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PhD Program

The PhD is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Psychology.

A student typically concentrates in one of several areas within Psychology. Across all areas, the training program emphasizes the development of research competence, and students are encouraged to develop skills and attitudes that are appropriate to a career of continuing research productivity.

Two kinds of experience are necessary for this purpose. One is the learning of substantial amounts of theoretical, empirical, computational and methods information. A number of courses and seminars are provided to assist in this learning, and students are expected to construct a program in consultation with their advisor(s) to obtain this knowledge in the most stimulating and economical fashion.

A second aspect of training is one that cannot be gained from the courses or seminars. This is first-hand knowledge of, and practical experience with, the methods of psychological investigation and study. Therefore, students are expected to spend half of their time on research and to take no more than 10 units of course work per quarter, beginning in the first quarter.

Students achieve competence in unique ways and at different rates. Students and advisors work together to plan a program to accomplish these objectives.

If current students have any questions about the PhD program, please email the Student Services Manager, Emily Fay, at ecfay@stanford.edu.

If you are interested in applying for our PhD program, please carefully review the information on the Admissions section of this website. Follow up questions can be directed to the admissions staff at psych-admissions@stanford.edu.