Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.)
This program is delivered online.
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) is to provide advanced theoretical and research training in psychology with the goal of glorifying God through the pursuit of truth in the study of human behavior.
Program Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
- Evaluate the research literature in psychology to include major concepts, theories, and empirical finding.
- Evaluate various research methodologies, designs, and statistical procedures in psychological science.
- Apply psychological research to practical individual and social problems.
- Evaluate the psychological research literature in the context of biblical worldview.
Developmental Psychology Concentration
The student will be able to:
- Assess key principles and theories in Developmental Psychology across the lifespan.
- Produce original research in Developmental Psychology.
General Psychology Concentration
The student will be able to:
- Assess key principles and theories in Psychology.
- Produce original research in Psychology.
Industrial/Organizational Psychology Concentration
The student will be able to:
- Assess key principles and theories in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
- Produce original research in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Social Psychology Concentration
The student will be able to:
- Assess key principles and theories in Social Psychology.
- Produce original research in Social Psychology.
Program Specific Admission Procedures
In addition to the General Admission Procedures outlined in this catalog, doctoral applicants to the Ph.D. in Psychology program must have:
- Completed Master’s degree from an accredited institution.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale) in all previous graduate course work.
- Twelve (12) hours in Psychology at either Undergraduate or Graduate level. Must include general psychology, statistics, research methods, and one (1) additional psychology course. If met at Undergraduate level, BA will be required.
- Two (2) Recommender Contact Information. Approved recommenders are the student’s former college professors or supervisors.
- Statement of Purpose: two (2) pages, double spaced.
- Departmental approval (as required by Graduate Admissions)
The above are minimum academic requirements for admission to the Ph.D. in Psychology program. The applicant’s character, integrity, and general fitness to practice a particular profession will also be considered in the admission process.
Transfer of Credit
Students may transfer up to 15 semester hours of Ph.D. coursework. For a transferred course to replace a Liberty University Ph.D. course, the following requirements must be met:
- The school at which the course was taken must be appropriately accredited.
- The course credit must be at least three semester hours or five quarter hours.
- The student must have earned a grade of B- or better in the course.
- The course must overlap with one of Liberty’s courses by at least 80%.
- Transfer credits must have been completed as post-master’s course work (700-900 level) within the previous seven (7) years to be accepted.
- Courses with a recorded grade of C+ or below will not be accepted.
- Correspondence studies or life experiences will not be accepted for transfer credit.
The Ph.D. in Psychology requires completion of a minimum of 60 hours of post-master’s Ph.D.-level coursework including core courses, concentration courses, and dissertation coursework.
Delivery Format: Online Only
This course introduces students to doctoral education in Psychology and the requirements for a Ph.D. in Psychology. Critical thinking skills, scholarly writing, empirical research, and ethics are discussed to equip students for success in doctoral education.
Exploration of the purpose of empirical research with a review of the philosophies of empiricism and rationalism in comparison to the Biblical worldview. How a Biblical worldview is compatible with empirical research in Psychology and the exploration of truth is examined.
Critical examination of current theory and research in social psychology. Focus on theories of attribution, social perception, attitude formation/change, social relationships, prosocial behavior, aggression, social influence.
Critical examination of current theory and research in industrial/organizational psychology. Focus on organizational development, workplace attitudes, research on personnel and management, as well as key theories in industrial/organizational psychology.
Critical examination of current theory and research in developmental psychology. Focus on physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development across the lifespan.
Advanced exploration of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that determine behavior. Focus on the structure and function of the vertebrate nervous system, the cellular basis of neuronal activities, the neural control of movement, the acquisition and processing of sensory information, and the biological bases of motivated behaviors and higher-order mental processes.
This course provides students with an overview of the theoretical background and practical skills needed to effectively teach the subject of psychology at the college level. Topics in the course include course preparation, strategies to facilitate learning, successful teacher-student rapport, and exploration of personal teaching style/philosophy.
The value of qualitative research in understanding human behavior is examined with an emphasis on various qualitative methodologies and their theoretical foundations. Phenomenology, grounded theory, and case study are discussed.
This course will explore and evaluate theories and empirical findings on the development of social cognition, a form of cognition. Students will engage knowledge of cognitive development and social development as we examine how research explains the role cognitive processes play in social interactions. Emphasis on the “social” aspects of social cognition will guide our focus on cognition in relation to the self, others, how we interpret feelings and emotions, and mental processes that influence perception and judgments within social groups.
The value of quantitative research in understanding human behavior is examined with an emphasis on various advanced quantitative methodologies and their theoretical foundations. The course builds on students' understanding of basic inferential theory and linear regression and familiarizes them with new statistical techniques and advanced quantitative methods.
