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programinformation

The Department of Psychology offers an integrated course of studies leading to the Ph.D. in psychology with specialization in quantitative psychology. Students are trained for faculty positions in colleges and universities, and for research positions in educational, governmental, and commercial organizations.

The program of graduate studies involves some common courses during the first and second years, and a number of psychology courses both within and outside of the quantitative program during the second, third, and possibly fourth years. Students are also encouraged to develop interest in a substantive area of psychology and also to complete a formal minor in mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, computer science, or in another related area. The training program is designed to provide students with increasing flexibility in the choice of courses as they become more knowledgeable in quantitative psychology. Every attempt is made to accommodate each student’s interests and abilities in the program and also to restructure the program for individuals as appropriate.

The faculty of the program engage in research in a variety of methodological and substantive areas, with some of this research supported by grants from agencies outside of the University. Students in the program become involved in these research activities, at least with their advisor, and often with other faculty in the program. Students are often supported financially as research assistants. This activity often generates data and problems that are suitable material for thesis and dissertation research. Research is currently underway in areas such as item response theory, evaluation of educational achievement, methods for analysis of change, methods for analysis of the structure of correlational and multilevel data, program evaluation, and applications to substantive issues in clinical, developmental, and social psychology.

The graduate training program is housed in the L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory, which is located in the Psychology Department. Our computing facilities are extensive. Systems are available for the conduct of online experiments, for data analysis, and for developing new data-analytic procedures. In addition, networks provide access to the larger computing systems maintained by UNC Academic Technology and Networks, and to the Internet.

It is expected that students will be supported during their tenure in the program, financially and in other ways. Support is contingent on the student showing satisfactory progress as measured by certain milestones. The Department of Psychology has a long tradition of recognizing and fostering scientific and professional talent in individuals without regard to their sex, age, religious affiliation, physical status, or racial, ethnic, and national background. In compliance with University policy, we are pleased to reaffirm this stand.