2 BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE DOCTORAL PROGRAM University of North Texas Academic Year Program Description... 1 Program Faculty... 2 Application and Admission Requirements... 2 Degree Requirements... 3 Pass Through Master s 4 Major Area of Specialization... 5 Individual Research... 5 Core Qualifying Exam.5 Dissertation... 6 Annual Review of Students... 8 Deadlines and Academic Standing... 8 Leave of Absence Unacceptable Professional Behavior Faculty-Student Conflicts Grade Appeals Disability Accommodation, Discrimination, Harassment Nondiscrimination Financial Support... 11
3 1 PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The Behavioral Science Program at the University of North Texas provides training for students seeking a career in behavioral research. Most students who are admitted aspire to a position in academics; however, opportunities for employment in private industry or research institutes also exist. The program offers students training in both basic and applied research. Focus is on high quality training with intensive student-faculty involvement in joint research. Students are expected to participate actively in research with faculty members throughout their tenure in the program. This emphasis on one-to-one training allows students to acquire research skills while working on projects leading to publication or grant application. Each student will eventually develop advanced knowledge and both teaching and research expertise in at least one specialty area. Specialties available to students are determined by the makeup of departmental faculty. The faculty includes members of reputation in several areas and at present students can pursue advanced study in specialties of Psychology such as Developmental, Human Cognitive Processes, and Psychobiological Systems. Students generally do advanced work with a member of the Behavioral Science Faculty, however, depending on interests in particular specialties, students may work with other members of the psychology faculty or in rare instances, professors in other departments at UNT. Involvement in research is expected to prepare the student for the dissertation and will hopefully culminate in several publications and/or presentations prior to graduation. Such involvement should occur soon after admission, during the first year of the program. The Behavioral Science Program generally requires a minimum of four years to complete with the last two years devoted mainly to research including dissertation. During the first two years, the student will complete the general Behavioral Science core courses and the Pass Through Masters. The Behavioral Science specialty area courses are generally completed by the third year. Each student is expected to file a degree plan with the Graduate School by the end of the second semester. The degree plan is formed with the help of the major professor and must be approved by the student's advisory committee. Individual plans may be longer but a minimum of 72 hours credit including dissertation is required. The specific goals of the Behavioral Science Program at UNT are to train individuals who are: 1) Capable in all phases of a research program including obtaining funding. 2) Published in the field of psychology and have demonstrated potential for long term contributions to science. 3) Competent to teach statistics, research methodology, and at least one specialty area. 4) Experienced in multidisciplinary research and knowledgeable in areas of science relevant to their specialty.
4 2 PROGRAM FACULTY Core Faculty Heidemarie Blumenthal, Ph.D. Experimental Developmental Psychopathology Adriel Boals, Ph.D. Coping with Stress, Learning, and Memory (Program Chair) Rex Wright, Ph.D., Cardiovascular functioning and effort Affiliated Faculty Kimberly Kelly, Ph.D., Neuroendocrine/Behavioral Stress Responses Camilo Ruggero, Ph.D., Psychometrics, Statistical Analysis, Mood Disorders, Emotion Thomas Parsons, Ph.D., Neuropsychology, Human-Computer Interaction, Affective Science APPLICATION AND ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Before being admitted to the Applied Experimental Psychology Doctoral Program, the applicant must meet all the requirements for admission to the Toulouse Graduate School of the University of North Texas. Graduate School Applications and instructions can be obtained from the Toulouse Graduate School at Second, applicants for graduate psychology degrees must complete the department application process through the department submission portal at The application deadline for all graduate programs in psychology is December 1 preceding the fall term/semester for which the student is applying. Review of applications will begin on December 1. A complete Psychology Department application must include copies of official transcripts from all previous work, a copy of the official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of personal goals. All documents submitted to the Psychology Department must be electronic copies submitted through the admission portal. Admission is based on a ranking of applicants after review of files by the entire Behavioral Science Program