Doctoral Program Details


The Ph.D. program in Psychology is focused on the study of Consciousness and Society. It is grounded in the Department's approach to psychology as a distinctively human science.  It will educate future scholars and practitioners at the highest level of the discipline to make original contributions to theory and knowledge. Our graduates will serve as researchers, consultants, leaders, and teachers who can creatively facilitate transformations in a global society.  The program reflects three theoretical approaches to analyze the intersection of consciousness and society: Humanistic, Critical, & Transpersonal. These approaches serve as reflexive and reflective anchors to the scholarly trajectory of our students in developing their own research interests.  All of the theoretic perspectives that inform the curriculum indicate a fundamental value of the program, to privilege the question of one’s subjective accounting of an event, either in experiential or discursive terms.  Whether in terms of reflexivity or awareness, this value links each of these traditions to more qualitative approaches to which the Departmental teaching is also committed.  In all of our classes and projects, the Psychology Department offers a more integrative and nuanced approach toward consciousness and society, including an awareness of the less explored spiritual dimensions that inform individual and community life. This promise is made good in our foundation in transpersonal psychologies with their articulation of the wisdom traditions.  Our broad based sense of the place of community life for the individual translates into our support of social justice and ecological and integrative thinking. It dovetails with our effort to continually creatively address the relationship between theory and praxis through more ethically informed and engaged modalities of research.

For more information, see:

Program Description

Beyond traditional classes in psychological theory and research, students are exposed to a variety of experiences that foster rigorous and creative scholarship alongside social engagement and transformation. The program’s strong humanistic, cultural/critical, and transpersonal foundations mean that scholarship is linked to social engagement.   Faculty encourage and guide PhD students to submit articles to national and peer reviewed journals as well as a variety of national publications for professional development.  Each semester students receive opportunities to present papers and posters at regional and national conferences that represent their areas of interest and further advance the goals of evolving perspectives in psychology, human science, discursive psychology and qualitative research.

Method of Delivery

Courses are 100% face-to-face.


The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACCSCOC).

Credit & Transfer

Total semester hours required to earn a degree: 60
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 9

Tuition & Fees

For the most up-to-date and accurate cost information, see the Bursar's Office website at


The curriculum includes a variety of course formats: lectures, seminars, tutorials, independent projects, and practica. Lecture courses are larger in size (10-15 students each), and present foundational overviews. Seminars are smaller (6-10 students), more specialized discussion oriented courses focusing on advanced topics. Tutorials are composed of 3-5 students who gather for advanced study in an area with a faculty mentor, following the tradition of associated with the Oxford model. Independent projects are individualized research projects designed by the student in collaboration with a supervising professor. These are available only to those students who have qualified for more in-depth work in a particular area. The practicum is a field placement.


Consciousness and Experience - PSYC-8000

Description: This study of current approaches to consciousness, especially in light of one's own inner life and with particular attention to the emergence of consciousness, its nature, development, differentiations, and potential deformations and to its role in grounding, shaping, constituting, and orientating human experience.

Culture and Subjectivity - PSYC-8001

Description: An examination of the dialectical nature of the relationship between subjectivity and culture including recent development in linguistics, textual analysis and research on intersubjectivity.

Studies in Mind-Body - PSYC-8002

Description: Basic issues in mind/body psychology, such as the phenomenology of embodied consciousness, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroscience, holistic health and contemplative disciplines.

- PSYC-8003


Human Science Methodologies - PSYC-8005

Description: An examination of the practice and application of research methodologies such as qualitative, phemonological, hermeneutic, ethnographic, and discourse analysis.

Advanced Human Science Methodologies - PSYC-8006

Description: Advanced applications and design of qualitative methods and their fields of application, including health psychology, education, community, program evaluation and other fields.

Critical Foundations of Psychology - PSYC-8007

Description: This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. This course provides a historical and current day perspectives on the seminal philosophical, theoretical and empirical perspectives in the discipline of critical psychology. Within this course we develop an understanding of consciousness as situated at the intersection of systems of power, be it at the individual, group or societal level.

Humanistic Foundations of Psychology - PSYC-8008

Description: This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. The course examines the paradigm of psychology as a specifically humanistic discipline. Its focus is on the historical origins and philosophical foundations of this approach.

Transpersonal Foundations of Psychology - PSYC-8009

Description: This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. It provides a theoretical and experiential foundation in transpersonal psychology. Western psychology often focuses on the individual person as a single, separate, extrinsically existing entity in relation to others. Transpersonal psychology challenges this assumption, effectively returning to psychology's original meaning as the study (or revealing) of soul or spirit.

Theoretical Foundations of Psychological Inquiry - PSYC-8010

Description: Philosophy of inquiry is the foundational course for the research sequence. The course focuses on problems and concepts with direct relevance to psychological inquiry. Including a survey of historical views of science and scientific method, and competing views of what grounds the authority of science.

Psychospirituality and Transformation - PSYC-8102

Description: An examination of wisdom traditions and approaches to psychospiritual personality integration and how they apply to modern human problems.

Science, Technology, and Consciousness - PSYC-8103

Description: An examination of the individual and social psychological significance of living in an increasingly technological world, including implications for such issues as identity, agency, cultural change, and adaptation.

