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The University of Texas at Arlington
Vol LXXXVII - July 2004
Graduate Catalog 2004-2006
 
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     Note: This Catalog is superseded by the 2005-2006 Catalog.

Department of Psychology

department web page: www.uta.edu/psychology/
department contact: www.uta.edu/psychology/ContactUs.html
graduate web page:
graduate contact:

Chair

Robert Gatchel
315A Life Science
817.272.2281

Admissions Criteria | Degree Requirements | Courses

Areas of Study and Degrees

Psychology
M.S.
(Emphasis in Experimental or Industrial Organizational)

General Experimental Psychology
Ph.D.

Mathematical Sciences
Ph.D.
(See Interdepartmental and Intercampus Programs.)

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis

Graduate Advisor

Lauri A. Jensen-Campbell
313 Life Science, 817.272.2281
lcampbell@uta.edu

Graduate Faculty

Professors

Amster, Bernstein, Brainerd, Gatchel, Ickes, Levine, Mellgren, Paulus, Reyna

Associate Professors

Fuchs, Jackson, Jensen-Campbell, Kopp, Mann

Assistant Professors

Kimball, Peng

Visiting Assistant Professor

Frame

Professor Emeritus

Cox, Erickson

Objective

The objective of graduate work in psychology is to educate the student in the methods and basic content of the discipline and to provide an apprenticeship in the execution of creative research.

Graduate work in the master's program will be offered in psychology. Graduate work in the doctoral program will be offered in general experimental psychology. Students' individual programs may be arranged to give emphasis to a particular aspect of the general program.

Within this framework, options include, but are not limited to, Animal Behavior and Animal Learning, Cognition and Perception, Developmental, Industrial/Organizational, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Social-Personality Psychology. Students specializing in Cognition and Perception may include, in addition to their area C courses (described below), advanced topical seminars in their area of specialty. In addition to core courses (see area A) for those interested in Behavioral Neuroscience, seminars offered in the recent past include Aggression and Nociception. For those seeking expertise in the Social-Personality area, in addition to the area B courses, seminars have included topics such as Social Influence and Empathetic Accuracy and Intersubjectivity.

Animal Behavior Option—Study in the area of animal behavior is also offered jointly by the biology and psychology graduate programs. Students specializing in animal behavior may initially enroll in the Master of Science program in either biology or psychology. There are a number of biology and psychology courses offered within this specialization. In addition to the courses specified in the catalog, advanced courses in Animal Behavior are often offered under enrollment in BIOL 5310 (Special Topics in Biology), PSYC 5389 (Contemporary Problems in Psychology), and PSYC 6300 (Seminar in Psychology). Recent courses offered under these titles include Animal Cognition, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Genetics, Developmental Psychobiology, Nociception, and Predator-Prey Interactions.

Research Involvement—Since the Psychology Department believes that graduate training should involve the student continuously in the research process, students are encouraged to make personal contacts by letter or E-mail with faculty members of their choice. A description of the faculty and their areas of research may be obtained by consulting the department Web page at www.uta.edu/psychology or by writing to or calling the department at 817.272.2281. Every effort will be made to assign the incoming student to a faculty member of choice, but priority is given to those who have discussed their placement in advance.

Deadline for Financial Aid Applications—Students who wish to be considered for assistantships should have their applications and departmental forms sent to The University of Texas at Arlington by April 1 for the Fall Semester and November 1 for the Spring Semester. Students who do not desire financial aid may apply at any time up to the deadline listed by the Graduate School.

Admissions Criteria

There are no fixed criteria for admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Psychology. Of course, the student is expected to have successfully completed the appropriate work prior to admission. In the case of the M.S. program, an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree is required. As calculated by the graduate school, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate work is expected for unconditional admission. For the Ph.D., a minimum of 30 graduate hours with a GPA of 3.0 or better as calculated by the Graduate School is required.

Although we normally require at least a 3.0 average for unconditional admission, an average higher than 3.0 will not guarantee admission. Beyond these minimal criteria, there is no single criterion that determines whether a positive or negative admission decision is made.

