psychology

The Department of Psychology has fostered excellence in research and scholarship for more than 100 years. The department provides graduate students with the best available training to prepare them for a variety of professional careers in academic, clinical, research, and other settings. Emphasis is on both extensive academic training in general psychology and intensive research training in the student's area of concentration.

The department expects students to become creative scientists and to exhibit an early and continuing commitment to research and scholarship. All students initiate a first-year research project and present the results to the entire department in the fall of the second year. Typically, students are admitted for graduate study in psychology only for the Ph.D. program; however, students admitted to psychology may obtain a master's degree after they have completed their first-year research project if they find it necessary to have a degree as formal evidence of progress toward the Ph.D.

Faculty members and graduate students have many affiliations with other departments, institutes, and training programs: Institute on Aging, Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development, Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, Health Emotions Center, Neuroscience Training Program, Keck Neuroimaging Center, Hearing Training Program, Women's Studies Research Center, Institute for Research on Poverty, NSF National Consortium on Violence Research, Mass Communications Research Center, and Survey Research Laboratory. There are strong ties to the departments of Anatomy, Anthropology, Communicative Disorders, Educational Psychology, Entomology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Industrial Engineering, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Sociology, and Zoology.

FACILITIES

The department has an extraordinary array of research facilities. Virtually all laboratories are fully computer controlled, and the department's general purpose computing facilities are freely available to all graduate students. The Brogden Building and the Harlow Primate Laboratory have special facilities for housing animals, as well as for behavioral, pharmacological, anatomical, immunological, and physiological studies. The department is well-equipped for studies of visual, auditory, and language perception and other areas of cognitive psychology. In addition, the Psychology Department Research and Training Clinic is housed in the Brogden Building. See Research Labs for further information about individual faculty research labs and facilities. Connections with other departments and research institutes on campus (e.g., W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, and others) have been described above.

This master’s program is offered for work leading to the Ph.D. Students may not apply directly for the master’s, and should instead see the admissions information for the Ph.D.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required COURSES

Students are required to take two semesters of statistics/methods (PSYCH 610 and PSYCH 710) and six additional courses. Two of the six additional courses should be outside the student’s area of research expertise. Students must also complete a required First-Year Project. Students must register for and attend a Proseminar meeting each academic year semester (fall/spring) during their first three years. Students are encouraged to continue to register for and attend a proseminar in later years while in residence. Students must reach 30 credits to receive the master's.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy master’s degree requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy master’s degree requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy master’s degree requirements.

ProbatioN

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Other

n/a

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. Develop a broad understanding of the field of psychology.

2. Develop a proficiency in statistical analyses relevant to psychological research.

3. Acquire basic understanding in experimental design.

4. Develop literature research and critical thinking skills used in psychological research and teaching.

5. Develop skills for oral and written communication of experimental findings.

6. Develop literature research and critical thinking skills used in psychological research and teaching.

Faculty: Professors Goldsmith (chair), Abramson, Alibali, A. Auger, Berridge, Brauer, Coe, Curtin, Davidson, Devine, Gernsbacher, Gooding, Harackiewicz, Hyde, Jenison, MacDonald, Marler, Miyamoto, Niedenthal, Pollak, Postle, Rogers, Rosengren, Ryff, Saffran, Seidenberg; Associate Professors Bennett, Lupyan, Rokers, Shutts; Assistant Professors Austerweil, Green, Li, Saalmann, Schloss, Simmering. Affiliated Faculty: Bakshi, Bolt,  Dilworth-Bart, Edwards, Ellis-Weismer, Gammie, Hermann, Herringa, Johnson, Kalin, Kalish, Koenigs, Litovsky, Lutfi, MacLean, Matthews, Nathan, Nitschke, Piper, Plante, Populin, Riters, Sanchez, Schneider