group photo of students in the Cognitive Science concentration

Concentration in Experimental Psychology


The concentration in experimental psychology is designed for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in various areas of research psychology with an emphasis on basic science such as cognitive psychology, sensation and perception, learning theory, and behavioral neuroscience. It also provides a foundation for work in applied settings such as in the federal government.


Experimental psychology is the area of psychology that utilizes experimental methodology in the science of behavior and mental processes. It is an umbrella term that encompasses the efforts of researchers in several areas of psychology, including biological, perceptual, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology. Experimental psychologists seek to identify and understand the structures and processes that underlie behavior, and examine topics such as vision, audition, attention, performance, learning, memory, language, problem solving, reasoning, and decision making. Students will work throughout their two years on course work, scholarly studies, and research in their mentor's specific area of experimental psychology. Students may also gain valuable experience as a teaching assistant (e.g., experimental methods) or in comparative approaches to research.

Program Curriculum (36 credit hours)

Information on required courses for the program: course titles and credit hours.
Methodology and Research Core (15 credit hours) Credit Hours
PSYC 605. Intermediate Inferential Statistics 3
PSYC 608 - Multivariate Statistical Methods in Psychology 3
PSYC 700 - Thesis 6
PSYC 602 - Psychological Research Methods or another methods-related elective (e.g., Psyc 606, 805, 836, 840) approved by adviser 3
Content Courses (9 credit hours chosen from the following and approved by adviser)
PSYC 610 - Applied Behavior Analysis 3
PSYC 613 - Cognitive Science 3
PSYC 616 - Social Psychology 3
PSYC 624 - Neuroscience 3
PSYC 625 - Human Neuropsychology 3
PSYC 628 - Introduction to Psychopharmacology 3
PSYC 690 - Experimental Analysis of Behavior 3
Concentration and Elective Courses (12 credit hours)
Any additional content course listed above 3
PSYC 601 - Special Topics 3
PSYC 604 - Data Management and Analysis 3
PSYC 606 - Measurement Theory 3
PSYC 805 - Single Case Experimentation 3
BIO 504 - Evolution 3
BIO 550 - Neurobiology 3
CSD 523 - Psychoacoustics 3
Other courses as approved by adviser 3
Total Credit Hours: 36

Other experiences

In addition to course work and other requirements of the psychological sciences program (e.g., Apprenticeship, Research Roundtable), students participate in a monthly concentration meeting where faculty and students discuss published research and professional issues related to the various topics in experimental psychology.