Student Handbook

Overview and Policies of the Psychology Program

School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation
Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
Claremont Graduate University


   Important Phone Numbers, Addresses, and Individuals
   Mission Statement of the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences
General Expectations
   What is expected of graduate students
Student Organizations
   Graduate Student Council (GSC)
Faculty Advisors, Dean, and Chair
   Evaluation procedures
The Graduate Faculty in Psychology (GFIP)
Involvement in Research
   Dissertation research
   Expected Review Time for Papers
Requirements, Deadlines, and Timelines
   Dual degrees
   GPA Policy
   Program Deadlines
   Additional Program Requirements and Deadlines Specific to the Ph.D. Program:
         Sample target timelines
         Actual time to complete a Ph.D
         Summary of Steps in the CGU Psychology Ph.D. Program
Financial Aid
   Internal fellowships
   External fellowships
Other Useful Information
   Department office
   Academic computing
   Institute of Organizational & Program Evaluation Research
   Faculty sabbaticals
   Research and travel expenses
   Research space
   Photocopy machine
Using Human Subjects
DBOS Policy on Student Access to the DBOS Listserv


Welcome to the graduate program in psychology at Claremont Graduate University! We think you will find that our program offers an unusual, even unique, combination of elements that can make your graduate studies both stimulating and rewarding. Its uniqueness comes from the blending of apparent contradictions. For example, the curriculum allows students to tailor their graduate program to their own individual interests and needs to a considerable degree, but it also maintains an overall coherence and responsiveness to external employment opportunities. Departmental norms provide high academic standards while striving for a collegial and supportive environment for students. Similarly, the cluster arrangement of the Claremont Colleges provides the resources of a full-spectrum university and a large department (e.g., over 50 graduate faculty in psychology) with the personalization and relative intimacy of a small department (the core graduate faculty). We wish success for you in the program, at the same time, recognizing that there will be challenges and difficulties along the way.

This Handbook is a program overview. It provides an introduction to the psychology department, and the policies and procedures that will affect you throughout your graduate career, and especially in your first year. Supplementary materials are available in the DBOS office and in the lounge, with details on specific topics such as master's projects, portfolios, research tools, orals, and dissertations. You should consult these resources when they are most relevant for you.

With best wishes for your success,
The CGU Psychology Faculty, Staff, and Students

Important Phone Numbers and Addresses

Claremont Graduate University is located at 150 E. Tenth Street, Claremont, CA 91711.

The administrative office of the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences is located at the ACB Building, 123 E. Eighth Street, Claremont CA 91711.

Phone: (909) 621-8084
Fax: (909) 621-8905

Click here to view the most commonly requested phone numbers and addresses for CGU staff.

Click here for the CGU Faculty/Staff Directory.

Mission Statement

The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences is committed to conducting social science research and evaluations that will influence constructive social change, and to providing scholars and practitioners the means to influence the direction of institutions for the betterment of society.

Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (DBOS)

The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University encompasses the Ph.D. and M.A. degree programs in psychology in the areas of Applied Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Health Behavior Research, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Positive Developmental Psychology, Positive Organizational Psychology, and Evaluation Science, and the M.S. program in Human Resources Design.

General Expectations

You are well aware that success in graduate school requires a high level of academic performance. The best preparation for the challenges, and possibly the anxiety, raised by this circumstance is a firm understanding of what is expected of you and how you will be evaluated as a graduate student. In this section, therefore, we will try to provide you with a straightforward account of the assumptions implicit in the department's relations with graduate students, what is expected of students in the program, and the procedures employed by the department to monitor students' academic performance.


The graduate psychology program operates on two primary assumptions about students:

First, we assume that each student admitted is academically capable and should be expected to succeed in graduate school. There are no "weed-out" courses designed to fail students or otherwise screen them after entry into the program. As a small program devoted exclusively to graduate education, our philosophy is to provide personalized, distinctive graduate education in a context of support, respect, and encouragement for students while, at the same time, maintaining high academic standards.

Second, the program assumes that students are responsible for their own education. Our role is to provide opportunity, resources, guidance, teaching, and encouragement. It is your responsibility to set your own educational and professional goals and assertively use the available resources to attain those goals. Do not approach the program passively, saying, "Tell me what to do." Approach it actively asking, "How will I use this program (class, requirement, etc.) to help achieve my goals?"

What is Expected of Graduate Students

The faculty review of students' academic performance and progress attends to three areas: course work, research, and timely progress through the program. Below we describe what is expected of you in each category.

1) Course work and grades. You are expected to do well in all your courses, not only with regard to specific course requirements, but in the quality and vigor of your inquiry, discussion, and writing. Graduate students in this program are required to maintain at least a B average (i.e., 3.0) in their course work and falling below that level will put your academic status in jeopardy. Click here for the school policy on student GPAs.

Core courses must be passed with a grade of B- or higher, and grades of "Incomplete" are not given.

2) Research. Every Ph.D. student is expected to be engaged in a research project under faculty supervision every semester in the program. Ph.D. students are required to be enrolled in the Directed Research seminar during their first year at CGU. The goal of the Directed Research seminar is to launch each student on an empirical research project with a faculty research advisor here at CGU. This research project is to be each student’s M.A. thesis research (if he or she entered without a Master's degree) or their "first year research project" (if he or she entered with a Masters degree). This research project, when completed, can also serve as an item in a student’s portfolio.

