• Psychology major Jennifer Johnson is an Honors student and editor of Collage
  • MTSU Psychology students put on a health literacy fair at Barfield Elementary
  • Dr. Paul Foster, who specializes in neuropsychology, goes over data with students
Schedule an Appointment with Your Advisor

Schedule Now

Experimental Psychology at MTSU

A major goal of the Experimental concentration in psychology is to prepare the student to be a research psychologist. The primary objective is to prepare students to enter a Ph.D. program in psychology. However, many industries, clinical settings, and research universities are interested in students with the analytical and statistical skills of a research psychologist. In addition, students with a masters degree in Experimental Psychology may also be employed as faculty at the junior college level as a psychology instructor.

Experimental students need to have a strong background in the core areas of experimental psychology. Some of this background can be completed at the undergraduate level (see item 1 below), however the students must also complete a core of graduate experimental courses (see item 6 below). In addition, students are encouraged to become involved in research, and participate in research projects throughout their graduate enrollment. Toward this goal, the student should enroll in at least one hour of research (PSY 6600) or thesis work (PSY 6640) each semester.

For further information on the Experimental Psychology Program at MTSU, follow one of the following:

Degree Requirements  |  Program Faculty  |  Application Process  |  Thesis  |  Handbook (Experimental Students)  |  Degree Plan

Degree Requirements

Candidate must;

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the core areas of psychology by completing the following courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level prior to entering the Experimental Program, or during enrollment in the program (relevant courses offered at MTSU are listed in parentheses):

    a. research methods (PSY 3070 or 5070);
    b. social psychology or personality (PSY 2210, 3230/5230, 3590, 6020 or 6030);
    c. learning or cognition (PSY 4040, 4480/5480, or 6190);
    d. developmental (PSY 2300, 4190, 4210/5210, 4610/5610, 6120, 6130, 6410);
    e. brain and behavior, or sensation and perception (PSY 2190, 4030/5030, 4240/5240, or 4780/5780);
    f. statistics (PSY 3020).

  2. complete a total of 36 semester hours including at least 30 hours in graduate psychology courses. Only 30 percent of the total number of hours may be dually listed (5000 level meeting in conjunction with 4000 or 3000 level) courses;

  3. complete PSY 6280, and 6290 (PSY 3020 or equivalent is a prerequisite for both PSY 6280 and 6290);

  4. successfully write and orally present a written thesis evaluated by a committee of psychology faculty in conjunction with PSY 6640;

  5. pass a written comprehensive examination prepared by the Experimental faculty (may be taken no more than twice).

  6. complete the following Experimental Core Courses;

    PSY 5240 Behavioral Neuroscience (or PSY 5780)
    PSY 6810 Literature Review & Reading in Psychology: Social (1 - 3 Credit Hours) OR
    PSY 6020 Theories of Personality
    PSY 6120 Developmental Psychology: Child OR
    PSY 6130 Developmental Psychology: Adolescent OR
    PSY 6410 Development Across the Lifespan
    PSY 6190 Advanced Cognitive Psychology
    PSY 6280 Psychological Statistics: Regression
    PSY 6290 Psychological Statistics: ANOVA
    PSY 6600 Independent Research in Psychology: General and Experimental (1 - 9 Credit Hours; 3 total towards degree)
    PSY 6615 Basic and Applied Research Methods in Psychology
    PSY 6640 Thesis (1-6 Credit Hours, 3 total towards degree)
    Choose from the following:  PSY 6590, PSY 6660, PSY 6670, PSY 6680, PSY 6700, PSY 6720, PSY 6730, PSY 6740, PSY 6790, PSY 6810
  7. complete 6 hours of electives chosen with the approval of the student's advisor.


  • Richard Bauer
  • Janet Belsky
  • Stuart Bernstein
  • Michelle Boyer-Pennington
  • Thomas Brinthaupt
  • Teresa L. Davis
  • Sharon Guttman-Tenenholz
  • Donald Kendrick
  • William Langston
  • Glenn Littlepage
  • Cyrille Magne
  • Alan D. Musicant
  • John Pennington
  • Constance Schmidt
  • Greg W. Schmidt
  • Stephen R. Schmidt

Application Process

Applications will be evaluated until all available slots are filled. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, current transcripts, and three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of your goals as a student in experimental psychology are required in order to be considered for admission.  We also strongly recommend that you submit a vita or a resume.

  • Deadline for Fall Admission: March 1st
  • Deadline for Spring Admission: Oct. 1st

Admission to the College of Graduate Studies is a dual process: the applicant first has to be accepted by the College of Graduate Studies, and then has to be accepted by the graduate degree program of their choice. The first step in applying to graduate school at MTSU is to apply online. If you have problems, contact the Graduate Coordinator in the College of Graduate Studies who oversees the discipline in which you are interested.

For further information about the experimental program, contact Dr. Stephen R. Schmidt.