Experimental Program

 Program Overview | Experimental Tracks | Experimental Faculty | Application Information

Program Overview

The experimental program adopts a broad approach to the science of psychology by examining the biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and personality factors that affect behavior across the full range of the individual’s lifespan, providing an approach to psychology that extends “from the cradle to the grave.” There are four concentrations to choose from, all housed under the general experimental program: 
Cognitive  Develop a strong theoretical understanding and research competence in the study of human cognition 
Comparative-Neurobiology Develop a strong theoretical understanding and research competence in the study of comparative psychology and/or neurobiology
Developmental Gain a strong background in research design and statistics in addition to coursework in lifespan social and cognitive development
Social-Personality Develop a strong theoretical and research competence in the field

All students are required to complete a master's thesis and doctoral research. Students are expected to participate in research activities throughout their graduate training. Research experience is complemented by course work in statistics and research methodology and design. All students also take a practicum course in the teaching of psychology, and most gain experience as instructors. In addition, students in the experimental program are encouraged to develop applied skills to enhance their job market potential.

We offer a flexible curriculum, and encourage students to design a plan of study that fits their needs and goals. Experimental faculty works with you to achieve your goals, and all students are expected to earn their degrees. Students are funded through grants, assistantships, full out-of-state tuition waivers, and partial waivers of general fees. 

Click here to download the Graduate Student Handbook and Experimental Psychology Supplement for more information. 


Due to COVID-19 considerations, GRE scores will not be required for those applying for 2021 fall admission.

Experimental Faculty

Charles, I. Abramson, Ph.D.
Regents Professor, Lawrence L. Boger Professor of International Studies
Boston University
James W. Grice, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico

Social-Personality Track. Current Research: Observation Oriented Modeling, Quantitative Methods, Personality Theory, Psychology of Religion, and Idiographic Assessment of Personality. Recent publications appear in Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, and the Journal of Personality.

 Dr. Grice is open to admitting a student in 2020
Douglas A. Hershey, Ph.D.

Cognitive & Developmental Tracks. Current Research: retirement planning, financial planning for retirement, and lifespan decision making. Recent Publications appear in Work, Aging, and Retirement; the Journal of Personal Finance; Ageing & Society; and the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

 Dr. Hershey does not anticipate admitting a student in 2020
Shelia M. Kennison, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Cognitive science with a broad focus including topics in cognition related the communication and social processes, especially those involving bilingualism and trilingualism. New research focuses on biological basis of behavior, especially involved in risk-taking in children and adults.

Dr. Kennison anticipates admitting a student in 2020.
Jaimie Krems, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Arizona State University
Social-Personality Track. Current research: (1) Friendship, (2) Female social psychology and behavior (cooperation, competition); (3) Stereotyping and prejudice (e.g., fat stigma). Recent publications appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Evolution & Human Behavior. Dr. Krems anticipates taking a graduate student this cycle.

Dr. Krems anticipates admitting a student in 2020.
Sarah C. Kucker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Iowa
Cognitive & Developmental Tracks. Current Research: The developmental mechanisms and trajectories of early word learning and categorization, with a focus on how cognitive and linguistics components interact and change over time. Recent publications appear in Cognitive Science, Infancy, Child Development Perspectives, and Cognition.

Dr. Kucker anticipates admitting a student in 2020.
Kara Moore Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Cognitive & Developmental Tracks. Current research: The role of attention and memory in the legal system. Specifically, (1) children's and adults' use of metacognitive strategies to prevent false memories and (2) the role of memory and attention in the search for missing and wanted persons. Recent publications appear in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Child Development, and Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Dr. Moore anticipates admitting a student in 2020.

Lab website: http://calmlab.mystrikingly.com/

Celinda Reese-Melancon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Louisiana State University
Memory and memory aging, especially factors that influence prospective memory performance, metamemory, and collaborative cognition.

Dr. Reese-Melancon is open to accepting students in 2020.
Lab Website


Application Information
The deadline for the Experimental Program is December 1st of each year. 
The Experimental 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
Due to COVID-19 considerations, GRE scores will not be required for those applying for 2021 fall admission.

Please apply using the new graduate college online application: https://grad.okstate.edu/apply/

For more information about the Experimental Program contact:

Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Experimental Program Director
116 North Murray
Stillwater, OK 74078
Telephone: (405) 744-9449