without a Master's degree may transfer up to two graduate level courses toward the M.S., except when those courses have already been counted for another degree. Graduate courses taken elsewhere may, however, be used to waive a program requirement (e.g. statistics). Application for course transfer must be made to the Dean of the Graduate School, after approval by the department Chair. Additional transfer courses may be applied to the Ph.D. requirements; however, these courses do not need to be referred to the Dean of the Graduate School. Students who did not do an experimental thesis as part of their M.S. degree elsewhere must do a thesis project at Tufts. Also, all students with an outside M.S. degree in psychology must do a first-year project, and must demonstrate statistical competence. Review the Graduate Handbook for more details.