Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Psychology


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This program (Clinical Tracks) is accredited by: APA. More information can be found at: unlv.edu/provost/vpaa/accreditation

Plan Description


The Graduate Faculty of the Department of Psychology is comprised of a group of dedicated individuals who have received their training at outstanding graduate programs. We continue to recruit accomplished scholars who will enhance the quality and diversity of the graduate experience available to our students. The department is committed to providing our graduate students with a high quality program balanced across classroom, laboratories, and other research settings; and for clinical students, various practicum placements.

The department currently offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees through the Clinical and Psychological & Brain Sciences Tracks.

The UNLV Psychology PhD, Clinical Tracks prepare students to address human concerns through both scholarly research and the application of psychological knowledge and skills. We recognize psychology as an empirical science and expect students to have a broad understanding of existing psychological knowledge. We guide students to base their scholarly and professional activity on the scientific foundation of psychology. Through an integration of didactic study, supervised clinical activity, and mentored scholarly research, we prepare students as generalist scientist-practitioners to conduct scientific research and clinical interventions with children and adults.

The UNLV Psychology PhD, Psychological & Brain Sciences Tracks trains students to become psychological scientists capable of carrying out independent research that lives up to international standards of scientific excellence. Upon completing the degree, students will be qualified to seek careers conducting research in academia and in other institutional and applied settings. Areas of study in which faculty supervise students are: Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and Quantitative/Experimental Psychology.

The program operates on a mentor model in which students work under the supervision of an identified faculty mentor. We welcome students from diverse backgrounds and encourage research in topics related to multiculturalism and diversity.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes, please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

 

Clinical Psychology Tracks  

The Psychology PhD, Clinical tracks currently admits only students seeking a doctoral degree. The program admits students for matriculation only in the fall semester. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 15. We anticipate entering classes of 8-10 students each year.

  • Typical admitted students have GPAs of 3.7 and GRE scores of 157.
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. We strongly recommend that applicants have a degree in psychology. Applicants should have completed a minimum of 18 hours of undergraduate psychology courses including Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Research Methods. Applicants are also expected to demonstrate foundational knowledge competency in Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology, and History of Psychology.
  • Foundational competency in each area can be demonstrated by either 1) a grade of B- or better in a relevant undergraduate course; or 2) a score at or above the 70th percentile in the relevant area of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Psychology Subject Test. Applicants can be admitted without having achieved these foundational competencies, but should attempt to meet them prior to entering the program. If competencies are not met prior to entering the program, they can be remediated after entering the program during the first two years of study by taking necessary undergraduate coursework or the GRE Psychology Subject Test with relevant scores at or above the 70th percentile.
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. The GRE Psychology Subject Test is recommended but not required. Current GRE Board policy states that your scores are retained for the five testing years following the testing year. Applicants must have official scores sent to UNLV (GRE code 4861) and may also submit unofficial scores in their online application.
  • Applicants must have official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (even if credits were transferred) sent to UNLV and should upload unofficial versions of their transcripts directly into their online applications.
  • Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s potential for doctoral studies in a scientist practitioner model training program.
  • A letter of intent written by the applicant. This letter should describe your clinical and research interests, education and professional goals, a primary faculty member with whom you wish to work, and any other factors that you would want the admissions committee to consider in evaluating your application. We welcome you to comment on how you contribute to or benefit from our multicultural community.
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • A personal interview with members of the program faculty is required for finalists in the selection process. Typically applicants who are finalists are notified by early February of the program’s interview day.” Alternative interviews may be scheduled under unique circumstances.

Note: Strong applicants who fail to meet one of the Clinical Programs admission requirements may still be considered for admission.

 

Psychological & Brain Sciences​ Tracks

The Psychological & Brain Sciences areas of study currently admit only students seeking a doctoral degree. The program admits students for matriculation only in the fall semester. The application deadline is December 1st before the fall for which matriculation is being requested. Review of completed applications will continue until all positions are filled. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as early as possible.

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.20 (A = 4.00) or a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.50.
  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree must have completed at least 18 hours in undergraduate psychology courses including Statistics and Research Methods or their equivalents. Post-master students entering the Quantitative/Experimental area of study that are lacking sufficient background in statistics will complete PSY 708 and PSY 709 prior to taking elective credits. 
  • Satisfactory scores on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A statement of purpose written by the applicant.
  • Admission to the program will be based on a mentoring model. Students under serious consideration for admission to the Psychological & Brain Sciences Tracks, Psychology Ph.D. Program are required to have a personal interview with the sponsoring faculty member and at least two other program faculty members. If a personal interview is not financially or pragmatically feasible, a telephone interview may be substituted.

