Dec 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy - Psychological and Brain Sciences


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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

The Doctor of Philosophy - Psychological & Brain Sciences 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
  • Quantitative, Social, and Community

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.

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

The Doctor of Philosophy - Psychological & Brain Sciences program currently admits 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 a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.20 (A = 4.00) or a master’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.50.
  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree must have completed at least 18 credits in undergraduate psychology courses including Statistics and Research Methods or their equivalents. 
  • Post-master students entering the Quantitative, Social, and Community area of study that are lacking sufficient background in statistics will complete PSY 708 and PSY 709 prior to taking elective credits. 
  • GRE scores are optional. Satisfactory scores on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may improve an applicant’s evaluation but are not mandatory, and will not count negatively towards applicants who do not submit.
  • 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 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 - Quantitative, Social, and Community


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, Social, and Community 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 they received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, they 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 as well as 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. The student 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. The student 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 2 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 Psychological and Brain Sciences.

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 of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a Master of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences 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 they 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 as well as 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 3 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 in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

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 of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a Master of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences 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 they received a grade lower than a B- (i.e. C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, they 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 as well as 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. The student 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. The student 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 4 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 in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

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 of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and complete 6 credits of thesis over a minimum of 2 semesters.
  2. In addition to a Master of Arts in Psychological and 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 they received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, they 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 as well as 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. The student 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. The student 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-Master’s - Quantitative, Social, and Community


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, Social, and Community 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 credits 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 they 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 as well as 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 6 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 credits 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 they 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 as well as 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 7 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 credits 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 they received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, they 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 as well as 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 - 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 credits 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 they received a grade lower than a B- (i.e., C+ or lower) and earns a B- or better, they 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 as well as 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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