The Department of Psychology at the University of Mississippi offers programs of study that lead to the Doctor of Philosophy in two separate areas: clinical psychology and experimental psychology. The Clinical Program ordinarily requires a minimum of five years beyond the baccalaureate degree to complete. The Experimental Program is designed to be completed within four years. This time is devoted to a combination of course work, research, and, for clinical students, practice. Clinical students also spend their final year of training in a full-time clinical internship at a program accredited by the American Psychological Association.
The Clinical Program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1974. It is a scientist-practitioner model program that emphasizes an empirical approach to clinical practice. Clinical training is generally conducted with a social learning or cognitive behavioral approach. Specific programs of study in the Experimental Program include behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology (including cognitive development), and social psychology. Students are accepted to work in one of these specific areas.
Neither program accepts students seeking a terminal Masters degree. Students in the Ph.D. programs do earn the Masters of Arts and complete a Master’s thesis as part of their degree requirements. Students entering with a Master’s degree involving a data based thesis are not typically asked to complete another thesis. All students must take and pass comprehensive examinations before full admission to Ph.D. candidacy is granted and the dissertation can be started. Clinical students cannot apply to internship programs before the dissertation proposal has been approved.