Department of Psychology
Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor (continued)
Lecturer with Continuing Appointment
Graduate work within the Department of Psychology emphasizes preparation for research and teaching in psychology, with specialization in the following broad areas: systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, perception and cognition, personality and social psychology, and physiological psychology. The program is designed to prepare students for attaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and a career of productive scholarship in psychology. The department requires that candidates for admission take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Basic undergraduate training in science and mathematics is considered desirable.
All students are required to assist in teaching as part of their graduate education as determined by the department (at least three class hours during their graduate career). Instruction is based on the assumption that first-year students have had the equivalent of an undergraduate major in psychology, neuroscience or related fields.
First-year students work closely with a faculty adviser to plan and conduct research. They are required to take the proseminar, PSY 500, 501, 502, which covers several basic areas of psychology. Each student must complete a six-week course in the responsible conduct of scientific research, entitled PSY 591a Ethical Issues in Scientific Research. This course is normally taken in the first year.
Second-year students take advanced seminars and conduct research to prepare a written report of a research project. Students may also take relevant courses in other departments. By the end of the second year, students should have demonstrated basic competence in quantitative methods by having successfully completed PSY 503 Quantitative Analysis in Psychological Research. Additional quantitative training should be planned in consultation with the student’s adviser. The third, fourth and fifth years are devoted to conducting research and to continuing study in the student’s area of specialization by means of courses, independent reading and advanced seminars. Normally, the doctoral dissertation is completed near the end of the fifth year.
A joint degree program, leading to the Ph.D. degree in psychology and neuroscience, is also offered through the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The program is oriented toward the study of the role of the central nervous system in behavior. See the description of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.
The general examination is normally taken in the fall of the third year. It deals at an advanced level with selected topics within a student’s own area of specialization in psychology. For each area, the department administers various components of a general examination. All components of the examination must be passed before a graduate student can advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
A decision as to whether the student has passed the general examination is made by the full faculty acting on the recommendation of the examining committee. The basic criterion for passing the examination is the faculty's conviction that the student is prepared to begin work on the doctoral dissertation.
Students must pass the proseminar, graduate statistics and ethics, satisfactorily complete pre-generals research projects, and pass the general examination at the master’s level to earn a master’s degree.
Dissertation and Final Public Oral
During the fourth and fifth years, the student is expected to dedicate his or her time to mastering methods and techniques in the relevant area of study, complete thesis-related research, and write the thesis. In addition, the student is expected to write up and submit for publication the thesis-related work, as well as other research that has been conducted thus far.
The final public oral examination for the doctoral degree is based on the problem, methods and results of the dissertation and the relation of its findings to major trends and current problems in psychological research.
Colloquia and Seminars
Psychology colloquia are held at regular intervals throughout the year and are attended by members of the staff and graduate students. A series of research seminars is held throughout the year in which students in various research areas interchange ideas with one another and with the faculty.
Introduction to graduate level social psychology for first year graduate students in psychology. This course will serve as the basis for more advanced graduate courses on specific topics in this area.
Cognitive Proseminar: Introduction to graduate level cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience for first year graduate students in psychology. Course serves as the basis for more advanced graduate courses on specific topics in this area.
PSY 503 Quantitative Analysis in Psychological Research (Fall 2013)
Andrew R. Conway
PSY 516 Brain Imagine in Cognitive Neuroscience Research
PSY 551 Design and Interpretation of Social Psychological Research
PSY 591A Responsible Conduct of Research