Program Overview


The graduate programs in Psychology were organized in the early 1950s under the leadership of Dr. S. O. Roberts. During the 1980s, through funding by the National Institute of Mental Health, the program was organized in collaboration with faculty and scholars at Meharry Medical College. During this era, the Clinical Psychology program provided training to a cadre of practitioners who were seeking licensure as Psychological Examiners within the State of Tennessee.

Psychology Library: (309 Park Johnson) Students enrolled in assessment classes may use testing materials located in the third-floor office. Assessment Library hours are posted on the door. Test kits may be checked out.

Considerations for Admission

In addition to meeting the University requirements for admission to the graduate program, successful psychology graduate program applicants will have completed undergraduate courses in general psychology, statistics, and research methods. Abnormal and experimental psychology are highly recommended. Preference will be given to students who have extensive undergraduate coursework in psychology and experience in the field.

Grade Requirements in the Psychology Graduate Program

Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. If the GPA falls below 3.0, no assistantship may be held, and the student may continue in the program only with the approval of the Psychology graduate faculty. A student can receive no more than two C grades and must receive higher grades in order to maintain the required 3.0 GPA for graduation. If permission to continue is granted, a contract is negotiated that delineates the probationary conditions for continuation.

Admission to Candidacy

Before a student can be admitted to candidacy for the degree, all of the following conditions must be met:

  1. Successful completion of a Thesis Proposal.
  2. A 3.0 or higher GPA average across all completed courses and on track for completion of all coursework in a timely manner.
  3. Successful completion of a Practicum course for students in Clinical Psychology. Candidacy will be documented by a form provided by the Director of Graduate Studies in the Program, and must also be signed by the student’s advisor


Given the importance of this professional relationship between student and advisor, each student is encouraged to select a graduate advisor within the first month of matriculation in consultation with the Director of the Graduate Program. The faculty advisor will provide guidance throughout the student’s graduate matriculation for course selection and membership of the student’s thesis committee.

Course Schedule

Courses are scheduled in order to accommodate students with work and personal demands which require flexibility. Consequently, many graduate seminars are scheduling during the evening hours and may be adjusted at the discretion of the faculty member in consultation with all students enrolled in the specific course. Most courses are held on a weekly basis in a graduate thesis format designed to provide an educational opportunity for the student to engage in a scholarly discourse with faculty and peers.

Graduate Tuition Waivers

Students who have been admitted to the graduate program may be eligible for graduate tuition waivers. These waivers are allotted based on the number of eligible graduate students and may differ each academic year based on the availability of funds. As a requirement of the graduate tuition waiver, a recipient is required to serve as a Graduate Assistant with a full-time graduate faculty member. Students who receive a full graduate tuition waiver are thus required to work 10 hours a week with the designated faculty member. In the event that there are not enough activities to constitute a 10 hour commitment, the student should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology regarding other opportunities for engaging in the academic environment. A regular time sheet is maintained within the departmental office and is submitted on a bi-weekly basis.