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Welcome to the Department of Psychology!

The Department of Psychology promotes behavioral science through excellent teaching in undergraduate and graduate training programs, nationally and internationally recognized research, and outstanding service to the University, profession, community, and the people of Oklahoma.

The Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University was established in 1958. The Department offers undergraduate and graduate courses with a faculty of 21 full-time members. There are over 600 undergraduates majoring in Psychology and approximately 45 graduate students in the Department. The Department offers doctoral degrees in two programs, Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychology. Located in North Murray Hall, the Department maintains offices and research laboratories for faculty and graduate students and a large computer lab.


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Program Overview | Clinical Faculty | Application Information | Psychology Clinic 

Program Overview

The intent of our doctoral program in clinical psychology is to train students to become scientific clinical psychologists. It is our view that clinical psychology must be a science-based discipline, as the scientific method provides the strongest basis for developing new knowledge in our field and for disseminating services that are shown scientifically to be effective. We train our students to be leading researchers, critical consumers of the scientific literature, and clinicians who depend on scientific findings to guide their applied activities. All of our doctoral students are expected to conduct original research, and most of our graduates make ongoing contributions to the scientific literature over the course of their careers. All students are trained to function independently as research scientists and to use scientific evidence in all phases of developing and applying clinical services. These commitments are expressed through the following specific goals: (1) Students acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to conduct and evaluate empirical research in areas of importance within clinical psychology; (2) Students acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the broad base of psychological theory and research related to the field of clinical psychology; (3) Students acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical bases and empirical support for current methods of clinical practice and the skills required to implement theory-based, evidence based practice; (4) Students acquire and demonstrate the skills necessary to conduct themselves ethically and professionally; and (5) Students acquire and demonstrate the skills necessary to conduct themselves in a culturally competent manner in their research and clinical practice. Students are expected to participate in a variety of research experiences throughout their training to develop the necessary conceptual skills to design and evaluate clinical research. The clinical faculty publish in top quality refereed research journals and are active leaders in professional organizations. 

The clinical psychology program at Oklahoma State University has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1971. The program integrates scientific and professional training through research, practicum, and didactic experiences. The program has recently transitioned from a scientist-practitioner model to a clinical science model and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Our program recognizes clinical training as a core competency in the development of clinical scientists and we believe that clinical competency facilitates and informs clinical science. Thus, we strive to provide excellent clinical training that integrates science and practice through the development of knowledge and skills in basic psychology, research methodology, clinical theory, assessment, case conceptualization, prevention, and treatment procedures. Four specialized tracks are offered: clinical child, health psychology, pediatric psychology and adult psychopathology.

Students will participate in seminars, core courses, and clinical practicum that focus on the science and evidence-based practice of clinical psychology. Students acquire clinical training through a departmental training clinic and external practicum sites. Students are required to complete a one-year APA-approved internship prior to completion of the Ph.D. degree. Students who enter with a master's degree follow a similar curriculum. Please note that the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program requires a minimum of four years of full-time study on campus plus an additional 1-year internship for program completion, and that at least two years must be at this institution and one year must be in full-time residence.

The clinical psychology program at Oklahoma State makes student admissions, outcomes, and other data available. In the application review process, the Admissions Committee considers: (a) research experiences, (b) fit of applicant's interests to program and faculty research interests, (c) letters of recommendation, (d) GRE/GPA, and (e) quality of undergraduate/graduate training. Also in the spirit of these policies, our Graduate Student Handbook and Clinical Program Supplement are available for download. It contains specifics on what is required of our graduate students.

Clinical Faculty


Application Information

The deadline for the Clinical Program is December 1st of each year. 
The Clinical Program expects prospective students to attend Interview Weekend held in February.
Applicants will be notified by late December if they are to be invited.

GRE Codes

Institution code: 6546
Department code: 2016

Please apply using the new graduate college online application: http://www.applyweb.com/apply/oksugrad/

For more information about the Clinical Program contact:

Stephanie Sweatt, Ph. D.
Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training
116 North Murray
Stillwater, OK 74078
Telephone: (405) 744-9449

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Fax: (202) 336-5978
TDD: (202) 336-6123

Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditationEmail: apaaccred@apa.org


The Developmental Psychology track stems from the strong developmental interests of many of the faculty in the Department of Psychology and affiliated areas. It consists of six core faculty, who themselves have been trained in developmental programs with national and international reputations, and a number of affiliated faculty. The major goal of our program is research training in the broad area of lifespan developmental psychology and to prepare students for careers in research and teaching. Graduate students in this track engage in research with their primary advisor beginning their first semester and take supporting coursework. They gain a strong background in research design and statistics in addition to coursework in lifespan social and cognitive development. Current research by faculty members in the developmental psychology track includes work in nutritional influences on the developing brain, immune system reactivity and stress response, development of math and science interests in young children, retirement planning, psycholinguistics, and age differences in prospective memory.

