Departments & Programs

Department of Psychology
Graduate Programs
The department offers Purdue University Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree programs. At the M.S. level, programs are offered in industrial/organizational psychology and clinical psychology. At the Ph.D. level, programs are offered in clinical psychology and psychobiology of addictions.

M.S. Programs

Graduate training at the M.S. level is designed to provide students with theory and practice that will enable them to apply psychological techniques and findings in a subsequent job setting. Depending on the program, the M.S. degree may be completed on a full- or part-time basis and normally takes two or three years to finish. Depending on the case, a minimum of 36 credit hours is required, including departmental core, area core, and elective courses.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

This emphasis is designed to prepare individuals for positions in industry or for entry into an industrial/ organizational doctoral Program. Students are familiarized with the scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes both research and the application of problem-solving skills to organizational problems. Students in the Program are taught analytic methods for diagnosing work-related problems, developing solutions, and evaluating the effectiveness of those solutions. While the primary focus of the curriculum is on the traditional personnel psychology areas of selection, training, compensation, and performance evaluation, students also learn about topics such as decision-making, motivation, leadership, and organizational effectiveness.

Clinical Psychology

This Program is designed to prepare students in the science of clinical psychology. The Program is intended for individuals who plan to enter or continue careers or education in the behavioral sciences, health, or rehabilitation fields upon completion of the M.S. degree. The Program’s focus upon core skills and methods would be particularly suitable for those students who plan to pursue the Ph.D. degree following completion of the M.S., or for students who have an interest in jobs in health care settings that involve research design and collection and analysis of data. A core set of courses introduces the methods and basic skills of clinical psychology, including courses in counseling and psychological assessment. The curriculum is flexible and designed to be individually tailored by selection of elective courses and practicum experiences. Graduation requires the completion of a minimum of 36 hours of graduate course work, including the required core, electives, and at least two practicum placements. The Program does not require a thesis, although students who have research interests are encouraged to pursue a faculty mentor relationship and a thesis option.

Ph.D. Programs

Clinical Psychology

Using a scientist-practitioner model, the Program is designed to integrate the assessment and intervention strategies of empirically-based clinical psychology with rehabilitation: community psychology's emphasis on optimizing the adaptation of persons with psychiatric conditions and health psychology's emphasis on understanding factors impacting the prevention, development, treatment and maintenance of health and mental health conditions. As researchers, we study behaviors, experiences, and attitudes of persons with disabilities and illness, develop and assess theoretical models that attempt to understand how behavior, health, and illness interact, and develop and evaluate treatment approaches and their effectiveness. As practitioners, we assess individuals and their environments, plan and implement interventions, and monitor the success of their work. The Program emphasizes the acquisition of the methods, theories, and knowledge of behavioral science along with the practitioner skills of clinical psychology. As a Program, we offer specialization training in two areas within clinical psychology: psychiatric services and health psychology. Within both areas there is a strong emphasis on research. The range of populations subsumed is broad and includes such populations as persons with traumatic injuries, sever and persistent mental illness, chronic heart disease, cancer, ad addictions.

The Program subscribes to a scientist-practitioner model of clinical training, with an emphasis on clinical science. As such, individuals seeking strong research training, in conjunction with empirically-based practicum experiences, would be the most desirable students for the Program.

Graduates of the Program will be qualified to assume positions as academicians, evaluators, researchers, trainers, planners, consultants, and direct-service providers. The Program emphasizes rigorous academic training, which is combined with practical application in a wide variety of clinical centers in Indianapolis and elsewhere. Full-time study and a minimum of 90 credit hours (post-baccalaureate) are required, and it is expected that it will take five years to complete the Program. The Program includes a diverse training in psychology, including a psychology core, statistics and measurement, clinical psychology, internships and practica, and an empirical thesis and doctoral dissertation. Clinical specialty courses in Health Psychology and Psychiatric Rehabilitation are offered. A course in ethics is also required.

Psychobiology of Addictions

This Program is designed to promote a comprehensive understanding of the neurobiological bases of behavior, with an emphasis on the behavioral and neurobiological aspects of drugs of abuse and addictive behaviors. General goals of the Program are to develop knowledge and expertise in the neurobiological mechanisms of behavior, develop skills in applying methods of behavioral neuroscience research to the problems of alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, and train competence in communication and teaching of knowledge and research skills. Students will obtain broad training in the combined disciplines of the neurosciences (e.g., behavioral and developmental neuroscience, psychopharmacology, neurobiology) and the behavioral sciences (e.g., experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, learning, experimental design and analysis, and animal models of drug abuse and addiction). The psychobiology of addictions program is an IUPUI program that is administered through the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue, West Lafayette. Students take courses at IUPUI, but must meet all Purdue requirements and have a Purdue faculty member on their Ph.D. preliminary and final examination committees. A minimum of 85 credit hours (post-baccalaureate) are required, plus approval of the plan of study by the student’s advisory committee. The Program intends to train students seeking careers in teaching and/or research in academic environments, medical institutions, pharmaceutical firms, and governmental agencies.

