Psychology Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree
The Ph.D. Degree offers students the opportunity to gain research experience and training in their area of interest. Students engage in research with faculty advisors and develop and conduct their own research projects. The Ph.D. Degree is appropriate for those students seeking academic or research positions, as well as those interested in working in the mental health or medical field.
1. General Requirements
The Ph.D. degree program typically takes between 2-4 years past the M.A. degree to complete.
- For clinical psychology students there is an internship requirement.
2. Coursework Requirements
The following provides a guideline of the Ph.D. coursework requirements:
I. Foundation Courses
For Ph.D. candidates, completion of one additional Psychology Foundation Area course is required
- Cognitive: PSY 626, PSY 631
- Behavioral Neuroscience: PSY 622, PSY 633, PSY 634
- Developmental: PSY 640
- Social: PSY 650
- Clinical: PSY 670, PSY 676, PSY 776
- Community and Cultural Psychology: PSY 680
II. Research Methodology/Statistics
- One additional three (3) credit course in statistics or psychometrics.
III. Research Courses (7x9, 699)
- Students are expected to enroll in research courses each semester throughout their graduate training.
- 7x9 is the preferred vehicle for research credits.
V. Dissertation (PSY 800)
- Students must enroll in a minimum of 1–credit hour of dissertation credit during the semester they defend and submit their dissertation.
IV. Concentration Requirements
- Final coursework requirements will vary among graduate concentration.
- Be sure to consult the individual concentrations for any additional coursework guidelines.
3. Milestones of the Ph.D. Program
The following offers an overview of the process for obtaining a Ph.D. degree:
I. Preliminary Conference
- Formulation of degree plan with faculty advisor.
II. Comprehensive Exams
- All Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive exam.
- As procedures for comprehensive exams will vary by graduate concentration, be sure to consult the individual concentrations for comprehensive exam guidelines.
- Upon completion of the comprehensive exam the student may begin work on the doctoral dissertation.
III. The Doctoral Dissertation
- All Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete a Doctoral Dissertation.
III. Appointment of Doctoral Committee and Approval of Dissertation Topic
- The doctoral (dissertation) committee consists of at least five members, at least three of whom are members of the core psychology faculty (non-emeritus faculty who hold tenure-track or tenured faculty positions at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and whose primary departmental affiliation is with the Department of Psychology), and one of whom is a member of the Graduate Faculty from a department other than Psychology.
- The student submits a written proposal to doctoral committee members. An oral defense of the dissertation proposal is subsequently held.
- After successfully defending the proposal, the student submits Doctorate Form II: Advancement to Candidacy (available online) (signed by the members of the dissertation committee) to the Graduate Chair, who signs it and transmits it to Graduate Division.
- The dissertation proposal must be approved and Form II submitted prior to the semester in which the student plans to register for PSY 800 (dissertation).
IV. Dissertation Writing and Oral Defense
- Students must submit a dissertation draft to all doctoral committee members, which is subject to revisions.
- Upon completion of dissertation revisions, an oral defense of the dissertation is held.
- After the dissertation is approved by the student’s doctoral committee, the student must then submit a Doctorate Form III - Dissertation Evaluation (available online) to the Chair of Graduate Studies.
VI. Completion of Graduate Division Requirements
- Students must submit of final copy of the dissertation to Graduate Division. Students must also submit a Doctorate Form IV - Dissertation Submission (available online) with their final copy of the dissertation.
- Note: The deadline for dissertation submission varies slightly each semester and is given in the academic calendar of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
- Students must complete an application for diploma and pay associated administrative fees.