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Department of Psychology

Psychometrics Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a background in Statistics or Psychology to be accepted?
Not necessarily, but they help due to the nature of the program.  Our students come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds, but they all have a strong interest in applied statistics and measurement. Therefore, applicants should be aware that the program is very heavily focused on methodological issues related to research methods, statistics, and measurement, so a working knowledge of these areas is very beneficial. Applicants who have not had much experience with quantitative methods should consider taking classes at the undergraduate or early graduate level in order to familiarize themselves with basic concepts related to quantitative social science methods.

I have an undergraduate degree (B.A./B.S.). May I enter directly into the Ph.D. program?
It is possible, thought the answer depends on a number of factors associated with your qualifications and academic background.  For most applicants, however, we strongly encourage them to apply to our Master's program first.  Then, in the second year of study, they can apply to enter into the Ph.D. program.

I have a Master's degree in a field that did not include much training in statistics or measurement.  May I enter directly into the Ph.D. program?
Our answer is similar to the one above.  It is possible, but for most students, we would strongly encourage them to apply to our Master's program instead of the Doctoral program.  That being said, completed Master's-level coursework in statistics may qualify you for a waiver for certain courses. If you are accepted into the program, you will be sent information regarding course waivers. 

Do I need to have a background in mathematical statistics to enter your program?
No, but you should have a very strong interest in quantitative methods. A background that includes at least two or three courses in statistics, calculus, and/or linear algebra at the undergraduate or graduate level will be very beneficial.

How is this program different from other advanced degrees in Psychology?
Our program is designed to give students advanced training in social science research methods, statistics, and measurement and does not focus on content areas such as counseling, educational psychology, personality, etc. Although we offer core Psychology courses as part of the curriculum, students who are interested in more service-oriented or content-based degrees in Psychology would be better served by other programs.

I am from a different country.  Would I be welcome in your program?
Yes! We have had students from many regions of the world in our program, including students from the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as students from across the United States.

What are the criteria and deadlines for admission to the program?
Please find this information here.

Do I need to submit my GRE scores with my application?
No, but you are welcome to submit them if you would like us to consider them as part of your application package. 

How much are tuition and fees?
The costs of tuition and fees are provided by the Bursar's Office, which can be found by following this link.

What types of financial aid are available?
There are many types of financial assistance available to current students. Among them are research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and other part-time employment at the university.

When are classes held?
Most classes will be held during daytime hours, with very few courses being offered in the evening.  Most classes meet once each week for approximately 2 1/2 hours.  

How long would it take me to complete the degree?
It depends on the student, her or his prior academic history, and whether the student attends on a part-time or full-time basis. Generally speaking, the Master's degree is typically completed in as little as two academic years (4 semesters), and the Ph.D. is typically completed between three and five calendar years. It should be noted, however, that several factors determine the actual length of time it takes to complete the degrees and some students may find that it takes much more or much less time than the typical time to completion. 

How well does your program accommodate part-time students?
Part-time students are welcome but, because we are a small program, many of our courses are only offered once every two years. This can have the effect of stretching out a part-time student's time to complete the program. Students who attend on a full-time basis do not typically face this issue.

How much money do I need for my first semester?
We recommend that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses through the end of your first semester.  You should be able to cover university fees, books, school supplies, health insurance, rent, utilities, transportation, clothing, food, and other living expenses from August through December.  You should also budget for tuition unless you are offered a tuition award or if you plan to take out a student loan. 

If I am offered a research assistantship or a teaching assistantship, how often will I be paid?
The vast majority of assistantships are paid for 20 hours per week every two weeks.   Please note that it can take several weeks for your first contract to be initiated, then a few more weeks until your initial paycheck arrives.  Many students have reported waiting until October or later for their first paycheck.  This is often due to technical details related to starting new contracts and the vagaries of the payroll system.  As with any job, it often takes 2-3 payroll cycles for paychecks to arrive in a timely manner.  Once the payroll cycle begins to function well, we rarely see additional delays. 

If I am accepted into the Graduate Program in Psychometrics, who will be my advisor?
If you are accepted into the program, you will be assigned a preliminary advisor who likely will advise you throughout your time as a Psychometrics student.  After you have had a chance to meet all of the professors in the program and solidified your research interests and professional goals, you may change to a different advisor if you believe that person is a better fit.  You will also have an advisory committee assigned to you at the start of your program and will be changed to accommodate your research and professional interests after your first year. 

If I am denied admission to the Graduate Program in Psychometrics, will you tell me why?
In a word, no.  There are a wide range of factors that go into our decision, some of which are related to your application and some of which are not.  Therefore, we cannot provide you with the specific reason(s) you were not accepted.  In these instances, we encourage you to review your application to identify any areas of weakness you may need to address, to review websites that discuss reasons for not being accepted, and to understand that there may be reasons that have nothing at all to do with you as an applicant.

Who should I contact for more information?
Please direct questions about the program to our Program Director, Dr. R. Trent Haines (