Department Chairperson: Dr. Randal P. Quevillon
Director of the Clinical Psychology Program: Dr. Barbara Arneson Yutrzenka
Director of the Human Factors Program: Dr. Jan Berkhout
Director of the Disaster Mental Health Institute: Dr. Gerard Jacobs
Director of the Psychological Services Center: Dr. Elizabeth Boyd
Department of Psychology
South Dakota Union, Room 205
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-577-5351 (Psychology)
Phone: 605-677-5353 (Clinical Psychology)
Phone: 605-677-5351 (Human Factors Psychology)
Jan Berkhout, Director of the Human Factors Program, Ph.D., University of Chicago. Specialization: Ergonomics.
Elizabeth Boyd, Director of the Psychological Services Center, Ph.D., University of Houston. Specialization: Family Systems, Native American Mental Health.
Gerard Jacobs, Director of the Disaster Mental Health Institute, Ph.D., University of South Florida. Specialization: Disaster Psychology.
Randal P. Quevillon, Department Chairperson, Ph.D., University of Montana. Specialization: Rural Mental Health, Disaster Psychology.
Francis Schieber, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame. Specialization: Aging and Human Performance, Vision, and Transportation.
Jeffrey S. Simons, Ph.D., Syracuse University. Specialization: Substance Use and Emotional Regulation.
Cynthia J. Struckman-Johnson, Ph.D., University of Kentucky. Specialization: Social Psychology, Sexual Coercion, Transportation Safety.
Xiao Tian Wang, Ph.D., New Mexico State University. Specialization: Physiological and Cognitive Psychology, Decision Making.
Barbara Arneson Yutrzenka, Director of the Clinical Psychology Program, Ph.D., University of North Dakota. Specialization: Professional Ethics, Integrated Health Care, Administration, Diversity in Training.
S. Jean Caraway, Ph.D., University of North Dakota. Specialization: Traumatic Victimization and Cross-cultural Psychology.
Raluca Gaher, Ph.D., University of South Dakota. Specialization: PTSD and Substance Use.
Michael Granaas, Ph.D., University of Kansas. Specialization: Research Design and Quantitative Methods.
Douglas Peterson, Ph.D., Kansas State University. Specialization: Aviation Psychology, Training and Use of Complex Knowledge Structures.
Gemma D. Skillman, Ph.D., Syracuse University. Specialization: Health Disparities; Developmental and Cultural Factors in Adjustment.
Holly Straub, Ph.D., Texas Tech University. Specialization: Cognitive Psychology.
Master of Arts (non terminal), thesis option only
Doctor of Philosophy
Specialization within Clinical Psychology: Clinical/Disaster Psychology
Human Factors Psychology
Disaster Mental Health
The Department of Psychology offers the state’s most complete and fully implemented Psychology program with degrees through the Doctoral level. In 1961, the Department of Psychology began training students at the Master’s level. Soon to follow, in 1964, the Department of Psychology was authorized to offer the Ph.D. degree. The specialty areas within the Department’s graduate programs are Clinical Psychology and Human Factors Psychology. The Clinical/Disaster Psychology Specialty within the Clinical Psychology Program and the Graduate Certificate Program in Disaster Mental Health were both approved in January of 1999. Also in 1999, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) named USD’s Psychology Department the Department of the Year.
The Clinical Psychology Program offers graduate training leading to the M.A. (non–terminal*) and Ph.D. degrees. The program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training. The American Psychological Association (APA) has continuously accredited the program since 1971. In 1994, the Clinical Psychology Program received the Outstanding Training Program award by the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, and in 2002, the Program received the John R. Williams award for its significant contributions in service to Native American students at USD.
The Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI) is affiliated with the Department of Psychology and the Clinical Psychology Program. The Institute is committed to the emerging field of Disaster Psychology, which involves applying psychological knowledge to assist persons affected by natural and technological disasters, terrorist attacks, public health emergencies, and other large-scale traumatic events. The DMHI offers a Graduate Certificate in Disaster Mental Health, which is available through online courses. The University of South Dakota is the first university in the nation to offer a full curriculum in Clinical/Disaster Psychology and the first to offer this approved Doctoral specialty.
The Human Factors Psychology Program offers graduate training leading to the M.A. (non–terminal*) and Ph.D. degree, with specialization in the broad area of Human Factors Psychology. Human Factors involves the discovery of information regarding human behavior, abilities and limitations, and applies these characteristics to the design of systems, tasks, machines, tools, and environments to enhance efficiency, safety, and productivity in their use.
*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. The exception to this is the M.A. earned as part of the joint JD/MA Program-see Law (J.D.)
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0-point scale.
- The GRE General test is required. There is no minimum score required; the scores are considered along with the other application materials. Applicants generally score at or above the 50th percentile on the GRE general subtests.
- Applicants should have a minimum of 18 credit hours of undergraduate psychology course work, with a distribution among standard course work in general psychology.
- For students who are entering the Human Factors program, a prerequisite class in calculus is strongly recommended.
- Students proposing to enter the Doctoral program with a Master’s degree from another institution are required to submit a copy of their Master’s thesis in support of their application.
- Additional requirements exist for international applicants.
Admission decisions are made separately by the Clinical and Human Factors graduate programs. It is strongly recommended that prospective students contact the program director for specific program requirements and recommendations. Students admitted to the Clinical Psychology Program may choose to pursue the Specialization in the Clinical/Disaster Psychology.
- January 5 for the Clinical Psychology Program.
- February 15 for the Human Factors Psychology Program.
- Newly admitted students for both programs begin in the fall semester.