Psychology, PHD

At a Glance: program details

Experience collaborative and interdisciplinary training in innovative, mentored research across six major areas of study. Training is tailored to your unique needs and includes the opportunity to develop expertise in quantitative methods. This is one of the nation's top-ranked doctoral programs.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers PhD programs designed to provide outstanding training in innovative research, methodology and the application of psychological principles to a wide variety of human conditions.

The department is organized into six major areas of interest. The quantitative research methods area is a formalized concentration separate from the other training areas; it requires application directly to that program.

  • behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology
  • clinical psychology
  • cognitive science
  • developmental psychology
  • quantitative research methods
  • social psychology

Students pursue their graduate studies within one of these six areas, and each area determines the basic curriculum for their graduate program. There is, however, substantial opportunity to integrate courses of study across areas in the department.

Further specialized emphases are available that integrate across programs in the university.

At the core of doctoral training in psychology is an emphasis on the development of skill in research and quantitative methods. Faculty in all six areas are actively engaged in major research programs. These theoretically grounded research programs address the breadth of psychological processes, including evolution and behavior; cognitive processes (e.g., attention, language, memory) as they occur within the context of perception and action, personality and issues of stigma and prejudice; individual resilience; cultural influences on psychological processes; neurobiological and psychosocial processes that underlie behavior and health (e.g., drug abuse, stress, heart disease); prevention of child mental health problems; and lifespan developmental aspects of emotion and cognition.

A unique strength of the Department of Psychology is the wealth of outstanding faculty members whose specialization is quantitative methods. A breadth of courses and experiences in quantitative methods are available that are well integrated into the areas of research that characterize the department and offer students the distinctive opportunity to develop expertise in this critical domain.

Psychology PhD specializations

Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (3 or 4 credit hours)
PSY 502 Professional Issues in Psychology (3) or
PSY 531 Multiple Regression in Psychological Research (4)

Electives and Research (68 or 69 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
PSY 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
In addition to required coursework pertaining to the training area, students take courses related to their area of interest as determined in consultation with their supervisory committees. Requirements vary across training areas.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology or a related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. SlideRoom application and fee
  4. statement of purpose form
  5. curriculum vitae or resume
  6. GRE scores
  7. three letters of recommendation
  8. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

To apply to the doctoral programs, applicants must follow the instructions on the doctoral program admission instructions and checklist. It is strongly recommended that applicants download and print this form to ensure completion of the application process and include all of the required supplemental forms.

The Department of Psychology application process is completed online through ASU's Graduate Admission Services which includes the application form and official transcripts. Application to Department of Psychology doctoral programs is also completed via SlideRoom, to process supplemental application materials. The SlideRoom account requires an additional fee.

Applicants must submit three academic letters of recommendation from faculty members who know the student well. Three letters are required but four letters of recommendation may be submitted.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
December 1st

Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in research and applications of psychological science are in high demand across multiple career sectors, including academia, education, industry, health care, mental health care, government and in community organizations. Skills in measurement, research, design and analysis of data across areas of psychological science are important in all of these career sectors as are skills in mental health assessment, prevention, treatment and program evaluation.

Career options include:

  • consultant
  • data scientist-biostatistician
  • evaluation program specialist
  • licensed clinical psychologist
  • psychology professor
  • research associate
  • research professor
  • senior analyst
  • staff psychologist
  • teaching faculty

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.