Our admissions focus is on seeking positive indication of potential success in the program. These indications include:

  1. A detailed examination of the student's transcript. Overall grade point average per se' is not weighed as heavily as other grade indicants (e.g., grades in psychology) since most candidates for admission present averages greater than 3.0. Instead, we examine the coursework as evidence for research interest. Positive indicants of potential success in our program include greater than average work in psychology, the biological and physical sciences and mathematics. In similar fashion, evidence of experimental research previously undertaken is viewed as a predictor of future research. For students interested in specialization in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the Master's level appropriate coursework is taken into consideration.
  2. Submission of Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing GRE scores is required. High GRE scores in each area are viewed as positive indicants, while a low GRE score on one subscale need not exclude a candidate who shows positive indicants in other areas.
  3. At least three letters of reference are required and will be used as evidence of strong commitment to experimental research (as in letters from an undergraduate research sponsor). We would prefer, if possible, letters from individuals such as your professors, who can comment on your academic abilities and potential. Evidence of success in employment relevant to I/O psychology will be considered for the Master's degree in that area.
  4. The personal statement describing the applicant's laboratory, field, or applied interests, career plans and discussion of how the UTA program can serve to further these interests and plans will be examined for evidence of the appropriateness of the candidate to the UTA program.
  5. Successful completion of a Master's degree in another department is viewed positively even when the degree was received in an area outside of psychology. In this latter case, some conditions in terms of make-up coursework may be specified.
  6. As the expectation is that students will begin research in their first semester, they will be assigned a faculty member with whom they will work. This assignment will be based on space available in the student's program of interest and the fit of student to specific faculty's research interests. Since each area has its own criteria for admission, undergraduate interests deemed unsuitable by one faculty committee may be acceptable to another. The number of fully acceptable applicants generally exceeds the number admitted.

In summary the department views its mission in the MS/Ph.D. program as to train students to be skillful in research. Therefore we seek students who show aptitude in as well as motivation for research. Students interested in the terminal MS program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology will have their records examined for indicants of potential to succeed in industrial settings.

Probationary Admission

If an applicant does not have a majority of the positive indications for unconditional admission described above, they may be considered for probationary admission after careful examination of their application materials. Probationary admission requires that the applicant receive a B or better in their first 12 hours of graduate coursework at UTA.

Deferred Admission

A deferred decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all documentation (including certified transcripts, GRE scores, letters of reference, and personal statements) prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

Denial of Admission

Applicants whose records in the aggregate do not show sufficient positive indications of potential success will be denied admission.

Eligibility for Scholarships/Fellowships

Students unconditionally admitted to the program are eligible for scholarship and fellowship support. The criteria applied will be the same as those applied to admission decisions. To be eligible, candidates must be new students coming to UTA in the Fall semester, must have a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 undergraduate credit hours plus any graduate credit hours as calculated by the Graduate School, and must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours of coursework in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements outlined elsewhere, the Department of Psychology will require undergraduate courses in statistics and in experimental methods. These courses may be taken as deficiency courses.

Degree requirements for the Department of Psychology are established by the Committee on Graduate Studies in Psychology and supplement those established by the University (see general requirements of the Graduate School as stated under the section entitled "Admission Requirements and Procedures").

Each entering graduate student will be furnished a copy of the departmental rules which will serve as guidelines for departmental actions and recommendations.

Each student must adhere to the code of ethics of the American Psychological Association.

Master of Science Degree

Emphasis in Experimental Psychology30 hours, including six hours of thesis are required for this option. The program is designed to form the basis for the doctoral program. It is, however, open to those seeking a terminal master's degree. PSYC 5405, 5406, and 12 hours among 5313, 5321, 5322, 5333, 5345, and 6336 are required, including at least three hours from each area A, B, and C (see following).

As soon as is feasible, a student should decide on an area for concentration and research. After discussion with and consent of the involved faculty members, the student selects a supervising professor and a thesis committee. No student may enroll in PSYC 5398 or 5698 until the thesis committee has approved a proposal for the thesis project.

Emphasis in Industrial-Organizational Psychology50 hours in psychology and management are required for this degree, including six hours of internship. The program is designed as a terminal degree for those interested in careers in industrial-organizational psychology. Thirty-five hours are required in psychology. These are PSYC 5405, 5406, 5322, 5323, 5325, 5326, 6349 or 6355, 5321 or approved elective, and an internship and a capstone course. A master's thesis (PSYC 5398, 5698) may be substituted for the capstone, only upon approval from the program director. Required core management courses are MANA 5312 and 5340. Three additional management courses should be selected from PSYC 6300 or MANA 5321, 5323, 5325, 5326, 5327, 5334, and 5342. Approval for PSYC 6300 is required prior to enrollment. Students should do an internship in the summer after the first year and the capstone course at the end of their second year.

Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in experimental psychology requires distinguished attainments in both scholarship and original research, and the deep understanding of the strategic role of thoughtful experimentation in the development of an empirical science. Although the student must meet the minimum requirements of a planned course of study, the ultimate basis for conferring the degree must be the demonstrated ability to do independent and creative work and the exhibition of a profound grasp of the subject matter of the field.

