Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of Psychology and to disseminate this knowledge. Doctoral students concentrate in any one of several areas within Psychology. Regardless of area, however, the training program places emphasis on the development of research competence, and students are encouraged to develop those 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 technical information. A number of courses and seminars are provided to assist in this learning, and a student is expected to work out a program, with his or her adviser, to attain 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 firsthand knowledge of, and practical experience with, the methods of psychological investigation and study. These methods include ways of behaving with the subjects being studied. Students are provided with whatever opportunities they need to reach those levels of competence representative of doctoral standing. Continuing research programs, sponsored by members of the faculty, offer direct opportunities for experience in fields represented by the faculty's many research interests.