Note: Strong applicants who fail to meet one of the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program admission requirements may still be considered for admission.

 

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding subplans within the described program are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Clinical Psychology


Total Credits Required: 93

Course Requirements


Practicum – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of practicum in spring and fall semesters of the second year of study.

Elective Courses - Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of a 700 level psychology course (except PSY 767: Practicum; PSY 769: Thesis; PSY 770: Dissertation; or PSY 771: Professional Internship).

No more than six elective credits toward the MA and PhD degree may be fulfilled with PSY 766: Independent Study, PSY 768: Independent Research or a combination of the two.

700-level courses offered by other departments may fulfill the elective requirement with approval.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Enroll in thesis credits starting in the semester the thesis is formally proposed.

  • Students are eligible to receive an MA degree after completing 6 credits of PSY 769 - Thesis and the requirements above.​

Advanced Integrative Knowledge Courses – Credits: 6


These courses are typically taken in the fall and spring semesters of the third year of study:

Elective Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of 700 level psychology courses (except PSY 767: Practicum; PSY 769: Thesis; PSY 770: Dissertation; or PSY 771: Professional Internship).

No more than six elective credits may be fulfilled with PSY 766: Independent Study, PSY 768: Independent Research or a combination of the two.

700-level courses offered by other departments may fulfill the elective requirement with approval.

Practicum – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of practicum in spring and fall semesters of the third and fourth years of study.

Internship – Credits: 3


Complete a full calendar year APA-approved clinical psychology internship. Take one credit of PSY 771 Professional Internship in the fall, spring, and summer during internship year.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Enroll in dissertation credits starting in the semester the dissertation is formally proposed. Continuous enrollment required until dissertation is defended.

Degree Requirements


  1. En route to doctoral candidacy the student must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in psychology, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters. The thesis must be proposed and defended orally.
  2. In addition to a master’s degree in Psychology equivalent to the one previously described (48 credits), a minimum of 45 semester hours in graduate psychology is required for the doctoral degree.
  3. Comprehensive Examination. The Comprehensive examination for the doctoral program will consist of an examination administered once in the summer of each year. Students may take the exam after they have completed the Clinical Foundation Courses; Research Methods, Statistics, and Psychometric Courses; Elective Courses; Practicum I and II; and the Master’s thesis. Students typically complete the examination in the summer between the third and fourth year of study.
  4. Electives consist of any 700-level Psychology courses excluding PSY 767: Practicum; PSY 769: Thesis; PSY 770: Dissertation; or PSY 771: Professional Internship. No more than six elective credits may be fulfilled with PSY 766: Independent Study, PSY 768: Independent Research or a combination of the two. 700-level courses offered by other departments may fulfill the elective requirement with approval.
  5. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or different classes) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may only be on academic probation twice during their graduate career in Psychology; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  6. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across all program competencies. Inadequate performance in one or more competency may result in the imposition of additional requirements, loss of Graduate Assistantship, probation, or separation from the program.
  7. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  8. Transfer Credits. Admitted clinical students may transfer credits from graduate studies in other programs contingent upon departmental approval and in accordance with Graduate College policy. Transfer Credits will only be considered to fulfill Research Methods, Statistics, and Psychometric courses, Elective courses, Thesis credits, and Discipline Specific and Advanced Integrative Knowledge courses. All courses must be completed with a minimum grade of B- or better in order to meet program requirements.
  9. Students must take a minimum of 6 credits of thesis over two semesters which may include summers. Students should enroll in thesis credits starting in the semester the thesis is formally proposed.
  10. Students must take a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation over four semesters which may include summers. Students should enroll in dissertation credits starting in the semester the dissertation is formally proposed. Continuous enrollment is required until the dissertation is defended. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the Master’s and Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here.
  3. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  4. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Clinical Psychology


Total Credits Required: 54

Course Requirements


Practicum – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of practicum in spring and fall semesters of the, second, third, and fourth years of study.

Internship – Credits: 3


Complete a full calendar year APA-approved clinical psychology internship.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Enroll in dissertation credits starting in the semester the dissertation is formally proposed. Continuous enrollment required until dissertation is defended.

