A Close-Knit Graduate Research Community
Northeastern University’s PhD program in Psychology prepares students for careers in research and teaching at the university level as well as for careers in industry. The PhD program covers a wide spectrum of contemporary behavioral science within a close-knit community of faculty and students. The program offers four distinct areas of experimental emphasis: behavioral neuroscience, cognition, perception, and social/personality. Students work closely with faculty mentors, conducting research in an apprentice-like arrangement. Admission is highly selective -- the program typically accepts 5 to 8 students per year.
Psychology PhD students have a great deal of flexibility in developing their own research projects in one of the program's four areas of emphasis. The psychology department is home to a diverse group of faculty members whose areas of expertise include brain imaging, emotions and lifespan emotional development, animal models of fear and aggression, sentence processing, reasoning, psycholinguistics, color vision, social influences on performance, nonverbal communication, interpersonal judgment, and many other topics.
PhD in Psychology Curriculum and Coursework
The psychology program does not offer a separate master's degree program -- all students are admitted into the PhD program and those who do not already have a master’s degree earn one at the end of the second year. After the master's degree, students must complete 20 additional semester hours to earn a PhD in psychology. During the first two years of the psychology PhD program, students complete several required introductory courses and electives. All students are required to engage in teaching activities. In addition to fulfilling these requirements, each PhD student is assigned to collaborate with a faculty member in his or her field of interest. During the course of the PhD program, the student works closely with this mentor, gradually taking on more responsibility for research. This collaboration lays the groundwork for the student's dissertation.