Numerous students have earned doctoral degrees from our program.  These students have chosen academic careers in colleges and universities throughout the United States (e.g., Kansas State University, University of Central Arkansas), have arranged post-doctoral training (e.g., University of Maryland), or have worked for the government or private industry as research consultants.



Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia (2007),

Assistant Professor – Same-sex peer interactions on stress and immune system reactivity,  sex differences in social cognition and stress response, resilience to early adversity, evolutionary theory

Psychobiology Laboratory

Douglas A. Hershey, Ph.D., University of Southern California (1990),

Professor – Adult cognitive development, decision making processes that underlie retirement planning

Retirement Planning Research Laboratory

Shelia M. Kennison, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1995),

Professor – Psycholinguistics, hemispheric differences in language processing, bilingualism

Cognitive Science Laboratory

Cindy Reese-Melancon, Ph.D., Louisiana State University (2000),

Associate Professor – Adult cognitive development, especially age differences in prospective memory performance and the relationship between memory beliefs and memory performance

Memory and Cognitive Aging Lab

David G. Thomas, Ph.D., University of Denver (1981),

Professor – Early experiences on the infant brain (particularly nutritional influences), neural mechanisms underlying cognitive development throughout the lifespan, brain/ behavior relationships

Developmental & Psychophysiology Research Laboratory


Affiliated Faculty:

Alex J. Bishop, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Health and Aging, Subjective Well-Being, Stress and Coping, & Spirituality

Whitney Brosi, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Family Gerontology – Empowerment of Older Adults, Family Caregiving, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Michael M. Criss, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Child and adolescent development, parenting, peer relationships, antisocial behavior

Amanda W. Harrist, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Parenting, Dyadic Synchrony, Child Social Competence, Social Information Processing, Child Peer Relations, Childhood Obesity

Robert E. Larzelere, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Research methods, advanced statistics, parental discipline

Amanda Sheffield Morris, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Professor – Child and Adolescent Socio-emotional Development, Emotion Regulation & Parenting

Laura Hubbs-Tait, Ph.D., Human Sciences Department

Regents Professor – Parent-child relationships, Child cognitive and social competence, Child nutrition


Required Courses:

PSYC 5813 – Lifespan Cognitive Development

PSYC 5913 – Lifespan Social Development

PSYC 6913 – Multilevel Modeling in Psychology


Recommended Track Courses:

PSYC 6583 – Developmental Psychobiology

PSYC 6393 – Language Development

HDFS 5143 – Parent-Child Relations

HDFS 5293 – Developmental Contexts of Normative Behavior Problems

HDFS 5253 – Theory and Research in Social and Emotional Development

HDFS 5243 – Infant Behavior and Development

HDFS 5573 – Adolescent in Family Context

HDFS 5423 – Research Perspectives in Gerontology

HDFS 5443 – Attachment in Later Life

HDFS 5433 – Theories of Aging

HDFS 5453 – Aging in the Medical Context

HDFS 6553 – Marital and Couple Relations


  • The cognitivecomparative-neurobiologydevelopmental and social-personality tracks are all housed under the general Experimental Psychology program. Our program adopts the perspective that psychology is a very broad and dynamic discipline. The central focus of psychology is on the understanding, prediction, and enhancement of individual behavior, from a variety of perspectives. These perspectives can range from cognitive neuroscience; to the biological and physiological bases of behavior; to behavior in social environments; to the assessment of individual differences in personality; to the developmental changes that impact behavior; to the quantitative modeling of individual performance. To accommodate this broad spectrum, our program examines the biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and personality factors that affect behavior.


  • When applying to the Experimental Psychology program, each potential graduate student applies directly to one of these four tracks, depending on their interests and career goals. In general, students will be “housed” in a particular track and within a particular laboratory, but it is also possible to collaborate with faculty and students in other tracks or laboratories, especially during the later years of graduate training.


  • To learn more about the Experimental Psychology Program and its associated tracks, please click here.
  • For more information about the Experimental Psychology Program and its tracks, contact the program director Dr. Jennifer Byrd-Craven at  jennifer.byrd.craven@okstate.edu.