Degree Requirements


  1. Students entering the Clinical Psychology doctoral program with a Master’s degree equivalent to the one previously described in Subplan 1 (48 credits) will be required to complete a minimum of 54 credits that include the Clinical Foundation Courses (21 credits), Practicum (18 credits), Internship (3 credits), and Dissertation (12 Credits). For these students, the number of required courses for the PhD will be determined in consultation with the Director of Clinical Training. Additional credits will be required to address deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. Comprehensive Examination. The Comprehensive examination for the doctoral program will consist of an examination administered once in the summer of each year. Students may take the exam after they have completed the Clinical Foundation Courses; Research Methods, Statistics, and Psychometric Courses; Elective Courses; Practicum I and II; and the Master’s thesis. Students typically complete the examination in the summer between the third and fourth year of study.
  3. Electives consist of any 700-level Psychology courses excluding PSY 767: Practicum; PSY 769: Thesis; PSY 770: Dissertation; or PSY 771: Professional Internship. Up to six elective credits may be fulfilled with PSY 766: Independent Study, PSY 768: Independent Research or a combination of the two. 700-level courses offered by other departments may fulfill the elective requirement with approval.
  4. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or different classes) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may only be on academic probation twice during their graduate career in Psychology; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  5. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across all program competencies. Inadequate performance in one or more competency may result in the imposition of additional requirements, loss of Graduate Assistantship, probation, or separation from the program.
  6. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  7. Transfer Credits. Admitted clinical students may transfer credits from graduate studies in other programs contingent upon departmental approval and in accordance with Graduate College policy. Transfer Credits will only be considered to fulfill Research Methods, Statistics, and Psychometric courses, Elective courses, Thesis credits, and Discipline Specific and Advanced Integrative Knowledge courses. All courses must be completed with a minimum grade of B- or better in order to meet program requirements.
  8. Students must take a minimum of 12 credits of dissertation over four semesters which may include summers. Students should enroll in dissertation credits starting in the semester the dissertation is formally proposed.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Quantitative/Experimental


Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study.

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or 600/700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments.

Thesis – Credits: 6


  •   After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts – Psychology.

Breadth Courses – Credits: 3


Complete one course from one of the following options that has not been applied to the master’s degree:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam. 

Elective Courses – Credits: 21


Complete 21 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or 600/700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. Students should use their elective credits to specialize in some area of quantitative/experimental psychology. Students will construct their course structures in collaboration with their mentors. See the Psychological & Brain Sciences Ph.D. Program Handbook for potential areas of specialization and proposed course plans for these areas of specialization. One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. En route to doctoral candidacy the student must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in Psychological & Brain Sciences and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a master’s degree in Psychological & Brain Sciences equivalent to the one previously described (33 credits), a minimum of 39 credits in graduate coursework is required for the doctoral degree.
  3. Student will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area, but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  4. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  5. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the Master’s and Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here
  4. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  5. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 4 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Cognitive


Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study:

Cognitive Emphasis Courses – Credits: 6


Complete two of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. Courses at the 600-level offered by other departments require approval by the advisor and the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director.

Thesis – Credits: 6


  •   After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts in Psychology.

Cognitive Emphasis Courses – Credits: 3


Complete the course that has not been applied to the master’s degree:

Cognitive Seminar Courses – Credits: 3


Complete one of the following seminar courses:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Elective Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. Courses at the 600-level offered by other departments require approval by the advisor and the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director. One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. En route to doctoral candidacy the student must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in psychology, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a master’s degree in psychology equivalent to the one previously described (33 credits), a minimum of 39 credits in graduate psychology is required for the doctoral degree.
  3. Students will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  4. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B- will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student retakes a course in which he or she received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, that student will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  5. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those policies stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation, which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements for both the master’s and doctoral portions of the program.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here
  4. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  5. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 5 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Neuroscience


Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study.

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. 600-level courses offered by other departments require advisor approval and concurrence by the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director.

Thesis – Credits: 6


  •   After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts – Psychology.

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Elective Courses – Credits: 24


Complete 24 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. 600-level courses offered by other departments require advisor approval and concurrence by the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director. One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. En route to doctoral candidacy the student must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in psychology, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a master’s degree in Psychology equivalent to the one previously described (33 credits), a minimum of 39 credits in graduate psychology is required for the doctoral degree.
  3. Student will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area, but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  4. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  5. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the Master’s and Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here
  4. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  5. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 6 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s -Developmental


Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study.

