Southam-Gerow, Dr. Michael
Director, Graduate Programs in Psychology
Benotsch, Dr. Eric
Director, Health Psychology Program
Health Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
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.
Personal interview may be required.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Health Psychology offered by Virginia Commonwealth University is an experimentally oriented program that is designed to train students to contribute to our knowledge of psychological contributions to health and illness via training in basic and clinical research. Students completing the Ph.D. in Health Psychology will not be eligible for licensure. Research in health psychology examines the causes and development of illness, methods to help individuals develop healthy lifestyles to promote good health and prevent illness, the treatment individuals receive for their medical problems, the effectiveness with which individuals cope with and reduce stress and pain, biopsychosocial connections with immune functioning, and factors in the recovery, rehabilitation and psychosocial adjustment of patients with serious health problems. Thus, graduates from the Ph.D. program in Health Psychology are prepared for work in a range of settings including colleges and universities, medical centers, research centers, nonprofit agencies, and local, state and national government.
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 and research assistantships are available.