Committee. Students with the greatest potential to pursue a career in research and make contributions to the scientific literature are given highest priority. Program faculty s ability to provide training in the specialty area interests expressed in the student s statement of goals is also important. In the final analysis, all areas are considered including academic accomplishments, motivation, standardized test scores, subjective evaluation in letters of recommendation, communication skills, quantitative ability, and impressions from interviews in person or over the phone. Before accepting an invitation to join the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program, potential students should thoroughly read the Department of Psychology Graduate Manual for information on financial support, graduate student affairs, course offerings by semester, advising, degree
5 3 plans, enrollment regulations, listing of courses satisfying the research tool requirement, registration, and familiarity with the departmental faculty. The Behavioral Science Program admits students with either a bachelor s or master s degree in psychology. Those with a bachelor s degree in other majors are also considered but an equivalent to a psychology major is required (24 hours in Psychology or other relevant coursework for application to the doctoral program). Transfer credit may be granted for those entering with a master s degree; this is determined on an individual basis. However, up to 30 hours can be applied to the Ph.D. program on the degree plan. Special or probationary admissions are not made in this program. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS Ph.D. Requirements Behavioral Science General Core: 58 Hours PSYC 5700 Advanced Quantitative Methods I 4 hrs PSYC 5710 Advanced Quantitative Methods II 4 hrs PSYC 5060 Advanced History & Systems 3 hrs PSYC 5090 Advanced Social Psychology 3 hrs PSYC 5790 Physiological Psychology 3 hrs PSYC 5640 Cognition and Affect 3 hrs PSYC 5950 Thesis 6 hrs PSYC 6400 Research Methodology Applications 3 hrs PSYC 5010 Human Development 3 hrs PSYC 6200 Advanced Topics 6 hrs PSYC 6810 Multivariate Analysis 3 hrs PSYC 6610 Independent Research 8 hrs PSYC 6950 Dissertation 9 hrs Note: Advanced Topics courses (3 hours each) and Independent Research (4 hours each) will be chosen in consultation with the major professor to reflect content specific to either experimental design or statistical analysis. Note: In the event that an Advanced Topics (6200) course fails to make, such course requirements will be handled via an equivalent Special Problems (6900) supervised by the student s major professor. The remainder (14 hours) of the student s program of study will consist of coursework selected in consultation with the major professor, reflecting the student s specialty area of research. Below is a list of courses that can be used to complete the remainder (14 hours), but other courses both inside the department and/or outside of the department can also be used. In addition to the courses listed below, additional hours of PSYC 6610 or PSYC 6200 can be used to partially or fully complete the remainder (14 hours).
6 4 PSYC 5420/5430 Assessment I & II 4 hrs PSYC 5680 Counseling Psychology Methods 3 hrs PSYC 5780 Psychopathology 3 hrs PSYC 5900/5910 Special Problems 1-4 hrs PSYC 6000 Introduction to Psychotherapy 3 hrs PSYC 6110 Ethics and Prof Development 3 hrs PSYC 6200 Foundations in Health Psychology 3 hrs PSYC 6130 Substance Use 3 hrs PSYC 6300 Theory and App of Multicultural Psychology 3 hrs PSYC 6400 Research Methods 3 hrs PSYC 6650 Psychoneuroimunology 3 hrs Special Note About PSYC 6950 Dissertation The dissertation constitutes 9 semester hours and is initiated only after the student has completed all coursework and passed the qualifying examination. Doctoral Program total hours: 72 hours PASS THROUGH MASTER S DEGREE Doctoral students earning a pass through master s while in the program can do so via fulfilling the course requirements below. The pass through master s degree plan must be on file with the graduate school prior to submitting an application for graduation with either the M.A. or M.S. degree. For students who do not enter the program with a master s degree, they will be required to complete a pass through masters, which constitutes 30 hours of the doctoral program requirements. These credits are earned while continuing the doctoral program. Six hours of PSYC 5950 (Thesis) must constitute 6 of the 30 hours. All of the course work to be credited toward the master s degree plan must be numbered 5000 or higher. Regarding the pass through master s requirement: A. Apply to the Toulouse Graduate School for admission. Applications for the pass through master s degree in Psychology are available on the Graduate Coordinator s Virtual Office website. No application fee is required. B. Submit a master s degree plan to the Graduate Coordinator s office. Once the admission application has been approved by the department, the degree plan will be submitted to the Toulouse Graduate School. C. The student submits an application for graduation ( for the semester in which the coursework is completed.
