Students are expected to take coursework, participate in seminars, assist faculty in on-going research, develop independent research skills, and gain teaching experience and expertise.
The program is designed so that the requirements can be completed in four years, though some students may take five years or longer to complete their individual program of study.
The program is designed to concentrate coursework during the first three years of study, leading to the qualifying exam. Upon successfully passing the qualifying exam, students are admitted to doctoral candidacy, where course demands are minimal.
Many students spend their first year in the program initiating independent research. This research is designed to lead to a Master of Arts (MA) degree during the student's second year, following their thesis research and a successful thesis defense. Completion of a Master's degree is not required but strongly encouraged. Upon successful completion of required coursework, third-year students are eligible to apply for doctoral candidacy.
Currently, the program has 23 full-time students, and we expect future enrollment to increase. There are 18 core and 11 auxiliary faculty from Psychology, Biomedical Studies, Neuroscience, Nursing, Medicine, and Statistics.
Research interests vary widely. Many of the faculty have behavioral interests, including animal learning, personality and impulsive/aggressive behavior, and memory and cognition. Others have interests in the more molecular aspects of neuroscience, such as psychopharmacology, electroencephalography, and teratology. Finally, many faculty have overlapping interests, and collaborative research among different faculty laboratories is common.
Though admission decisions and funding decisions are considered separately, most students receive full support (see financial support page for specific details). This funding support is granted for one year, with no guarantee of future funding (continued funding is based on availability of resources and academic standing). However, a student in good standing can reasonably expect full funding support for the duration of a reasonable (e.g., 5-year) term of study.
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has been a leader on the Baylor University campus with respect to capitalizing on new teaching technologies. Therefore, our classrooms are equipped with state of the art multimedia teaching resources. Continuing our commitment to quality resources, Baylor University completed the construction of a new science building, valued in excess of $100 million dollars, in June of 2004. This facility has state of the art classrooms, laboratories, and animal care facilities. Our commitment to outstanding pedagogical skills is also reflected by the fact that a substantial part of the Ph.D. Program in Psychology at Baylor University is built around exploiting these new teaching resources through formal instruction and hands-on teaching.
Students seeking a terminal Master's Degree are not admitted as our program only admits students who are intent on pursuing the Ph.D. However, as previously stated, students are encouraged to earn their Master of Arts (MA) degree in Psychology by proposing, completing, and defending a Thesis, usually in their 2nd or 3rd year of study. Finally, occasionally students admitted to the Doctoral Program leave before completing all of the work required for the Ph.D. In those exceptional cases, students may be given the opportunity to complete a Terminal MA in Psychology, which may or may not require completing and defending a Thesis.
The successful applicant will have a Bachelor degree or equivalent; minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; three letters of recommendation; a personal statement of interest; and an expressed area of academic/research interest that is compatible with those of faculty. Application deadline is December 1 (11:59 p.m. ET) each year. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED, although the Baylor Graduate School allows late submissions.