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Individualized Graduate Training Track

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About the Individualized Graduate Training Track

The individualized graduate training track option is designed to meet the needs of students whose interests cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. This option may be especially appropriate for students with strong interdisciplinary interests that bridge multiple departments, or for students seeking the specialized training we offer in developmental science, developmental psychopathology, health psychologysocial psychology, and visual perception. In consultation with faculty mentors, students design an individualized course of study that provides the necessary background and expertise for them to become successful in their particular topic of research. Students can choose the individualized training track upon admission to the PhD program, or may petition to switch to the individualized track after starting the PhD program.

The Program

All faculty mentors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences can supervise PhD students through the individualized graduate training track. Upon entering the program, students form a research advisory committee that consists of the faculty mentor and two other faculty members with relevant expertise. The research advisory committee meets with the student at least once a semester until the student has formed a comprehensive exam committee. In consultation with the research advisory committee, students develop a coursework plan that at minimum includes two statistics courses and four other courses. Students may also elect to take additional courses that are especially relevant to their research goals. In addition to coursework, all students in the PhD program must complete a first-year project, which they present at the departmental graduate research symposium during their second year. All students also complete the comprehensive exam, which can be designed based on any of the available comprehensive exam models in the department. All students must also complete and defend a doctoral dissertation.

Prospective Graduate Students

Regardless of which training program you may be considering, we strongly encourage you to visit the faculty members' websites and to contact the individual faculty members whose work interests you. For more information about the individualized training track, please feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Ryan LaLumiere:

Office phone: 319-335-2477
Mailing address: Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, W311 Seashore Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242