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Psychology (Experimental) - Doctorate

Availability: Hattiesburg Options

Psychology Experimental Program

The Experimental Psychology program offers research training in experimental psychology across several areas in cognitive, social, and quantitative psychology. Our faculty research a diverse range of topics and theories united around the goal of understanding behavior and mental processes. We maintain an integrative program that prepares students for careers in psychological science by offering hands-on experience in experimental and quantitative methods. Interested students should contact Experimental Psychology for opportunities to join our program.

Meet the Experimental Psychology Faculty

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4 year Ph.D. Program
100%of admitted students receive funding
6students admitted annually

Why Experimental Psychology?

The Experimental Psychology program prepares students to employ varied methods and orientations for understanding human behavior.

  • Cognitive psychology emphases include research in perception, attention, language, and memory.
  • Social psychology areas include research in evolutionary, cultural, health, and political psychology.
  • Research labs maintain active collaboration with other programs at USM and abroad.
  • Students and faculty actively publish and contribute to our field’s understanding of the science of behavior.
  • Faculty and students use cutting edge research instruments (virtual reality headsets, motion tracking, eye tracking)

Class sizes are small to allow for more individualized training opportunities. All coursework is taught by experts in the field. A big advantage of being housed in a School of Psychology is that classes are taught by experts in each discipline. Experimental Psychology faculty provide integrated, discipline-specific training in many areas of experimental psychology, such as social, cognitive, perceptual, and evolutionary psychology, in addition to providing training in statistics and research methodology. Students take classes with other graduate students in the School of Psychology, including Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology programs.

Experimental Psychology Open House 

Please join us for a virtual open house event to learn more about our graduate program. 

Cohort sizes are small, allowing for high quality mentorship. Faculty members invest significant time to ensure doctoral graduates are well-trained experts in psychological science. This includes coursework taught by experts in the subject area and research mentorship provided through a research team model, which includes graduate and undergraduate students who participate in publications and presentations. All faculty have active research agendas, and many provide weekly lab meetings, workshops, and tutorials in their area of expertise.

Students are admitted directly to research labs supervised by a faculty member. Research teams meet regularly to collaborate on research initiatives, and to allow for supervision of thesis and dissertation projects, as well as individualized mentoring.

Graduate students engage in all aspects of the research process including presentations at national conventions and publications in top-ranked journals in the field. Applied research opportunities are available in social and cognitive psychology, research methodology and data science.

For a full listing of all Experimental Research labs, please click HERE

Graduate Assistantships are generally available for all students throughout their four-year training program. Graduate assistantships support students by providing both a full tuition scholarship, and a 9-12 month stipend. Graduate assistantships include teaching and research assistantships. Opportunities also exist for undergraduate teaching.

In addition to the standard graduate application, your personal statement should focus on these three questions (1 page each):

  1. Describe your academic goals and how this program will help you accomplish these goals.
  2. Describe your research interests and discuss how this program will allow you to pursue research in this area (tip: connect your response to a specific faculty member).
  3. Describe your professional strengths and areas for growth.

Statements which address professional goals and fit with the field of experimental psychology and the Experimental Psychology program at USM are positively received.

For the 2024 Fall application cycle, the GRE is not required.

Priority Deadline 12/31, applications will continue to be accepted until 3/1. 

The Experimental Psychology Psychology Student Government (BBPSG) serves as the graduate student group for students enrolled in the Experimental Psychology courses. BBPSG serves to create a supportive environment for graduate students in the Experimental Psychology graduate program, and facilitate professional development outside of required coursework and experiences. BBPSG engages in several activities each year such as fundraising, hosting social activities, inviting speakers to campus, serving as a liaison between students and faculty, and providing peer mentors for newly admitted students.

Our Program has a strong commitment to promoting the personal and academic growth for our students in an atmosphere conducive for skills emphasizing the significance of diversity. As part of the program’s value of diversity, we work to enhance the diversity among our students, faculty, and staff. The faculty members in the program believe that diversity spans all aspects of experimental psychology. Our faculty take every opportunity to infuse issues relating to diversity in course work, research, mentorship, and student personal development. Further, our faculty make concerted efforts to become involved in research and professional endeavors that embrace diversity.


Degree Plan Availability
Psychology (Experimental) PhDHattiesburg

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School of Psychology

Owings-McQuagge Hall OMH 220-I  

Hattiesburg Campus

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  • Assistant Professor, Experimental Psychology
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Advertising and Marketing Consultant
  • Research Scientist
  • Data Scientist
  • Amber J. de Vere, Ph.D. (2018).
    Programme Manager (Animal Management) at Plumpton College, UK and Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Lincoln, UK
  • Attila Farkas, Ph.D. (2013)
    Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Laboratory for Vision Research, Rutgers University
  • Malin K. Lilley, ABD (expected 2018)
    Lecturer in Psychology at Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • Lauren Highfill, Ph.D. (2008)
    Associate Professor of Psychology at Eckerd College