Experimental Psychology, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology at Washington State University is among the oldest in the West. The program has an established reputation for producing well-trained psychologists who contribute to basic and applied experimental psychology in academia, government service, and private industry. See also,

Program design and study

The program is designed to produce highly skilled experimental psychologists with specialized training in one of five areas: (1) Behavior Analysis; (2) Cognition (3) Biological-Psychology; (4) Sensation and Perception; and (4) Social/Organizational Psychology. Graduates are expected to be highly knowledgeable of their specialty area, have a strong background in general psychology, and be knowledgeable of a wide variety of strategies for generating and testing hypotheses. Each graduate will leave Washington State University Vancouver well equipped to become a productive member of the professional community.

The program is designed to be completed within five years, for students entering without a master’s degree. The program of study is designed around the interests and career objectives of the student, whether such interests are in academic or applied experimental psychology. The program includes required coursework, an M.A. thesis or its equivalent, a written general examination and a doctoral dissertation. In addition, experimental students are expected to be involved in research activity under the direction of a faculty member throughout their enrollment in the program.


The program admits students based on a careful assessment of their potential as psychologists, without regard to race, sex or creed. An admissions committee reviews all applications and makes admissions recommendations to the experimental psychology faculty, who make final decisions regarding admissions into the program. Every effort is made to evaluate each applicant individually; if you have special skills or qualifications that you feel strengthen your application, please tell us about them.

The application deadline for the graduate program in experimental psychology is December 1– you must start the program in the fall.

All experimental psychology graduate students are fully funded during their first year of study. In subsequent years, full support is contingent upon sufficient progress toward completion of the degree as judged by the experimental psychology faculty and continued availability of funding to the department. The most common forms of support are teaching and research assistantships. Other forms of support include predoctoral fellowships and work-study stipends within the Psychology Department and in other programs in the university. Special funding sometimes is available for qualified minorities.

The experimental psychology program welcomes applications from all students who feel qualified.

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