Exploration of contemporary topics in developmental psychology across the lifespan. Empirical research, current trends, and a special focus on ongoing research in the field will be highlighted.
Exploration of contemporary topics in Industrial/Organizational psychology. Empirical research, current trends, and a special focus on ongoing research in the field will be highlighted.
Exploration of contemporary topics in social psychology. Empirical research, current trends, and a special focus on ongoing research in the field will be highlighted.
Examination of current research on child and adolescent development in the context of the digital age. Appraisal of empirical literature relating to the impact of contemporary technological innovations on physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual development of children and adolescents. Investigation of the complex interactions among development, media and technology, and recent sociocultural change. Exploration of the effects of sociocultural change on development.
Advanced study of the unique physical, social, psychological and cognitive development of children and adolescents. Developmental theories and research aimed at understanding the unique needs and stages in childhood and adolescence will be examined.
Examination of how children’s thinking and language develop from infancy through the lifespan. Major theories and explanations for intellectual growth will be examined with application to real-world issues that pertain to children’s cognitive and language development.
Advanced study of moral development across the lifespan. Examination of themes and current research in physical, mental, emotional, and social domains pertinent to moral development. Special consideration given to varying social and cultural contexts.
Online Prerequisite: PSYC 545
In this course, students will review and apply methodologies to assess the measurement qualities of tests pertinent to organizations. Specifically, students will demonstrate their ability to critique and improve existing measures using data with the goal of bolstering the validity arguments of the test scores. Students will learn to make data-driven decisions from classical and advanced measurement techniques that are readily used by the I/O psychologists of today.
This course will enable students to learn both the theoretical and pragmatic approaches associated with the skills and competencies of an organizational and professional development consultant. Students will be exposed to consulting, coaching and change management tools for all levels in the organization, i.e. individual, group. They will also be exposed to research topics related to organizational change such as organizational assessment and development which they will then apply practically to a case study focusing on an organization's need for change.
Working in or with organizations requires an in-depth understanding of job attitudes. This class will approach the measurement and assessment of workplace attitudes from both a research and practical perspective. This course will review the major theories of job attitudes, as well as their antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Students will review research on attitudes such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, engagement and both organizational & counterproductive behaviors. They will then use this research to create their own applied attitude survey research project.
In this course, students explore current research and theory related to the emergence of contemporary virtual organizations in the 21st century. The dimensions of virtual work, as well as evaluation of managerial and individual challenges facing virtual organizations is examined. Focus is given to effectiveness, communication, technology changes, and functionality in the work setting.
This course examines theory, research, and application in attitudes and change. Through use of evidence-based psychological measurements, research regarding the growing field of implicit attitudes, with the more traditional study of persuasion will be addressed. Additionally, new research on the effects of attitude and change, as is understood within the concept of humanity’s information processing and behavior will be explored.
In this course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of the process of survey research methods, including research design and the construction, implementation, analysis, and validation of survey instruments. Focus is given to critical analysis of survey-based research in both academic and non-academic settings. Additional emphasis is placed on development of practical and technical skills involved in designing high-quality surveys and analyzing and interpreting survey data.
The course provides an overview of research on social relationships with a focus on theories related to relationship formation, attraction, satisfaction, and dissolution of relationships.
This course provides an overview of emerging research in Social Cognitive Neuroscience with a look at social influences on the nervous system, including the neural basis of social interaction, and the neural basis of perceptions about our social world.
In this course, students will consider the specific challenges and opportunities to the field of psychology that is affected by the ever-changing digital world. Consideration will be given to such concepts as associated with online and digital world with advertising, parenting, abuse/bullying and mental health.
In this course, students will be introduced to the dissertation process and will develop the foundational elements of their dissertation. Emphasis will be given to the development of the Problem Statement, Purpose, Research Questions, literature review, and proposed methodology.
Registration Restrictions: If needed, the student can take the final concentration course with 870.
Online Prerequisite: PSYC 870
In this course, students will review the dissertation process and complete chapter 1 of their dissertation.
Online Prerequisite: PSYC 987
In this course, students will build upon the work they completed in Dissertation I by completing their Dissertation Proposal, to include the Abstract and Chapters 1-3 of their dissertation. Students will conclude this course with an oral defense of their Dissertation Proposal.
Online Prerequisite: PSYC 988
In this course, students will complete an IRB proposal for their dissertation, obtain IRB approval, and complete data collection.
Online Prerequisite: PSYC 989
In this course, students will complete their dissertations by completing their Dissertation Manuscript, to include the Abstract and Chapters 1-5 of their dissertation. Students will conclude this course with an oral defense of their Dissertation Manuscript.