The Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech offers graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. in three areas: Clinical Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Developmental and Biological Psychology. Students earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in psychology en route to the Ph.D., but the Department does not offer a terminal M.S. degree in any area. Applications from students with either bachelors or advanced degrees are welcomed. Although the graduate curriculum is organized into three specialty areas, all share the same philosophy: to assure that all graduate students are provided with the conceptual, quantitative, and methodological skills necessary to solve theoretical and applied problems.
The Clinical Psychology program is a doctoral program in the Department of Psychology. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science Programs. Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002; Phone: (202) 336-5679; E-mail: email@example.com; web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation. The major aim of the program is to develop clinical scientists who will improve our nation's mental and physical health. Graduates will achieve this mission through research and evidence based careers directed toward the enhancement of mental and physical health and the prevention and treatment of mental and physical health problems. Program graduates will pursue careers in a variety of professional settings including universities, medical schools, health care delivery systems, and businesses and industries.
The program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology trains industrial/organizational psychologists within a scientist-practitioner model. Training in this program emphasizes a theoretical and quantitative approach to solving problems in business and industry. Our program emphasizes a strong background in psychological theories and principles, the development of sound research, problem-solving and quantitative skills, and the opportunity to apply these skills and knowledge to solving problems in the "real world." Thus, it prepares students for teaching, research, and consultation in either the private or public sector.
The program in Developmental and Biological Psychology trains research-oriented experimental psychologists using the mentorship model. This program is designed to provide graduate students with (a) a broad theoretical and empirical understanding of the main areas of experimental psychology, (b) expertise in specific areas of the students' research interests, and (c) strong training in diverse philosophical, design, and quantitative aspects of research. We offer training from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, psychophysiology, and neuropsychology. The Ph.D. program of study is tailored to the interests of the individual student. Students also gain expertise as teachers in the university classroom. The primary mission of the program is to develop strong experimental researchers who will pursue careers in a variety of academic and non-academic settings.
Because entry-level graduate students come from diverse academic backgrounds, our graduate program provides a common foundation while also allowing individualized coursework. The department core curriculum provides training in research methods and statistics, the depth curriculum ensures rigorous training within a student’s specified area of expertise, and the department breadth curriculum facilitates broader training in the more specialized areas of the doctoral graduate programs.
Core curriculum: At least three quantitative and research methods courses
Depth curriculum: At least three graduate-level courses within the student’s research concentration area that deepen her or his understanding of the theories, methodologies, and existing literatures pertaining to her or his defined area of interest. Students should consult their advisory committee and program-specific information described below in selecting their “depth” courses.
Breadth curriculum: At least three graduate-level courses outside of the student's research concentration (including but not limited to the Department of Psychology), designed to educate students in domains of study that complement their research interests, and expand students' general knowledge of the field at large. Students should consult their advisory committee and program-specific information described below in selecting their “breadth” courses.
Additional coursework: Each of the department’s three programs specifies additional course requirements that are specific to the program, described below.
Williams Hall is the on-campus home of the Department of Psychology, housing faculty and student offices, research labs, and classrooms. In addition, the department's off-campus Psychological Services Center and Child Study Center provide the foundation for practicum and research training and offer direct clinical services to children, adults, and families.
Additional department resources include three state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated to undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. The psychophysiological laboratory includes computer workstations, EEG/Evoked Potential workstations (including Neuroscan, Coulbourn, and BioPAC equipment), visual acuity and tracking equipment, as well as extensive perception equipment. The psychophysiology laboratory also houses the department's STISIM Drive™ fully-interactive driving simulator.
The department also maintains a computer lab with 20 Dell Optiplex workstations for technology-assisted teaching and research with neurophysiological and cognitive experimental software, statistical analysis software, and data management programs.
The newly-opened dedicated-research computer laboratory includes 12 Dell Optiplex workstations with capabilities for running a variety of customized research software.
Students are admitted only in the Fall semester of each academic year and are expected to attend full-time. Applicants with either Bachelors or more advanced degrees are welcome. All admissions are for the doctoral programs leading to the PhD. We do not offer terminal MS programs, although students earn an MS en route to the Ph.D.
Admission to the program is competitive and based on the following:
There are no strict cutoffs for acceptable grade point averages (GPAs) or GRE scores, but competitive applicants typically have GPAs above 3.2 and GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores that each are at or above the 60th percentile. Other scholarly accomplishments, particularly research experience, are desirable and may offset lower GPAs or GRE scores.
Most students are offered funding in the form of teaching or research assistantships or fellowships. Offers vary but typically carry a monthly stipend and a waiver of all or a portion of tuition. More specific information is not available until offers of admission are made each Spring because new grants are always being received and financial conditions change.
To ensure timely review of your application please follow these three steps:
You may scan a copy of your official paper or electronic transcript provided to you from your institution’s Registrar. Do NOT upload your institution's web-based academic record or a document stating it is not an official transcript. Make sure that all critical and identifying marks have been scanned and are legible. These include the institution's name, your name, the names of your courses and the grades you have received. It is important that you scan both the front and back of your transcript as we will need to be able to review the information provided on the back of your transcript concerning credit hours, the institution's grading scale, etc. Please ensure that your file is in Word (.doc) or PDF format. If you encounter issues with uploading your transcripts in your online application please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The process of uploading transcripts is intended to eliminate the need for you to mail in your transcripts, as all departments will be able to review your application based on your uploaded transcripts. If you are offered admission, you will be required to provide an official copy of your transcript(s) upon the awarding of your degree and its posting to your transcript prior to your enrollment at Virginia Tech.
The Department of Psychology Address is:
Graduate Application Coordinator
Department of Psychology
109 Williams Hall
Virginia Tech (0436)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of race,
color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, national origin, religion, or political
affiliation. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Equal
Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office.
For full consideration, all application materials must be received by:
Applications are reviewed following the respective deadlines and offers of admission are typically made during the spring for the following fall.