The graduate study is focused on systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, perception and cognition, personality and social psychology, and physiological psychology. It is a preparatory program for a Ph.D., which takes approximately five years to complete, and a career of scholarship in psychology. Every year, six doctoral degrees and eight master's degrees are awarded on average. Students in the university's M.D./Ph.D. program, run jointly with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, are also able to pursue their doctoral degree in the department.
Laboratory units are organized around the research programs of the faculty. These programs range from animal motivation and conditioning processes to decision making in human social groups, from neurophysiological mechanisms controlling basic drives to attributional processes in judging other individuals, from the sensory and perceptual roots of human cognition to concept formation and problem solving behavior in the child and adult, from the mathematical and computer techniques employed in research to the mechanisms of attitude formation and change.
Admission to the graduate program is highly competitive. The number of applications received by the department has risen steadily from 2003 to 2007 and, consequently, the admission rate has declined accordingly. In 2003, twenty out of 192 applicants were accepted. Though seventeen applicants were admitted to the program in 2007, the applicant pool had almost fifty more applicants than the applicant pool from four years earlier.
Men are better represented in the department's student body than in the student bodies of most psychology graduate programs in the United States. Women account for about half of the department's graduate student body, even though women made up 68 percent of the recipients of doctoral degrees in psychology in 2005. Gender representation notwithstanding, female graduate students in psychology programs may benefit from same-sex mentors in their departments. Whereas only 33 percent of faculty members in psychology departments in the United States are women, the Department of Psychology's faculty has a female representation of over 40 percent. Additionally, the department is one of two departments at Princeton University that has had women who have served as departmental chairs.
Nine percent of the department's graduate students are underrepresented minorities. In contrast, twelve percent of recipients of psychology doctoral degrees in 2005 were African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. However, the ethnic and racial diversity of the department's students is comparable to the diversity of the student body of the university's Graduate School. Eight percent of the university's graduate students are members of the three aforementioned underrepresented groups. To reduce minority underrepresentation in graduate school, the department's faculty and graduate students participate in the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program, which seeks to encourage students from underrepresented groups to apply to and succeed in graduate school.
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Famous quotes containing the word graduate:
“Miss Caswell is an actress, a graduate of the Copacabana school of dramatic arts.”
—Joseph L. Mankiewicz (19091993)
“In the United States, it is now possible for a person eighteen years of age, female as well as male, to graduate from high school, college, or university without ever having cared for, or even held, a baby; without ever having comforted or assisted another human being who really needed help. . . . No society can long sustain itself unless its members have learned the sensitivities, motivations, and skills involved in assisting and caring for other human beings.”
—Urie Bronfenbrenner (b. 1917)
“1946: I go to graduate school at Tulane in order to get distance from a possessive mother. I see a lot of a red-haired girl named Maude-Ellen. My mother asks one day: Does Maude-Ellen have warts? Every girl Ive known named Maude-Ellen has had warts. Right: Maude-Ellen had warts.”
—Bill Bouke (20th century)