7 5 Note: Hours needed to satisfy the degree requirements for either the M.A. or M.S. degree cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements for the Ph.D. A separate degree plan will be filed for the masters and doctoral degrees, wherein the doctoral degree plan will be composed of courses that are unique to the doctoral program. Thus, the pass through master s degree plan will constitute 30 hours, and the doctoral degree plan will constitute 42 additional hours. Residence Requirement Candidates must meet the doctoral residence requirement as outlined in the Graduate Catalog. MAJOR AREA OF SPECIALIZATION Complementing expertise in behavioral science, students in the program will have at least one area of specialization in which their coursework and research are concentrated, developed in concert with the student s major professor. In addition to taking relevant courses, most individual research projects are usually focused on this area. Research is generally supervised by a member of the faculty who has expertise in this area. Applicants should determine that appropriate faculty are represented in their area of interest before seeking entry into the program. INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH Each student is expected to be active in research and thus several sections of PSYC 6610 will be completed during the four year program. Students are encouraged to affiliate with a faculty member sharing their research interests early in the program, i.e., in the first year. The 6610 is an individual research course which can be repeated for credit, and each requires the completion of an independent project with a faculty member. The goal of each project is to produce a publishable product, and students will be responsible for writing the article and/or making the presentation. It is hoped that a publication record can be established before graduation, which is necessary in today's competitive job market. The 6610 gives a student the opportunity to become involved in programmatic research and often this can serve as a preliminary step in developing a dissertation topic. The number of 6610 projects will vary but a minimum of two is required, and time spent on research will usually increase as the student advances through the program. Even though the first year is primarily devoted to completing the general core, students should begin to involve themselves in research as early as possible. CORE QUALIFYING EXAM The purpose is to allow students to demonstrate minimal knowledge necessary to earn a doctor of philosophy degree. Knowledge should have been accumulated through coursework and participation in scholarly activity, necessarily including empirical research. It should document competence as a scholar and investigator and expertise within a particular topic area. Students will qualify near the end of their graduate training prior to the point at which they are admitted to doctoral candidacy.
8 6 Key Requirements Students must complete, in advance, the Departmental and Program core curriculum, or be in the final semester of coursework (excluding dissertation hours) and successfully defend and file their thesis. The Exam will consist of a comprehensive review paper on a topic determined by students and their advisor, with the approval of the Program Director. The review should take the form of a manuscript that might be submitted to the Psychological Bulletin and written in APA style. Content should demonstrate the competencies and expertise indicated above. The Exam will be graded as either pass or fail. If a student receives a fail, s/he may submit a second attempt. If the second submission is deemed unacceptable, the student submitting it will be identified as having failed to qualify. Prior to beginning work, students must prepare a brief (1-2 page) statement describing the focus of the review and the need for it. They will submit a copy to their advisor and the Program Director, who will determine whether the plan is acceptable. The Program Director will keep a copy of this statement in the submitting student s file. Students will have two options available for having their review evaluated. Option 1. One will be to form a qualifying exam committee, separate from the dissertation committee that would be formed later. Once the review paper has been deemed ready by the student s major advisor, a copy of the paper will be sent to the other committee members for review. Committee members will examine the review and grade it is pass or fail. If a grade of fail is achieved, the committee will give feedback to the student and the student will have the opportunity to make revisions and re-submit the review. This option will likely be most desirable for students who wish to separate their qualifying exam from their dissertation. Option 2. The second option will be to form a dissertation committee who will examine and grade the review paper. Committee members will examine a document that blends the review with a related dissertation research proposal. Committee members will grade the defense as pass or fail. If a grade of fail is achieved, the student will have one more chance at a later defense date. This option will be available for students who wish to incorporate their review into their dissertation. Once a student has passed the Qualifying Exam, the student can enroll in dissertation hours the following semester. Thus most students will want to complete the Qualifying Exam during the final semester of coursework (excluding dissertation hours). THE DISSERTATION The last 9 hours in the program is dissertation (PSYC 6950). The student will continue to register for dissertation until the final defense is passed. A grade of PR (in progress) will be assigned for all dissertation hours until the project is completed and filed in the Graduate School. A final grade will be issued for the final 9 hours of dissertation enrollment. Any additional dissertation hours will remain as PR and will not affect the final GPA calculations.