Developmental Science Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of the following course:

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. 600-level courses offered by other departments require advisor approval and concurrence by the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director.

Thesis – Credits: 6


  •   After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Arts – Psychology.

Developmental Seminar Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of the following course:

Breadth Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of courses from two different options that have not been applied to the master’s degree:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Elective Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. 600-level courses offered by other departments require advisor approval and concurrence by the Psychological & Brain Sciences Program Director. One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. En route to doctoral candidacy the student must complete the requirements for a master’s degree in psychology, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a master’s degree in Psychology equivalent to the one previously described (33 credits), a minimum of 39 credits in graduate coursework is required for the doctoral degree.
  3. Student will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area, but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  4. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  5. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  6. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the Master’s and Doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here
  4. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  5. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 7 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Quantitative/Experimental


Total Credits Required: 42

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam. 

Elective Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or 600/700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. Students should use their elective credits to specialize in some area of quantitative/experimental psychology. Students will construct their course structures in collaboration with their mentors. See the Psychological & Brain Sciences courses Ph.D. Program Handbook for potential areas of specialization and proposed course plans for these areas of specialization.  One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Additional credits may be required to address student deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. Students will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  3. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B- will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student retakes a course in which he or she received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, that student will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  4. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those policies stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  5. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation, which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements for the doctoral portions of the program.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here. 

Subplan 8 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Cognitive


Total Credits Required: 42

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study:

Cognitive Seminar Courses – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits from the following list of courses:

Qualifying Activity – Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Additional credits may be required to address student deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. Students will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  3. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B- will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student retakes a course in which he or she received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, that student will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  4. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those policies stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  5. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation, which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 9 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Neuroscience


Total Credits Required: 42

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Elective Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of 700-level Psychology courses, or other 700-level advisor-approved courses offered by other departments. 600-level courses offered by other departments require advisor approval and concurrence by the Psychological & Brain Sciences  Program Director. One elective typically taken by students is:

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Additional credits may be required to address student deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. Students will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area, but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  3. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B- will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student retakes a course in which he or she received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, he or she will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  4. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those policies stated in the UNLV Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  5. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation, which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements for the doctoral portions of the program.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

Subplan 10 Requirements: Post-Master’s - Developmental


Total Credits Required: 42

Course Requirements


Proseminar Course – Credits: 6


Complete the following course each semester during the first two years of study.

Developmental Science Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of the following course:

Developmental Seminar Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of the following course:

Qualifying Activity - Credits: 3


Complete one of the following: write one large paper or three smaller papers, or take an oral or written comprehensive exam. Register in PSY 773 when defending the qualifying paper(s) or comprehensive exam.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Additional credits may be required to address student deficiencies or build specialized expertise.
  2. Student will be required to complete a Qualifying Activity before proposing a Dissertation. The purpose of the qualifying activity is for the student to acquire not only the expertise in a given area, but also the ability to explain, discuss, and debate questions within that and related areas. Students may choose, in consultation with their advisor, from the following qualifying activities: one extensive qualifying paper, three brief papers, a written examination, or an oral examination.
  3. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each course taken for that course to count toward the degree. One grade below a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) will result in probation. Once a student is on probation for receiving a grade below a B-, a second grade (in the same or a different class) below a B-, will result in immediate separation from the program. If a student re-takes a course in which s/he received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, s/he will be removed from probation. A student may be on academic probation only twice during their graduate career in Psychological & Brain Sciences; a third probation will result in separation from the program. No student shall be allowed more than two simultaneous grades of incomplete, except in the case of a documented and approved medical leave.
  4. Students must conform to all policies of the UNLV Graduate College, as stated in the UNLV Graduate Catalog, those stated in the UNLV Experimental Psychological & Brain Sciences Doctoral Program Student Handbook, and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics. Students will be evaluated at least yearly across several professional competencies in the following three areas: (1) academic performance; (2) scholarly research activity; and (3) ethical behavior and professional conduct. If the program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean to separate the student from the program or place the student on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the program.
  5. Students must take a minimum of four semesters of dissertation which can include summers. The dissertation must be orally proposed and defended.

Graduation Requirements


  1. Students must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements.
  2. Students must submit and successfully defend their dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check.
  3. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

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