Graduate study in the Psychology Department is organized into five Ph.D. programs. Each program offers a range of subspecialities and each has its own degree requirements. Detailed information about the training areas can be found by clicking on the links at the right.
On this page you find a general introduction to each of the five training areas.
- Cognitive and Neural Systems (CNS)
- Social, Decision and Organizational Science (SDOS)
The Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Maryland has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1963 and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. The Program embodies a Clinical Science Model. Clinical training is based on empirically-supported methods and students are taught to fully integrate research training and clinical work. Faculty conduct research across children and adults in the areas of addiction, ADHD, anxiety, depression, HIV-risk behavior, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, with the focus ranging from basic experimental psychopathology to clinical assessment and treatment development and evaluation. The Clinical Program benefits from unique collaborations with area institutions including the Children’s National Medical Center, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, the Baltimore VA Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center, and the Salvation Army Harbor Light Residential Drug Treatment Center. The Clinical Program receives extensive grant funding from NIMH and NIDA and was ranked 17th in the nation in a 2007 study of Faculty Productivity appearing in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Follow this link to go to the Clinical Program's web site
The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science program provides rigorous training in the scientific approach to clinical psychology, emphasizing evidence-based psychological assessment and intervention. Students will be exposed to contemporary theories of clinical disorders and empirically supported interventions for the treatment of these disorders. The program is designed for working professionals and will prepare students for a range of careers in mental health and related areas (including research and education) and can serve as academic preparation for those interested in pursuing further doctoral training in clinical or counseling psychology.
The Cognitive and Neural Systems Program brings together researchers who study mind, brain and behavior. CNS laboratories investigate the cognitive and neural underpinnings of attention, perception, action, memory, decision making, sensory-motor integration, and social behaviors in humans and animal models. Commonly used techniques in CNS laboratories include neuroimaging, electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, histology, computational modeling, eye tracking, and behavioral analysis. Research conducted in the CNS laboratories has led to a broad understanding of the cognitive and neural processes underlying real-world behavior and has important implications for neurological disorders, mental health, and education. The CNS Program is affiliated with the campus Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences Program (NACS), an umbrella for interdisciplinary research in systems, cognitive, cellular/ molecular, and computational neuroscience. NACS has a formal partnership with the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders. The Cognitive and Neural Systems Program also draws upon and contributes to the resources of the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), a University-Affiliated Research Center (UARC) that conducts research on the learning and use of language.
Follow this link to learn more about the CNS Program
The Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Maryland is administered collaboratively by the Department of Psychology and the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. Ours is one of the oldest counseling psychology programs in the nation and has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1953. In ratings evaluating counseling psychology programs over the past three decades, ours is always among the very top-ranked programs in the United States. Our faculty members represent a broad range of research interests, including psychotherapy process and outcome research, multicultural psychology, vocational psychology, health psychology, and social justice.
The Developmental Psychology program draws upon a rapidly expanding area of interdisciplinary developmental research linking psychophysiological, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Because human development encompasses a wide range of psychological processes, and because developing individuals function in a wide range of settings that influence them and which they influence, the full study of development requires an integration of multiple approaches, analyses at multiple levels, and exposure to a wide range of research methodologies and tools of data analysis.
Our research spans social, individual and neural levels of analysis to investigate the emergence of basic human emotional and cognitive capacities, including engagement in close interpersonal relationships, regulation of affective and cognitive processes, memory, social reasoning, conceptual development and language acquisition. Our laboratories engage state of the art observational tools, behavioral experimental techniques, and neurophysiological approaches (EEG, ERP) to investigate both typical and atypical developmental pathways. Doctoral and post-doctoral students receive broad training across these levels of analysis, content issues and empirical techniques.
Faculty and students in the program draw on and contribute to the vibrant University-wide communities in developmental science, cognitive science and neuroscience, including the Field Committee in Developmental Science, the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences (NACS), and the Consortium on Infant Studies.
The Social, Decision, and Organizational Sciences (SDOS) Program brings together the subspecialties of Social Psychology, Decision Sciences, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The SDOS area studies how individuals perceive and process information about their social environment and themselves, how they make decisions, and also manage their interdependencies with others in dyadic, team, organizational, and societal contexts. We study a broad array of individual, group, and organizational phenomena. Individual phenomena include motivational processes, social judgment, attitudes/attitude change, judgment and decision-making processes, cognitive decision theory, risk assessment, and self-processes. Group phenomena include interpersonal relationships, social conflict and aggression, negotiations, social influence and conformity, small group processes, leadership, group decision making, social networks, technology and groups, diversity, and prejudice and discrimination. Organizational phenomena include organizational culture and climate, national culture, and culture change.
The goal of our graduate training is twofold: (a) to enable students to acquire “multilingual” skills in the scientific approaches, languages and methods of these three sub-disciplines of psychology, and (b) to acquire an in-depth expertise in one (or more) of these areas. Our program is based on the belief that exposure and familiarity with these three, naturally intersecting, domains will augment our graduates’ ability to carry out problem-focused research that crosses area boundaries and that is of increasing relevance in the social and behavioral sciences.
Follow this link to learn more about the SDOS Program