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Tufts University


Programs Offered: Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology is for students interested in pursuing research careers or academic positions in higher education.

The program is focused on experimental psychology and offers specializations in cognition, developmental psychology, experi­mental psychopathology, neuroscience, and social psychology.

Students interested in cognitive science—the interdisciplinary course of study which strives to understand and explain the mind—can pursue this area through a program offered by the department, but one which also involves faculty members from the child development, philosophy, and computer science departments.

Students entering with a bachelor's degree will earn a Master of Science (M.S.) en route to the Ph.D. The department does not offer a terminal M.S. Program requirements include core courses and seminars focused on the areas of specialization, professional preparation courses in research and teaching, and yearly milestones designed to highlight research-focused skills.

All Ph.D. students participate in supervised research each semester. Students can fulfill this requirement by serving as faculty research assistants, conducting independent research in psychology or a related area for course credit, or working on research either independently or in collaboration with a faculty member and/or fellow graduate students.

Current areas of faculty research include memory processes, neuropsychology of language processes, spatial cognition, infant perception, memory and aging, animal cognition and learning, social psychology of prejudicial attitudes, behavioral neuroscience, and the neural underpinnings of emotion.

Students are expected to gain teaching experience while in the program. Most Ph.D. students serve as teaching assistants, but this expectation can also be fulfilled through participation in the department-offered teaching course, the university's Graduate Institute for Teaching (GIFT), or teaching through another university unit (for example, the university's Experimental College).

The Ph.D. program concludes with a dissertation. Recent titles have included, Not So Black and White: The Impact of Motivation on Memory for Racially Ambiguous Faces; ...And They All Lived Happily Ever After: Factors Influencing Recovery from Negative Emotion in Young Children; Repetition Priming and Concreteness Effects in Bilingualism; and The Influence of Prior Experience on Infants' Imitative Learning.

Psychology: Faculty

Emily Bushnell
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Cognitive developmental psychology

Richard A. Chechile
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Mathematical psychology

Robert Cook, Chair
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Animal cognition

Joseph DeBold
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Behavioral endocrinology, hormone–drug interactions

Ariel M. Goldberg
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
Psycholinguistics and linguistics

David Harder
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Clinical psychology

Phillip J. Holcomb
Ph.D., New Mexico State University
Cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics

Ray S. Jackendoff
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Natural language semantics and syntax, consciousness, musical cognition, social cognition

Robin Kanarek
Ph.D., Rutgers University
Physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, nutrition and behavior

Gina R. Kuperberg
Ph.D., King's College, University of London; M.D., St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, London
Cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, clinical neuroscience

Keith B. Maddox
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Social cognition

Klaus A. Miczek
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Sinaia Nathanson
Ph.D., Tufts University
Interpersonal conflict and negotiation

Lisa M. Shin
Ph.D., Harvard University Experimental psychopathology and neuroscience

Samuel R. Sommers
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Social cognition

Holly A. Taylor, Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D., Stanford University
Cognition and memory

Ayanna Thomas
Ph.D., University of Washington
Human cognition and aging

Heather L. Urry
Ph.D., University of Arizona
Affective neuroscience

Contact the Graduate Studies Office

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

School of Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

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