I'm interested in a career in clinical psychology (or a related field). Does your program offer clinical training, OR does your program prepare me for clinical licensing? No. The Department of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University has a training emphasis in Experimental Psychology. Our program specifically concentrates on the experimental aspects of Psychology. Our masters program DOES offer training in general experimental Psychology that may be valuable in clinical training programs if a student plans on applying to a clinical Ph.D. program. Our main graduate web page has links to various clinical training programs in Florida.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in Psychology to be accepted in your program? No. Although an undergraduate degree in Psychology is recommended we have various students who have obtained degrees in other disciplines. If you do not have an undergraduate degree in Psychology we DO recommend that applicants take the core undergraduate courses that are required for our Psychology undergraduates. This includes General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychobiology, Experimental Methods and Design, and Statistics. These courses should prepare a non-major for our 1st year graduate level work.
I work full time; Can I enter the M.A. or Ph.D. program as a part-time student? We do not usually accept part-time students. Our training program assumes that students will have the ability to be on campus at least 40 hours per week between the hours of 9 AM to 5 PM. The reason for this is that we do not offer night courses or weekend courses. Thus, it is it would be very difficulty for part-time students to complete degree work in a timely basis. Moreover, M.A. students are expected to complete the degree work in 2 years with a 9 semester hour course load every semester. Ph.D. students are expected to complete degree work in 4-5 years with a 9 semester hour course load and a teaching assistantship workload of 20 hours per week. Course work and teaching assistantship workloads are attendant to the student's research that is performed as a part of the degree work.
I am interested in the graduate psychology program and I have a B.A./B.S. degree in another major. I noticed there are no graduate admissions in the Spring. Are there classes that I could take in the Spring Semester that will give me preparation for graduate course or will count toward a M.A./ Ph.D degree? This is a two-part question. First, we recommend that students who are not majors in Psychology take our cognate undergraduate course work as outlined in #2 above. Second, undergraduate courses do not usually transfer into the Masters or Ph.D. curriculum. There are sometimes exceptions, but usually not. For instance; A student who wishes to major in Psychobiology may take an advanced undergraduate chemistry course to prepare for their research. All course work used for either a M.A. or Ph.D. degree must be approved by the student's supervisory committee (see our graduate policy), and the student does not establish the committee until accepted in the program. Thus, it is wise to WAIT until accepted into our program to take courses. This applies to both undergraduate courses as well as graduate-level courses that may be taken at an NDS status (see #6 below).
What are the most important factors that influence admission to the graduate program? At least 3 major factors are taken into consideration. First, the applicant's GRE/GPA scores play an initial role in the selection of candidates that meet our departmental entrance criterion. Second, a faculty member must nominate the applicant for acceptance into our program after review of the applicant's file. Our training program is mentor-based, meaning that students must perform research in a faculty member's lab as a part of the M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. Because faculty have limitations in their ability to train students, the number of admissions into a particular lab varies from year to year. Therefore, specific faculty members do not usually accept new students every year. Finally, in terms of Ph.D. admissions, the level of state funding for Ph.D. students strictly dictates how many applicants are accepted. The department commits to 5 years of teaching assistantship support for Ph.D. students, and we expect that all Ph.D. students will receive state assistantships. The total budgetary allowance for TA support varies from year to year.
I was not admitted into the graduate training program this year. Can I enroll for graduate courses as a "non-degree-seeking" (NDS) student? Many applicants attempt to enroll in graduate courses in the hopes of increasing their chances of acceptance in subsequent years. Although enrollment in graduate courses may allow the applicant to meet and interact with potential professors, there are several problems related to NDS enrollment. First, NDS enrollment must be approved by the professor of the graduate-level course -- many professors do not allow NDS students in their courses. Second, if NDS enrollment is approved, the student's performance will be evaluated relative to other graduate students--It is important to remember that the class cohorts may be upper division graduate students with many hours of experience in the course material. Lastly, according to FAU policy, only 10 hours of upper level course work taken by a NDS student may be applied to the graduate degree (if admitted).
I am interested in obtaining some additional information concerning the areas of interest of the faculty. How can I obtain this information? You can find this information by following the links to the faculty pages. These pages will provide all the information you should need.
Does the Department of Psychology require the GRE subject area test scores in addition to the other Q/V GRE scores? We do not require the subject area scores BUT we do evaluate these results when considering the overall applicant's strengths. REMEMBER that we are evaluating the applicant's POTENTIAL TO SUCCEED IN PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE TRAINING. Any information that an applicant provides in support of the above will greatly assist the selection committee.
I've taken graduate-level courses elsewhere. If I am admitted into your program will these course credits transfer to your graduate program? Maybe...Maybe not...All course work used for either a M.A. or Ph.D. degree must be approved by the student's supervisory committee (see our graduate policy), and the student does not establish the supervisory committee until accepted in the program. Therefore, the student must wait until accepted into our program to request that previous graduate course credit be applied to their Program of Study. The supervisory committee will then make a determination on the courses taken elsewhere. The Program of Study is the formal list of courses that will be taken to partially satisfy the requirements of the graduate degree.
What financial support is available to graduate students? Ph.D. students receive a Teaching Assistantship (T.A.) for a period of five years. There is no guaranteed support for M.A. students, although T.A. positions may sometimes be available for "graders", and faculty advisors may support either Ph.D. or M.A. students from research grant funds. University policy DOES NOT currently prohibit a student from securing outside employment while in the graduate program, however, such employment usually must be after 5:00 PM because of the graduate course schedules.
How many students are admitted into your program per year? In actuality, the amount of T.A. funds provided by the State of Florida to our department for T.A. positions strictly determines how many new Ph.D. students will be admitted in any given year. Also, as Ph.D. students graduate, this creates new training positions within the constraints of T.A. funding requirements and faculty availability. In recent years we have usually admitted between 3 and 8 Ph.D. students per year. M.A. students are admitted according to the demands and capability of our faculty. Admission of M.A. students is not constrained by funding, but it is constrained by the availability of faculty members to train students. In recent years we have usually admitted between 4-6 M.A. students.
I received a letter indicating that I was not accepted in the Ph.D. problem because of the lack of T.A. funds. I do not require funding--Can I be admitted without funding? Not at the present time. We have had a long-standing departmental policy of admitting Ph.D. students at the level of state/university T.A. funding. We believe that admissions not supported by state/university funds will undermine the levels of financial support provided by the state/university.