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Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program in Psychology
Department of Psychology
Approved March 2013 by Graduate Executive Committee
The overall goal of the doctoral program in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ is to provide rigorous, high-level, and research-focused training to graduate students in one of four core sub-disciplines of Psychology. Upon completion of the Ph.D., students will be prepared for a variety of professional outcomes including advanced post-doctoral training, academic faculty positions, or applied/industry positions. Specific objectives for our program are instantiated by the following specific learning goals. Students’ progress towards meeting these learning goals are assessed bi-yearly through two related formats:
Format 1: Midyear student activity report (SAR). Midyear SARs are semi-structured instruments completed by graduate students in coordination with their advisors. Once a student and advisor have approved the final report it is submitted to the Graduate Program Director for review and filing. Any problems in a student’s SAR are “flagged” by advisors and if needed a meeting with the student, advisor, and Graduate Program Director is held to discuss and work towards a solution. Midyear SARs are completed at the close of a fall semester and submitted prior to the start of the spring semester.
Format 2: End-of-year SAR plus faculty review. End-of-year SARs follow the same format of the midyear SARs with some additions. End-of-year SARs are reviewed first by the Graduate Program Director and then in a meeting of the entire Psychology faculty. Problems noted in the SAR are discussed by the faculty as a whole and action steps for addressing problems are developed conjointly with all faculty. If needed a meeting with the student, advisor, and Graduate Program Director is held afterwards to discuss the outcome of the review meeting and work towards a solution. End-of-year SARs are completed at the close of a spring semester and submitted prior to the final faculty meeting of the spring semester (usually mid- to late May).
Learning Goal 1: Attain broad scholarship in five aspects of Psychology: Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Perception/Cognition; Neuroscience; and general experimental/statistical methodology.
Broad scholarship is hereby intended to mean the acquisition of general knowledge in a subdiscipline of psychology through the successful completion of graduate-level coursework emanating from our four training areas (i.e., core courses in Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Perception or Cognitive Psychology, and Neuroscience) and our foundational training sequence (i.e., Behavioral Science Research Design and Analysis, and Multivariate Methods in Psychology).
To assess Learning Goal 1, student evaluations include review of the following:
To assist students in meeting the objectives of Learning Goal 1 in a timely manner, the Graduate Program in Psychology will:
Learning Goal 2: Attain research expertise in one of four areas of Psychology: Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Perception/Cognition; Neuroscience;
Research expertise is intended to mean deep knowledge of the content areas, methods, theoretical traditions, and empirical literature within an area of psychology; it also refers to the acquisition of area-specific research skills including study design and implementation, measurement, statistical analysis, and writing.
To assess Learning Goal 2, student evaluations include review of the following:
To assist students in meeting the objectives of Learning Goal 2 in a timely manner, the Graduate Program in Psychology will:
Learning Goal 3: Develop teaching expertise in Psychology.
Teaching expertise in Psychology refers to the persistent skill of presenting academic material in Psychology in a manner that is appropriate to the audience being taught. Although training in teaching skills and pedagogy is not part of our doctoral curriculum we will strive to ensure that students receive an adequate level of exposure to a number of aspect relevant to the acquisition of good teaching skills.
To assess Learning Goal 3, student evaluations include review of the following:
To assist students in meeting the objectives of Learning Goal 3 in a timely manner, the Graduate Program in Psychology will:
Learning Goal 4: Entrance into the job market.
The purpose of a doctoral education is to secure meaningful employment that makes use of the skills and abilities developed and refined during the course of graduate training. We gauge our success in providing that training ultimately by the success of our graduates in obtaining such employment, whether it is in academic research or teaching, public service, the nonprofit sector, or private industry.
To assess Learning Goal 4, student exit interviews or surveys will be collected by the Graduate Program Director and, to the degree possible, records kept of successive positions of all graduates.
To assist students in meeting the objectives of Learning Goal 4 in a timely manner, the Graduate Program in Psychology will: