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.