MathematicsExperimental psychology requires sophistication in mathematics. Prospective students are encouraged to recognize this trend and prepare themselves as well as possible. Mathematics from College Algebra through Calculus is desirable.

Computer Knowledge RequirementBecause of the fundamental and varied ways in which computers are applied in psychology, students are expected to understand their use and application in psychological research. Specifically, students are expected to demonstrate competence in the use of operating systems such as Windows or the Macintosh System, e-mail and other aspects of the Internet, standard office packages, data bases, programming languages (with specific reference to the programming of psychological experiments) and statistical packages such as SAS. This computer knowledge requirement has been established in lieu of the foreign language requirement. It may be satisfied by successful completion of PSYC 5348. If you feel that you already have the prerequisite knowledge to satisfy this requirement, see the graduate advisor to arrange a proficiency examination.

Course requirementsEntering graduate students will be required to take the following courses during their first four semesters of enrollment. Exceptions may be made only with written permission of the Committee on Graduate Studies.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in experimental psychology requires distinguished attainments in both scholarship and original research, and the deep understanding of the strategic role of thoughtful experimentation in the development of an empirical science. Although the student must meet the minimum requirements of a planned course of study, the ultimate basis for conferring the degree must be the demonstrated ability to do independent and creative work and the exhibition of a profound grasp of the subject matter of the field.

MathematicsExperimental psychology requires sophistication in mathematics. Prospective students are encouraged to recognize this trend and prepare themselves as well as possible. Mathematics from College Algebra through Calculus is desirable.

Computer Knowledge RequirementBecause of the fundamental and varied ways in which computers are applied in psychology, students are expected to understand their use and application in psychological research. Specifically, students are expected to demonstrate competence in the use of operating systems such as Windows or the Macintosh System, e-mail and other aspects of the Internet, standard office packages, data bases, programming languages (with specific reference to the programming of psychological experiments) and statistical packages such as SAS. This computer knowledge requirement has been established in lieu of the foreign language requirement. It may be satisfied by successful completion of PSYC 5348. If you feel that you already have the prerequisite knowledge to satisfy this requirement, see the graduate advisor to arrange a proficiency examination.

Course requirementsEntering graduate students will be required to take the following courses during their first four semesters of enrollment. Exceptions may be made only with written permission of the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Current Topics in Experimental Psychology (5110)
Statistics I (5405)
Statistics II (5406)
Experimental Design (5407)
Four of the following courses, at least one from each area A, B, and C:
Area A: 5333 Behavioral Neuroscience, 6336 Comparative Psychology
Area B: 5321 Personality, 5322 Social Psychology
Area C: 5313 Higher Mental Processes,
5345 Human Learning and Memory

Students with prior graduate work may be exempted from any of the above requirements by petition to the Committee on Graduate Studies. The petition should include a syllabus or other documentation showing that a prior course and one of our required courses are equivalent. Students should discuss course equivalency with the professor(s) who teach the course(s) in question before submitting a petition. Having fulfilled the above, the following are required:

  1. An additional five courses (15 hours) from among lecture courses.
  2. Two six-hour research courses. These may be taken from PSYC 5698 or PSYC 5600. Students who plan to obtain the MS should elect PSYC 5698 as one of the research courses and students who do not plan to obtain the MS should select two sections of PSYC 5600. If the student does not elect to obtain the MS, one of the research courses must result in a formal thesis-equivalent paper, which will be evaluated by a committee and defended in an oral examination. The two research courses are a minimum requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to take PSYC 5391 or 6391 before taking PSYC 5600 and 5698.
  3. Nine hours of PSYC 6300.
  4. Additional hours of coursework to be determined by the Graduate Advisor and dissertation committee. The student should plan to take approximately 90 hours including 6999. No student may enroll in a dissertation course until the dissertation committee has approved a proposal for the dissertation project.

A student has completed the course requirements when he or she has:

  1. 1. Maintained at least a B average in 5405, 5406, and 5407.
  2. 2. Maintained at least a B average in his or her area A, B, and C courses.
  3. 3. Received at least a B average in all other courses.

Diagnostic Evaluations—Doctoral students normally take diagnostic examinations in two areas between the fourth and fifth semester of graduate work. Satisfactory completion of the area A, B, and C course requirements by the end of the first four semesters is necessary for achieving satisfactory progress in the graduate program. It is also a condition for taking the diagnostic exams. Exceptions will rarely be made, and then only with the written permission of the Committee on Graduate Studies.


The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. Enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned cannot change a grade of X. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

Courses in Psychology (PSYC)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes. Please refer to www.uta.edu/schedule for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

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