9 7 A dissertation committee is established and will include the major professor and two members of the department faculty. Typically, but not in all cases, at least one of these faculty would be from the Behavioral Science program. In some cases, an additional committee member may be added, i.e., the minor professor or an outside member who is a faculty member from another department. The first step in this process is to formulate a dissertation proposal in consultation with the major professor. The project should represent a high quality study in the area of specialization and should have the potential to be a publishable product. The student is expected to have already performed research in this area and should possess expertise in the relevant literature. After a dissertation proposal is completed and approved by the major professor, the written proposal is passed out to the committee. An oral defense of the dissertation proposal is then scheduled. If at the beginning of this meeting the committee believes the project is not ready to be presented, the candidate is informed and the defense is postponed. Otherwise, the defense is conducted and the result is either pass with no changes, pass with changes, or fail, all with feedback from the committee. If the project is approved, then the student is allowed to proceed with the supervision of the major professor, who except in rare cases, will be the individual with whom the student has been working on research since entering the program. Unless special permission is obtained from the dissertation committee, the student must complete the project as spelled out in the dissertation proposal or a final defense will not be allowed. If changes are needed, this may require another meeting of the committee. It should also be noted that approval of the university Institutional Review Board is necessary before beginning any project using human subjects. After data collection and analysis are completed, the student in consultation with the major professor will complete the dissertation. When the major professor approves the final product, copies of the completed dissertation are distributed to the committee and to the department chair at least two weeks prior to the oral defense. If at the beginning of the final oral defense the project is not considered ready, the meeting is adjourned and feedback is given. Otherwise, the oral defense is allowed to go forward. The final oral defense centers on the dissertation, but students are expected to demonstrate expertise in their area of specialization as well as regarding experimental methods more generally when discussing dissertation results. The results of the final oral defense will be either pass with no changes, pass with changes, or fail. If the decision is fail, feedback is given. In this case, in consultation with the major professor, necessary changes are made and a second oral defense can be scheduled. If pass with changes is the decision, feedback is given and changes are made. Once all changes are completed, the dissertation is signed by all committee members. The departmental chair will sign on final defense form which will have been sent to the Graduate Coordinator after a student s application for graduation is received by the graduate school. For security reasons, signatures on the final defense form are only scanned for insertion into internal records at UNT. They are not released for open access electronic publishing. Upon obtaining final approval from the major professor, the dissertation is then filed with the graduate school.
10 8 ANNUAL REVIEW OF STUDENTS Once a year, typically near the end of the spring semester, or as necessary, the program committee will evaluate students. In the spring or summer of each academic year, students complete annual review forms in preparation for program review of their performance. The program committee reviews the academic progress of students in three areas: Coursework, Research, and Professional Development. Students are expected to make satisfactory progress in each of these areas and will be informed of any identified weaknesses. All students will receive written feedback. When areas for improvement are identified, the letter will recommend steps and a time frame for improvement. Students will work in consultation with their program advisor to achieve a successful outcome. If a student is dissatisfied with an evaluation recommendation, the student may meet with the program committee at the next regularly scheduled program meeting to appeal the evaluation recommendation. On rare occasions, advisors or other faculty may identify serious deficiencies in one or more areas, which will be reported to the program committee and others as required. In this case, and depending upon the severity of the deficiencies, the recommendation may be to place the student on probation or to dismiss the student from the doctoral program. When the recommendation concerns probation, students meet with the program committee at the next regularly scheduled program meeting to discuss the apparent deficiencies and the recommendation of probation. If the program committee decides on probation, students are asked to meet with their program advisor in order to formulate a plan of action to restore their good standing in the program. The program committee then reviews this action plan to determine if additional requirements are to be added. Dismissal of the student from the doctoral program in psychology will occur if (a) very severe deficiencies exist and a period of probation does not result in a constructive course of corrective action, or (b) the student fails to make satisfactory improvement in area(s) of deficiency during the probationary period. When the recommendation of the program committee is to consider dismissal of the student from the program, the procedure described in the UNT Psychology Department Student Handbook is followed. Students who do not make satisfactory and continuous progress through their coursework, research, and professional development will be dismissed from the program. Expected timelines for progression through the program are listed below: DEADLINES and ACADEMIC STANDING (Note that these are program deadlines, which are supplemental to the Graduate School s deadlines) Filing a Degree Plan: A student is expected to successfully file the degree plan by the end of the first year. If a student has not successfully filed a degree plan before the last day of the Fall semester of their 2nd year, that student will be placed on probation for failure to make adequate progress with a tailored remediation plan. If a student has not successfully filed a degree plan by the end of the Spring semester of the 2nd year, that student will be dismissed from the program for failure to make adequate progress.
