2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Psychology, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15

All application materials must be submitted in one package together directly to the department.  Please read instructions at www.temple.edu/psychology/applications.

A supplemental application is required. It can be obtained by visiting: www.temple.edu/psychology/Applications/Links/DataSheet.htm?bhcp=1.

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline has passed.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants to the doctoral program must hold a B.A. or B.S. degree and must have completed at least four 3-credit courses in Psychology, including one laboratory course. In addition, a Natural Sciences laboratory course and a Statistics course are required.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:


Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Psychology is required. Depending on the area of interest, a bachelor's in a Biology-related discipline may be appropriate.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. The minimum scores are 550 verbal, 550 quantitative, and 1150 total GRE.

The GRE Subject Exam in Psychology is strongly recommended.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 620 paper-based, 260 computer-based, or 105 internet-based. Individuals for whom English is not a first language must take the Test of Spoken English or the SPEAK test at Temple.


Some applicants will be invited to interview with the Admissions Committee. Each area of specialization will schedule individual interviews.

Advanced Standing:

A student enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Psychology may, after satisfactory completion of the initial semester, and with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology, transfer as many as 9 credits of coursework taken elsewhere. To be so approved, the courses must be deemed appropriate to stand as part of the student's training in the Ph.D. program, and the student must have received a grade of "B" or higher in the course(s).  The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 9.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required:

Varies by specialization:

Brain, Behavior, and Cognition — 25

Clinical — 36

Developmental — 33

Social — 39

Required Courses:

PSYCH 522 and 524 in the first year

Minimum of four core courses from among PSYCH 808, 809, 811, 822, 837, 847, 851, and 855, differing for each area of specialization

Internship: An internship is required for the Clinical area of specialization.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to demonstrate critical and interpretive knowledge in specialized areas of Psychology. The exam should be modeled after published literature reviews in the field and should be evaluated by the criteria applied to reviews that are submitted for publication to scholarly journals. The examination evaluates the student's ability to apply specific research foci to anticipated problems in Psychology. The student must demonstrate a high level of oral and written competency in reviewing, synthesizing, and evaluating an important topic in the field of Psychology.

The preliminary examination is generally completed by the end of the third year of study.  The subject areas are determined, in advance, by the student and the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates the examination. Each member votes to pass or fail the student. In order to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the exam has been satisfactorily completed. The examination is defended orally following an evaluation of the written document.

Students who are preparing to write their preliminary examinations should confirm a time and date with the Chair of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and notify all members of their training program.


The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal should consist of the following: (a) the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; (b) an exhaustive survey and review of literature related to the problem; and (c) a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem. The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates and approves the proposal or requests modifications by the student.


The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Psychology. It should expand the existing wisdom and demonstrate the student's knowledge of both research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. Dissertations should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standards of the field; demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader field of Psychology; and be prepared for publication in a professional journal.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee must include at least three Graduate Faculty members from Temple's Psychology Department. The Doctoral Advisory Committee may be expanded to include other Temple Presidential faculty (from inside or outside the department) and/or doctorally prepared experts from outside the University, provided that a majority of the members of the committee are members of Temple's Graduate Faculty.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense, including the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Dissertation Examining Committee consists of the Doctoral Advisory Committee plus at least three additional doctorally prepared individuals. The majority of the individuals on the committee must be members of the Temple University Graduate Faculty. The Dissertation Examining Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the departmental chair and registered with the department's graduate secretary and the Graduate School.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary will arrange the time, date, and room within two working days, and forward to the student the appropriate forms.

After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Oral Defense" form at least 10 working days before the defense. The Department posts flyers announcing the defense, and the Graduate School lists the defense on its website.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Psychology

Temple University

651 Weiss Hall (265-67)

1701 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085



Department Contacts:


See www.temple.edu/psychology for representatives in each area of specialization.

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Margo Storm


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Laurence Steinberg



Dr. Willis F. Overton


About the Program

The Psychology program offers advanced study leading to a Ph.D. Training is directed toward excellence in scholarship, research, teaching, and practical applications. The Psychology program's focus varies depending on the area of specialization that the student enters. Graduates go on to positions as research scientists, teachers, and applied specialists.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Full-time study is required.  Students complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Dept. of Psychology

Temple University

651 Weiss Hall (265-67)

1701 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085



Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Over the years, the program has been consistently ranked among the very best by all evaluating agencies.


The American Psychological Association has accredited the Clinical Psychology area of specialization. Other area emphases are not accredited.

Areas of Specialization:

Areas of specialization include Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Perception, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Psychopathology, Human Behavior Analysis, and Social Psychology.

Job Placement:

The program is dedicated to producing well-trained psychologists with the Ph.D. who will work in academic and applied settings.


The field of Clinical Psychology requires licensure for its practice.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may take Ph.D. courses only with the permission of the instructor. Further, 800-level courses are not open to non-matriculated students.

Financing Opportunities

The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA) include assisting faculty members in classroom (field and observatory) instruction, conducting tutorials and discussion sections, and grading quizzes.

A Research Assistant (RA) is expected to devote 20 hours per week on average to research obligations. An RA is assigned to a faculty member or principal investigator who is working on a specific research project. The appropriate subjects are determined by consultation between the student and the student's research and academic advisors.

Both Teaching and Research Assistantships carry a stipend and full tuition remission (up to 12 credits per semester depending on year and specialization).

Updated 12.4.06