Special Topics in Human Development - PSYC-8185

Description: Special series of seminars meant to explore subjects in human development which are of particular interest to students & faculty.

Psychology, Epistemology, and Ethics - PSYC-8260

Description: Often attributed to religion and perforce, confounded by differing opinions, epistemology and ethics - the study of knowledge and values, of truth and goodness, respectively - are matters of the human mind. To elucidate the crisis in these two disciplines, the course provides a historical overview of them; and to offer realistic hope of addressing the crisis, the course focuses on Bernarad J.F.Lonergan's analysis of intentional consciousness and its inherent norms for correct knowledge and responsible decision.

Depth Psychology - PSYC-8270

Description: Topics in depth psychological theories of the unconscious.

History of Consciousness - PSYC-8280

Description: Examination of the evolution of human consciousness through a focus on key historical epochs in civilization and the transformations wrought in each.

Approaches to Community - PSYC-8290

Description: Identification of the interplay of social, individual, and other factors at work in given community issues and problems.

Exploratory Methods in Consciousness Studies - PSYC-8300

Description: Practice in the cultivation of methods of conscious awareness, such as meditation, yoga, and other forms of mental discipline.

Program Evaluation - PSYC-8301

Description: Advanced studies in program evaluation; applied settings are emphasized.

Independent Project - PSYC-8581

Description: Independent research in a particular topic, under the supervision of a professor.

Advanced Seminars - PSYC-8584

Description: These seminars will offer advanced study in special topics; Child & Youth Care, Organizational Transformation, Community Building & Generativity, Disaster Mental Health, Cultural Diversity and Community.

Psychology Proseminar - PSYC-8884

Description: This post-master's-level seminar introduces students to advanced study in psychology by critical examination of key issues in contemporary psychology. Particular topics will vary. May be repeated for credit.

Advanced Practicum in Psychology - PSYC-8887

Description: Post-master's-level supervised practicum in an applied setting. May be repeated fro credit.

Doctoral Qualifying Seminar - PSYC-9002

Description: The doctoral qualifying course serves two purposes. Firstly it prepares a student for comprehensives, which will be presented within the context of the class. Secondly, it allows one to discuss and develop a frame for a dissertation proposal and leads to a proposal draft. May be repeated once for credit. Student should have completed all required classes and required hours to enroll

Teaching Practicum - PSYC-9087

Description: Development of expertise as a teacher in both academic and psycho-educational settings.

Practica - PSYC-9187

Description: A focused immersion into a specific psycho-social intervention, in the course of which the student is to develop a systemic understanding of the issue(s) addressed, as well as a concept of what constitutes a change in consciousness awareness or systemic transformative intervention around those issues.

Internship - PSYC-9887

Description: Internship is defined as intensive and independent fieldwork experience that occurs concurrently with dissertation research. It typically follows proposal defense and comprehensives. The internship should bear a clear and articulated relationship to student's interests and doctoral program aims and teachings. It is at least one semester long. Site, hours and supervisory contract will be negotiated by the student, the internship instructor and appropriate personnel site supervisors.

Dissertation - PSYC-9999

Description: Student enrolls in PSYC 9999 each semester after completing comprehensives and coursework. (Required) Variable credit up to 9 hours.

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program-specific Admittance Guidelines

Three letters of recommendations on official letterhead stationery. Academic letters are preferred although other professional letters will be accepted. Letters must arrive in sealed, signed envelopes with the form (click to download).  Please have the completed forms set directly to the College of Social Sciences at address indicated on the form.

An official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score. There is no minimum but GRE scores will be considered in the applicant’s profile and must be submitted. The program will not accept scores more than 5 years old. For more information about the GRE, please visit the web site at GRE scores should be sent directly to the Admission’s Office.

A current curriculum vitae listing contact information (including email address), educational background, employment history, awards and recognitions, presentations, etc. (Send directly to the College of Social Sciences – address above).

A reflective essay describing why you are drawn to this particular program and how you understand the relation of consciousness and society. The essay should include a statement of how you imagine the program will contribute to your future plans. (Send directly to the College of Social Sciences – address above).

A writing sample, an academic paper is highly preferred but other formats are acceptable. (Send directly to the College of Social Sciences – address above).

Note: Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree will be considered, although applicants with graduate degrees, e.g. a Master’s degree are preferred. Those with degrees outside of psychology are welcome as well as those with degrees in the field of psychology. Additional courses in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia may be required due to disciplinary background or level of educational attainment. After your complete application has been received by the College of Social Sciences, it will be sent to the Director of the Ph.D. Program.

Application Deadlines

We only accept applications for fall semester.  The application deadline date is January 10th. For more information on deadline dates, please refer to the link below:

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here: Graduate Program Checklist for PhD in Psychology.pdf.

One exception: If you will not be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.


Program Inquiries:

Ph.D. Student Assistant
Neill Korobov nkorobov@westga.du
Lisa Osbeck

Applicant Status:

Victoria Yang


This program admits during Fall Semester only.

Fall Admission Only: The deadline date is always January 10th.

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP at

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines: 

Learning Objectives