11 9 Thesis Timeline: A student is expected to successfully propose the thesis prior to last day of the Fall semester of the 2 nd year. If a student has not successfully proposed the thesis by the end of the Spring semester 2 nd year, that student will be required to attend the first program meeting of the following fall semester to discuss their progress with the committee. If a student has not successfully proposed the thesis before the last day of the Fall semester of their 3 rd year, that student will be placed on probation for failure to make adequate progress with a tailored remediation plan. If a student has not successfully proposed the thesis by the end of the Spring semester 3 rd year, that student will be dismissed from the program for failure to make adequate progress. Students are expected to successfully defend the thesis before the last day of the Fall semester of the 3 rd year. If a student has not successfully defended the thesis prior to the end of the Spring semester of their 3 rd year, that student will be required to attend the last program meeting of that spring semester to discuss their progress with the committee. If a student has not successfully defended the thesis prior to the last day of the Fall semester of their 4 th year, that student will be placed on probation with a tailored remediation plan. If a student has not defended by the end of the Spring semester 4 th year, that student will be dismissed from the program for failure to make adequate progress. Comprehensive Exam Timeline: Students are expected to pass comps before the last day of the Fall semester of the 4 th year. If a student has not passed comps before the last day of the Fall semester of the 4 th year, that student will be required to attend the first program meeting of the following Spring semester to discuss their progress with the committee. If the student has not passed comps before the last day of the Fall semester of the 5 th year, they will be placed on probation. If a student has not successfully passed comps by the last day of the Spring semester of their 5 th year they will be dismissed from the program for failure to make adequate progress. Dissertation Timeline: Students are expected to propose their dissertation by the last day of the Spring semester of the 4 th year. If a student has not proposed by the end of the Spring semester 4 th year, that student will be required to attend the last program meeting of that Spring semester to discuss their progress with the committee. If a student has not proposed their dissertation prior to the last day of the Spring semester of the 5 th year, they will be placed on probation with a tailored remediation plan. If a student has not proposed their dissertation by the last day of the Fall semester of the 6 th year they will be dismissed from the program for failure to make adequate progress.
12 Students are expected to defend their dissertation by the last day of the Spring semester of the 5 th year. LEAVE OF ABSENCE Requests for a temporary leave of absence must be filed with the program committee in advance of the leave (See Department Graduate Manual and UNT Graduate Catalog for details). UNACCEPTABLE PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR In all aspects of training, student behaviors that are deemed as professionally problematic may result in program sanctions including dismissal from the program if such professionally problematic behaviors cannot be corrected and brought up to appropriate professional standards. If such professionally problematic behaviors are of such an extreme nature that they are in clear violation of ethical or legal standards they may result in immediate dismissal from the program. FACULTY-STUDENT CONFLICTS From time to time, professionals in academic, organizational, or health care settings encounter difficulties that arise in their relationships with other professionals. These sorts of problems also can occur in professional training relationships. Faculty and students strongly are encouraged to work out problems and difficulties with one another within their professional relationship. When the results of these efforts are unsatisfactory to either party, the difficulty may be brought to the program committee for resolution. Resolution begins with an advisory phase. During this phase, the student identifies to the program director (or department chair/ombudsperson if conflict is with the program director) a faculty member to serve on the advisory committee. The faculty member in conflict also identifies a faculty member to the program director (or department chair/ombudsperson) to serve on the advisory committee. These two appointees identify a third faculty member to the program director (or department chair/ombudsperson) to serve on the advisory committee and to chair the committee. This ad hoc committee is charged by the program director (or chair/ombudsperson) to meet with all parties in order to understand the conflict and determine a course of action to resolve the conflict. GRADE APPEALS The procedure for grade appeals is provided in the UNT Graduate School Catalogs. DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION, DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT The program cooperates with the Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities (cf. Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504, Rehabilitation Act). If you experience any problems in getting reasonable accommodations, please contact the UNT Psychology Department Liaison or the ODA. Also, the program complies with the University's policies concerning discrimination and sexual harassment. If you have any complaints please contact the UNT departmental chairperson or UNT Equal Opportunity Office. 10
13 11 NONDISCRIMATION Students/Faculty/Supervisors/The program does not condone or engage in discrimination against prospective or current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or any basis proscribed by law. FINANCIAL SUPPORT Financial support is available on a competitive basis through the Psychology Department via teaching and research assistantships as well as teaching fellowships. Further information regarding teaching appointments may be obtained from Dr. Vicki Campbell, Chair of the Psychology Department. Competitive scholarships/fellowships are also available through the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies.
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