The department offers five subplans: behavioral genetics, behavioral neuroscience, clinical, cognitive, and social psychology. When completing the online application you must select one of these sub plans on the first page of the application.
All students are admitted with the expectation that they will work toward a PhD degree. Many students fulfill the requirements for and receive a master of arts degree in the course of working toward the PhD. To state the requirements for the PhD in terms of credit hours would be misleading, since the degree is not conferred merely upon the satisfactory completion of a course of study, however faithfully pursued. Students who receive this degree must demonstrate that they are proficient in some broad subject of learning and that they can critically evaluate work in this field; furthermore, they must have shown the ability to work independently in their chosen field and must have made an original contribution of significance to the advancement of knowledge.
In the first year of graduate study, all psychology graduate students typically enroll in graduate statistics courses. In addition, there is a first-year research requirement that can be fulfilled in several ways, but that requires the student to begin an active program of research. Typically the student must also enroll in a sequence of proseminars designed to give the student exposure to various research topics and methods.
Before admission to candidacy for the PhD degree the student must pass a comprehensive examination in the field of concentration and related fields. This examination is written (with additional oral parts, at the option of the faculty) and tests the student’s mastery of a broad field of knowledge, not merely the formal course work completed.
Most students who are accepted into the graduate program in psychology at Boulder are provided with financial support for their graduate education. For first-year students this assistance is typically in the form of a teaching assistantship during the academic year. Outstanding first-year students are supported by fellowship or traineeship assistance. Students beyond the first year are typically supported by research assistantships or teaching assistantships.
Some national fellowship programs are available to the qualified graduate student in psychology. These include those offered by the National Science Foundation and the Danforth Foundation.
Students who submit a complete application for admission to graduate study in psychology will automatically be considered for all university scholarships and fellowships for which they are eligible, as well as for teaching assistantships. Applicants who complete a financial aid application, will be considered for other need-based monies.
University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Graduate Program Assistant
Boulder, CO 80309-0345