Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Psychology, Ph.D.

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Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for PhD Psychology


Develop broad and integrative understanding of the field of psychology with a focus on applied psychological research. 


Demonstrate expertise and proficiency in research methods, experimental design, and statistical methods used in psychology research.


Exhibit critical and synthetic thinking skills with a deep understanding of theory and the scientific literature.


Display expertise in oral and written communication of research findings.  


Build advanced and practical research skills via experiential learning practica. 



In addition to meeting the minimum standards for admission to the Graduate School, the department’s recommendation for admission is based on the student’s performance on the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, and on the student’s academic performance. The department may recommend full or conditional admission. If admitted on a conditional basis, the applicant must fulfill the conditions imposed by the department.

Degree Requirements

After completion of the master’s requirements, students must pass a Qualifying Examination in order to continue to work toward a doctoral degree. During the entire period of work toward the doctorate, a student’s program of study is guided by a doctoral advisory committee. The full advisory committee consists of the major professor who acts as chairperson, and at least three other graduate faculty members of the department. At least two members (including the chairperson) must be full-time members of the department, and at least one member must be a full member of the UNO graduate faculty. The committee is nominated by the chair of the department and is appointed by the Dean of the College.

The student’s doctoral program of study must meet the following standards, which includes a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond those required by the Master of Science degree.

Doctoral Core Courses:

Applied Developmental Students Must Take

The Advanced Seminar


Developmental students are required to take six hours of elective coursework and Biopsychology students are required to take nine hours of elective coursework. The electives must be chosen from content courses; research and practicum beyond the minimum cannot be used as electives.


In addition to the dissertation requirements outlined below, all students are required to take six hours of independent research, PSYC 6090 . Also, students must register for at least three hours of research credit every semester they are not registered for dissertation hours (excluding summers).


Six hours of practicum are required for all students (PSYC 6191  or PSYC 6891 ). The purpose of the practicum is to give students first-hand experience in an applied setting. The emphasis is on the application of experimentally-derived principles within the context of a service-delivery system. The practicum experience is arranged to provide an opportunity for students to begin to develop and practice a variety of skills in their areas of specialization.

Qualifying General Examination:

All students must pass a Qualifying General Examination which is administered when the student’s coursework is substantially completed. The General Examination consists of the student writing and orally defending a literature review of the research area relevant to the proposed dissertation topic. The literature review and defense must demonstrate competence in the student’s minor and applied areas. The exam will be conducted by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Dissertation and Final Defense:

All students must complete a dissertation and register for a minimum of six hours of PSYC 7050 . The student must be registered for dissertation research each semester he or she is working on it until the final examination is passed. The dissertation must demonstrate a mastery of research techniques, ability to do original and independent research, and skill in formulating conclusions that in some way enlarge upon or modify the existing knowledge base in psychology. The final examination is the oral defense of the dissertation. The final examination committee is appointed by the Graduate School. In most cases it will consist of the student’s doctoral advisory committee, although the additional members may be added.


A student may elect to take an internship and the student must be registered for PSYC 7191  or PSYC 7891  throughout the internship (minimum of six hours). It must involve the equivalent of 12 months of supervised full-time experience. It must be supervised by a licensed psychologist. To qualify as an internship, a minimum of 1,500 hours at the site must be completed within 24 months and it must be approved by the department. The internship is an intensive, advanced, supervised experience required to be a practicing psychologist. To be eligible for an internship, the student must have completed all coursework and passed the General Examination. Only the dissertation may remain.

Minimum Grades:

A student who earns a C or lower in a core (either general or specialty) or who drops a core course while earning lower than a B will be dropped from the program. If a student receives a C or less in a non-core course, that course must be repeated in order to earn graduate credit. All students must maintain at least a B average in all courses in order to remain in the psychology graduate program.

Additional Reasons for Dismissal:

A student is expected to make normal progress toward the degree to remain in the program and must be registered as a full-time student each semester in the program. A student may be dropped from the program if, in a semi-annual evaluation, the faculty determines that the student does not meet the standards of a Doctor of Philosophy candidate.

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