Program Requirments

Coursework Requirements

These are the general coursework guidelines for all psychology graduate students.

Minimum Departmental Course Requirements

  • Students are required to take two semesters of statistics/methods (610 and 710) and six additional courses. Two of the six additional courses should be outside the student’s area of research expertise.
  • Average grade of B or better and no grade lower than a BC in six courses.
  • Psychology 610 and 710 are required and students must earn a grade of B or better in each course.
  • Graduate level courses are numbered 600 or higher and do not include “Proseminars” or professional development courses.
  • Eight week courses count as half courses. Two half courses are equivalent to one full course.
  • By end of Year 3, all departmental course requirements should be completed.

Proseminar Requirement

  • Students must register for and attend a Proseminar meeting each academic year semester (Fall/Spring) during their first three years. Students are encouraged to continue to register for and attend a proseminar in later years while in residence.

Research (990) Credits

  • After registering for all courses, proseminars, and other electives, a student who does not have dissertator status may fill their schedule with 990 credits. For reference, the Graduate School considers full time enrollment as 8-15 graduate level credits (no audit or pass/fail) during the academic year. Graduate level courses are defined as 300 level and above by the Graduate School.
  • All dissertators must enroll in 990 credits. Further, dissertators register for 3 credits, no more and no less. These credits must be comprised of only 990 credits, unless one is enrolling in a proseminar or a course that is directly related to dissertation research or clinical practica (e.g., 805).

Summer Enrollment

  • Students holding an academic year (i.e., Fall/Spring semesters) TA, PA, or RA appointment or a UW Fellowship do not need to enroll in summer.
  • Students with a RA summer appointment must enroll in at least two graduate level credits in summer.
  • Trainees, and fellows (NRSA, NSF, etc.) that are being paid during the summer months must enroll in at least two graduate level credits in summer.
  • Dissertators must be enrolled in three credits during the summer if they are expecting to successfully defend their dissertation and graduate during the summer session
  • Students holding spring TA, PA, or RA appointments are eligible for summer tuition remission, if necessary

Professional Development Requirement

  • All graduate students are required to take the online training modules on Human Subjects Protection and on Responsible Conduct of Research. Students who use animals are also required to complete the Animal User Online Certification. Proseminar courses regularly include sessions devoted to research ethics. Students are also required to complete a workshop on writing or grant writing. A variety of opportunities are available on campus, including full courses on grant writing. Graduate students have the option of fulfilling this requirement during their 1st or 2nd year. Students should email the Graduate Coordinator ( to document when they complete the workshop on writing or grant writing.
  • Graduate students are strongly encouraged to obtain some teaching experience (e.g., TA, etc.) while they are in residence at UW. Teaching experience is an important part of training in professional development, especially for students going into careers which involve teaching.

Breadth/Ph.D. Minor

  • Students have two options available in order to fulfill the breath/minor requirement. One option is to minor in an outside department and enroll in 9 credits in only that department. The other option is to choose a distributed minor, which can include credits from within the psychology department, as long as they are not within your area group, as well as credits from any department outside of psychology.

Area Group Coursework Requirements


Same as general departmental requirements, except that students will register for the BBB proseminar in all years while in residence.


Same as general departmental minimum requirements


Clinical Coursework Requirements 


Students must take at least 8 courses; two of these courses must be Psychology 610 and 710. Note that eight-week courses count as half courses; two half courses are equivalent to one full course.

In selecting coursework, students should aim to achieve breadth in psychology, breadth in developmental psychology, and depth in a special area of interest; this may mean taking more than the minimum number of required courses. Further, students should ensure they have sufficient exposure to methods (including statistics) that are relevant for research in developmental psychology; this may mean taking more than the two methods classes required by the Department (i.e., courses beyond 610 and 710).


Same as departmental minimum requirements


Same as departmental minimum requirements


Students in the Social Area are required to take at least 8 courses; two of these courses must be the statistics sequence (PSY 610 and 710). The remaining 6 courses should be distributed as follows: 1 advanced statistics or methods course, the advanced social psychology seminar (PSY 728), 1 topical seminar in Social Psychology, and 2 graduate level content courses outside of the Social Area.

Graduate students are required to enroll in the Social Area Brown Bag (PSY 703) each semester. Note that PSY 703 may not be used to fulfill the content or methodology course requirements.