Nov 28, 2021  
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Psychology-Specializations in Clinical and Human Factors (M.A., Ph.D.)

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Master of Arts, Plan A only (thesis): Total 30 - 35 credit hours

Areas of M.A. Specializations:

Clinical Psychology
Human Factors Psychology 

M.A. Degree Requirements

 *Note: The M.A. in Psychology is not offered as a terminal degree. It is earned in the process of completing the Ph.D. degree requirements in the two specialty areas.

  • Psychology core 11 credit hours
  • Thesis 6 credit hours
  • Clinical Psychology core or electives 18 credit hours
  • Human Factors Psychology core or electives 13 credit hours 

Required M.A. Psychology core classes (both specializations): 11 credit hours

Additional required courses for M.A. in Psychology with Human Factors specialization: 13 credit hours

M.A. Oral Examination

The master’s thesis must be defended in a final oral examination administered by the student’s advisory committee.

Joint Master’s Program with Juris Doctor

Students who are already enrolled in the School of Law at The University of South Dakota and who have sufficient background in psychology may qualify for this Board of Regents authorized joint-degree program leading to the M.A. in Psychology.  Individuals with an interest in this program should consult with the department chairperson.

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Areas of Ph.D. Specialization:

Clinical Psychology
           Specialization within Clinical Psychology: Clinical/Disaster Psychology
Human Factors Psychology

Each student’s specific program of study will be determined in consultation with the academic advisory committee and the faculty of the respective graduate specialty program (Clinical or Human Factors). Students in the Clinical Psychology program are required to complete a year‑long internship at an approved site. Internship/practicum placements are also encouraged for Human Factors students.

Each Doctoral student is required to take a comprehensive written examination preliminary to admission to final candidacy for the doctoral degree. This examination covers theory, method and research findings in psychology as well as the field of specialization. Clinical students are also required to complete an Oral Clinical Examination prior to internship and preliminary to admission to doctoral candidacy. This examination provides an opportunity for clinical students to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their clinical knowledge and skills.

Completion and oral defense of an original dissertation represent the capstone requirements for the degree. Successful completion of the final oral examination is required of all students recommended for the Ph.D. degree in Psychology.

For specific requirements regarding the doctoral programs’ written and oral exams, please contact the Psychology Department.

Ph.D. Requirements for Clinical Psychology: 106 credit hours

  • Master’s courses and thesis 35 credit hours
  • Clinical psychology core 44 credit hours
  • Additional stats/methods course 3 credit hours
  • Electives 6 credit hours
  • Internship 3 credit hours
  • Dissertation 15 credit hours minimum

Specialization in Clinical/Disaster Psychology:21 credit hours

The Doctoral Specialty in Clinical/Disaster Psychology includes the above requirements for the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program. However, the students in this specialization must also take 18 hours of additional course work in the disaster psychology area. 


PSYC 780 – Rural Community Psychology is also a required course in the Clinical Program. Therefore, if a clinical student pursuing the Clinical/Disaster Specialization chooses all six of his/her elective credits from the Disaster Psychology courses listed above, he/she will to take 12 hours beyond the minimum credits required for completion of the Clinical Psychology doctoral degree.

Additional requirements for the Clinical/Disaster Specialization:

Doctoral students pursuing this specialty track are required to complete a thesis and/or a dissertation on a trauma or disaster-related field of psychology and must complete a disaster response simulation as a capstone measure.

Ph.D. Human Factors Psychology Program: 84 credit hours

  • Master’s courses and thesis 30 credit hours
  • Human Factors core 18 credit hours
  • Psychology specialization courses 21 credit hours
  • Dissertation 15 credit hours minimum

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