Carnegie Mellon University

Overview of the Requirements by Year:

Year 1

The student takes an orientation course during the first week of the semester, one or two core courses in cognitive, developmental, or social/health psychology, and a statistics or methods course.
The student chooses an advisor and committee.
A first-year research project is designed, conducted, and the results are written up as a research paper and presented in a spring brown bag to the department.

Year 2

A second-year research project is designed, conducted, written up as a research paper, and presented in a spring brown bag to the department.
Coursework continues, typically 2 courses per semester. The student takes one or two core courses, and a statistics or methods course.
The student also takes the teaching practicum class, which typically involves acting as a TA for a class. Students must take this class three times during their residency in the program.

Year 3

Research continues. Coursework continues, as agreed upon by student and committee.
A literature review paper is proposed and completed by August 15th. The student continues the teaching practicum class.

Year 4 and 5

The dissertation topic is selected and presented formally to the student’s committee in an oral and written format. The dissertation research is conducted, completed, and defended.  

Other requirements:

Reading and research activity is expected in the summer.
Students are required to attend department colloquia.