Financial Support

Financial support for eligible graduate students at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels is available through teaching and research assistantships, tuition stipends, and fellowships. Full assistantships require a minimum of 20 hours of work per week and include at least partial tuition remission in addition to salary.

Admission Requirements

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Undergraduate training in psychology, mathematics, and the sciences is highly desirable, though not required. Applicants should have had at least one undergraduate course in statistics, and one in tests and measurements is also advantageous. To be considered for admission without probation, applicants must obtain (a) a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing, (b) a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, (c) competitve GRE scores, and (d) three favorable letters of recommendation. The student who does not meet the above standards, but shows potential for graduate studies, could be recommended for conditional admission.

Clinical Psychology

Undergraduate training in psychology, mathematics, and the physical sciences is highly desirable, though not required.

Except in unusual circumstances, students admitted to the Program are expected to complete at least 15 credit hours in psychology. Although there are no specific undergraduate course prerequisites for Program entry, students without coursework in the following areas will likely be at a disadvantage when taking some of the required courses: (1) tests and measurement, (2) statistics, (3) human physiology or physiological psychology, and (4) abnormal psychology. Students without preparation in these areas may be asked by their instructors to complete some remedial activity prior to enrolling in the graduate course (e.g., reading an undergraduate text or taking an undergraduate course).

Students may apply directly to the Ph.D. Program or to the terminal M.S. Program (or both simultaneously). For an applicant to be considered for admission to the M.S. Program, the applicant must obtain (a) a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing, (b) a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, (c) competitive GRE scores and (d) three favorable letters of recommendation.

The Ph.D. Program seeks talented and motivated persons who have an interest in clinical health psychology and psychiatric rehabilitation and who have the potential to make creative contributions as clinical psychologists. Admission to the Ph.D. Program is competitive and only under unusual circumstances will students be considered for admission if they fail to meet the following minimum standards: (a) an undergraduate and graduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale, (b) competitive GRE scores, (c) three favorable letters of recommendation, and (d) a personal statement expressing an interest in the field of clinical psychology. Prior clinical and research experience is recommended, but not required for admission. Applicants are also required to take the GRE Advanced Test in Psychology.

Psychobiology of Addictions

This Ph.D. Program is designed for individuals interested in academic or research careers studying the psychobiology of addictive behaviors and drugs of abuse. Successful applicants typically have (a) an undergraduate and graduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale, (b) competitive GRE scores, (c) three favorable letters of recommendation, and (d) a personal statement expressing an interest in the psychobiology of addictions. Students with undergraduate degrees in psychology or the life sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, neuroscience) are encouraged to apply.

Admission Information

Students are admitted only for fall enrollment, and the deadline for receipt of application materials is specific to each graduate program:

  • December 1 - Clinical (Ph.D.)
  • January 1 - Psychobiology of Addictions (Ph.D.)
  • February 1 - Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.S.)
  • March 15 - Clinical (M.S.)

Students interested in information about admission to graduate programs in psychology should email directly to the graduate program coordinator at, phone (317) 274-6945, or visit the Psychology Department webpage at

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred into the M.S. program, and a maximum of 36 credit hours can be transferred into the Ph.D. program. Transfer hours will be accepted only if they are appropriate and judged acceptable by the student’s plan-of-study committee.

Temporary Student Status

A student may enroll in some graduate courses without formal admission into a Psychology graduate program; however, they must be admitted by the IUPUI Graduate Office into the Graduate Non-Degree Program. No more than 12 hours of credit may be applied to an advanced degree program if an individual is later admitted as a regular graduate student. However, if an application to a regular degree program is approved during the session in which a person is enrolled for the 12th credit hour as a non-degree registrant, then all credits taken before and during that term will be eligible for inclusion in a plan of study for a degree program. For inclusion, the courses must be appropriate to the degree program and acceptable to the department and the graduate school. No course in which a grade of less than B (e.g., B-) has been received will be permitted in a plan of study if the course was taken while the student was enrolled as a non-degree registrant. Non-degree registrants may be required to secure consent from each of the departments in which they would like to register for courses

Research Facilities

The Department of Psychology has extensive laboratory and computer facilities to support faculty and student research. More than 8,000 square feet of laboratory space in the School of Science complex is devoted to psychological research in the areas of clinical psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, life span development, and cognition. Separate animal quarters and modern laboratories are also available to support research in psychobiology. Computer support includes computer clusters and networks within the department, as well as access to a variety of software packages. Internship and practicum sites are available at the Indiana University Medical Center and with numerous other organizations in metropolitan Indianapolis.

Research Interests of Faculty

Major research interests of faculty include social psychology, biofeedback, industrial/organizational psychology, measurement theory and development, program planning and evaluation, clinical psychology, health psychology, psychiatric rehabilitation, behavioral and psychopharmacology, developmental psychobiology, behavioral genetics, cognitive developmental psychology, animal cognition, and student/faculty performance. A current and more detailed listing of faculty research interests is available from the department.