Personality Psychology (Ph.D.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation  
    ❱   Final oral examination 

Breadth and Minor Areas 

   ❱  Developmental Psychology
   ❱  Social Psychology
   ❱  Neuropsychology

Research Areas & Interests

Faculty Research Interests

 A sampling of research interests

  • The psychology of race and racism
  • Humanization and human expression
  • Narrative personality psychology
  • Identity, motivation, personalized goals
  • Individual differences in responses to psychological challenges
  • Intersectionality of race and gender on identity saliency
  • Impact of racism and stress on the health of African-Americans 
  • Organizational design and personal transformation to promote women’s career advancement
  • Informal STEM educational design and computational thinking
  • Effects of stress management practices on academic performance among African American students
  • Behavioral, psychological, and social factors that influence adjustment to life after cancer including, fear of recurrence, depression, symptom distress
  • Effects of identity development on stress via physiological responses to stress-induced situations that are central to self-identification
  • Personalized goals and well-being in the lives of professional athletes
  • Narrative personality psychology

Faculty Areas of Specialty

Dr. Jules P. Harrell examines individual differences in physiological responses to psychological challenges; stress and coping in people of African descent; behavioral medicine.  More on Research Interests

Dr. Cynthia E. Winston-Proctor has research Interests in narrative psychology, organizational design and personal transformation to promote women’s career advancement and healthy living; Informal STEM educational design and computational thinking; and qualitative inquiry in Psychology.  

Program of Study* 


PSYC 203 First Year Research I

PSYC 219 First Year Research II

PSYC 207 Statistics I

PSYC 208 Statistics II

PSYC 206 History & Systems

PSYC 205 General Research Methods

PSYC 223 Personality Theory I

PSYC 251 Personality Theory II

PSYC 239 Personality Assessment


Select three breadth courses (9 credits).  One breadth area course should be taken in each of the other Psych tracks.

Select three minor area courses (9 credits). One minor area course should be taken in each of the other Psych tracks.


PSYC 241 Seminar in Personality

PSYC 242 Seminar in Personality Research


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework,  passed the qualifying examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards, which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.