Southam-Gerow, Dr. Michael
Director, Graduate Programs in Psychology
Porter, Dr. Joseph
Director, Biopsychology Division
Myers, Dr. Barbara
Director, Developmental Psychology Division
Green, Dr. Jeff
Director, Social Psychology Division
Admission requirements summary
Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Jan 10 (biopsychology, developmental psychology)
Dec 15 (social psychology)
Applicants should apply to the Ph.D. program only, but will earn a master’s degree during their course of study. Applicants who are interested in only the terminal master’s degree are not admitted.
Please indicate your interest in biopsychology, developmental psychology or social psychology in your application.
Websites – biopsychology: www.psychology.vcu.edu/biopsychology; developmental psychology: www.psychology.vcu.edu/developmental; social psychology: www.psychology.vcu.edu/social
Personal interview may be required.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology offered by Virginia Commonwealth University prepares students for basic or applied research and includes three specialty areas: biopsychology, developmental and social psychology. The concentration in developmental trains students for work in either college or university academic departments or applied settings. Applied developmentalists work in a variety of settings and programs (violence prevention, community intervention, schools, family service agencies, nonprofit agencies, health care settings, disability agencies) with a variety of human populations (infants and young children, school-age children, adolescents, at-risk youth, incarcerated youth and adults, parents, older adults, persons with disabilities); they do not offer counseling/therapy services.
The Center for Psychological Services and Development, a campus-based community service agency operated by the department, provides training opportunities for graduate students in all departmental programs. A wide variety of other on- and off-campus practicum placements also are available.
The department maintains laboratory facilities for research in the areas of behavioral assessment, behavioral medicine, developmental, learning, behavioral pharmacology, psychophysiology, psychotherapy process, social perception, social influence and group dynamics. Opportunities for field research also are available in a variety of settings. A collection of current journals and books in psychology is housed in the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and in the Tompkins-McCaw Library on the MCV Campus.
Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and paid practicum placements are available.
Student learning outcomes for a concentration in biopsychology
- Students will acquire an accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of biopsychological concepts, principles and findings in the key domains of the field, including physiology, learning and memory, and current neuroscience principles.
- Students will develop the intellectual skills required to generate theories, do research, communicate ideas and information to others, evaluate conclusions statistically, locate the information needed for these intellectual pursuits and prepare scientific reports.
- Students will strive to expand the conceptual and empirical foundations of the field by conducting original research utilizing sound research methodologies. The results of these studies are presented at scientific conferences and published in scientific journals. This research is, in some cases, supported by extramural grants to biopsychology faculty or students.
Student learning outcomes for a concentration in developmental psychology
- Students will demonstrate their understanding of the models, theories and processes of developmental psychology; the biological, cognitive, social and cultural underpinnings of human development; processes of normative developmental change across the lifespan; atypical development as found in psychopathology and disabilities; and community applications of developmental science.
- Students will use scientifically sound research methodologies, univariate and multivariate statistics, and ethical practices in their conduct of research.
- Students will adhere to the highest standards of ethics in their research, teaching and applied practice. Students will follow standards set by the university, the American Psychological Association and the Society for Research in Child Development.
Student learning outcomes for a concentration in social psychology
- Students will achieve competency in their knowledge of all basic areas of the field, including social psychology, psychobiology, learning/cognition and statistics/research.
- Students will have learned all the basic principles, theories and findings of the field of social psychology, including social thought and cognition, group processes and personality and individual differences.
- Students will have the intellectual skills required to generate theories, do research, communicate ideas and information to others, evaluate conclusions statistically, locate the information needed for these intellectual pursuits and prepare scientific reports.