The mission of the Master of Psychology: Research Concentration is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching. Using a mentoring model in which each student works closely with a faculty sponsor, we allow the student to gain experience relevant to pursuing a career in psychology. The mission is accomplished by addressing three specific goals. First, we prepare students with research skills that enable them to assist in the design and analysis of behavioral data. Second, we allow students to work in a collaborative fashion with experienced research scientists to gain first-hand knowledge of the demands of research. This task is often accomplished through service learning activities connecting the student with projects in the community. Third, we teach our students to teach others, and provide them with opportunities to gain supervised experience conducting classes in the Department of Psychology, including laboratory supervision through teaching a self-contained undergraduate course.
The Research concentration is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study of topics other than I-O or clinical psychology. The objective of the research program is to provide students with in-depth knowledge and research experiences that will prepare them for doctoral work or applied research positions.
Specialty areas related to the interests and backgrounds of primary supervising faculty are offered. The list of current faculty and their research interests is available on our website. Because of the tutorial nature of the program, students whose interests and abilities closely approximate the areas of interest of the primary supervising faculty will be most able to profit from the program. Students should contact the coordinator of the research concentration for discussion of the specialty areas which are offered and review the departmental web site and faculty publications. This is an important process because the research concentration is based on a "mentoring model" whereby each student works closely with an individual faculty member throughout his/her course of study within the department. This person is the student's faculty sponsor; this sponsor often becomes the student's academic advisor and may chair the student's thesis committee. Sponsorships will be determined through reviews of the applications of students who are academically qualified by virtue of their undergraduate work and GRE scores and whose research interests match current faculty interests and availability. Applications should include a personal statement that clearly identifies research interests and potential faculty sponsors.
Students in the program will acquire the variety of statistical and methodological skills required for conducting research in psychology. Opportunities for intensive individual study in the chosen specialty area will be provided. Students will be given research experience under the supervision of a faculty advisor. This research experience will culminate in the preparation of a thesis.
A full-time student can complete the degree in two years (four semesters). Some of the courses are offered in the evening.
Download the Guidebook for Research Psychology
The Department of Psychology is housed in the office building at 540 McCallie Avenue. A well-equipped computer lab is located near the department offices. Lab space is available for research studies. In addition, the University computers support Microsoft office and major statistical packages and all have internet access.
Students should begin work on developing a thesis during their first year, exploring ideas and examining the existing research literature. The thesis consists of either an original empirical research project or a theoretical or conceptual interpretation of existing psychological thought based on material previously published. Graduate students who are writing a thesis must choose a thesis advisor from among the faculty. The following information is designed to supplement guidance provided by one's thesis advisor: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Graduate Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines
The research program is individually tailored to meet each student's needs and goals. Because it is primarily a tutorial program with a strong emphasis on independent study and one-to-one faculty/student interaction, the number of students admitted each year is quite limited. In addition to GPA and GRE scores, admission decisions are heavily based on the personal statement which should detail the applicant's research interests and educational goals. Persons wishing to apply to this program should examine the listing of the current research interests of the faculty to determine which instructor would best match or support their needs. For more details about program admissions, check out the Admissions Requirements section of this website.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Submit an official score (not over five years old) for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
- Submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Personal statements should describe the student’s career goals, research interests and a faculty member who can serve as their mentor. Our program focuses on a mentor based approach.
- Have a minimum grade point average of 2.7 (based on a 4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work taken prior to receiving the baccalaureate degree or 3.0 in the senior year. In a typical year, the average GPA of admitted applicants is 3.4; GRE scores and GPA are combined into a single admissions index.
- GA Application
For more information:
Dr. Jill Shelton, Graduate Program Director
Psychology Department (2803)
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403
Office: 540 McCallie Avenue, Room 378