Both the proposal and the final thesis/first year project must be reviewed and signed off by two faculty members. These two faculty members include the student’s research advisor and a second reader selected by the research advisor in consultation with the student. Ordinarily the empirical project is actually the research proposed in the first year proposal, and students are encouraged to develop their proposal with this goal in mind. However, sometimes students change their course of study after their first year and actually complete this research requirement with a different research project. Either way, the same time deadlines apply.

A common misjudgment, especially among first and second year Ph.D. students, is to neglect the research activities in favor of the more immediate and pressing demands of the course work. Although each program requires different types of research activity, it is important to note that the Ph.D. is a research degree – course work is preparation; research is the main event.

3) Progress. You are expected to make steady progress through the formal requirements of the program, subject to reasonable allowances for individual circumstances of family, finances, health, and other such constraints. Students may petition for a leave of absence if needed. You are expected to meet the various specific program deadlines (e.g., qualifying courses and portfolio finished within three years) or provide an acceptable explanation for delays. Check the specific timetable of your program for these deadlines.

4) Participation in Departmental Affairs. We expect students to attend colloquia, social/organizational and cognitive lunches, department sponsored conferences, and other such activities that are designed to enhance students' development and broaden their horizons. To this end, all first year psychology students are required to attend the department-sponsored colloquia. Life in the department benefits greatly from the generous contribution of those students who help with colloquium arrangements, orientation activities, serve as student representatives at the faculty meetings, and other such volunteer activities.

5) Ethics. We expect graduate students to uphold the standards of ethics and behavior appropriate to academic life and the profession of psychology. This means academic honesty, as covered in the CGU Bulletin, regarding plagiarism, cheating on exams, unauthorized collaboration, and so forth. (Be sure to attend closely to the section on plagiarism in this Handbook.) More broadly, however, it means maintaining professional standards of conduct in all your activities as a graduate student. Especially sensitive are relations with "clients" and sponsors, whether these are businesses or agencies sponsoring research projects, field placement hosts, persons in field settings where research is being conducted, those establishing consulting relationships with you, patients and families in the Autism Clinic, and so forth.

6) Student Learning Outcomes.  Throughout the program, Ph.D. students will be evaluated against the following learning outcomes, and are expected to be proficient in each area at the completion of their degree: 1) Ability to comprehend and apply critical theory and empirical research in concentration area, 2) Facility with statistical and methodological techniques commonly used in one’s concentration area, 3) Ability and success contributing to the original source material in one’s concentration area, and 4) Development of professional writing and oral presentation skills.

Throughout the program, M.A. Co-Concentration students will be evaluated against the following learning outcomes, and are expected to be proficient in each area at the completion of their degree: 1) Comprehend and apply critical theory and empirical research in concentration area, 2)Facility with statistical and methodological techniques commonly used in one’s concentration area , 3) Development of professional writing and oral presentation skills, and 4) Ability to understand and apply multiple perspectives in the field of program evaluation

Throughout the program, M.S. in Human Resource Design students will be evaluated against the following learning outcomes, and are expected to be proficient in each area at the completion of their degree: 1) Ability to understand and apply the principles of Human Resources (HR) Strategy, 2) Ability to understand and apply strategic solutions to a variety of complex business issues, and 3) Development of effective communication and oral presentation skills.

Virtually everyone with whom you come in contact while in your role as a CGU graduate student should be treated in a professional manner (including the faculty, staff, and other students). "Professional," of course, does not necessarily mean cold, stuffy, or distantly formal. The major principles are confidentiality of privileged information, not overreaching or overstating your competence and knowledge or that of the discipline, fulfillment of obligations and commitments, reasonable self-control, protecting clients from risk, jeopardy, deception, or embarrassment, and general professional demeanor (dress, language, etc.). Read and understand the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists; it applies to you in your role as a graduate student in psychology.

Student Organizations

The CGU Graduate Student Council

The CGU Graduate Student Council (GSC) is a student organization made up of representatives from each of the academic programs at CGU. The formal mission of the Council is to facilitate dialogue between students and the administration, faculty, and staff. More specifically, duties include granting money to students through academic awards, hosting parties each year, publishing a newsletter, and providing financial support to various student groups on campus. The monthly Council meetings are usually attended by the administration, meaning that the issues students raise are heard. Because the Council works closely with the Dean of Students, talking to your Council representatives is probably the best way to have your concerns heard beyond the department level.

Roles of Faculty Advisors, School Dean, and Chair

Each student will have an academic advisor throughout his/her tenure in the program. Ph.D. students will also have a research advisor who may be their academic advisor. When students first enter the program they are assigned an initial (or pro tem) academic advisor with whom to consult regarding admission questions and the first semester registration. Temporarily, this faculty member also serves as the student's initial research advisor. This initial advisor is most often a full-time CGU psychology faculty member.

As Ph.D. students become more familiar with the program and the faculty, it is expected that they will choose a research advisor: a faculty member with whom they are most closely involved in research. Any member of the Graduate Faculty in Psychology may serve as a faculty research advisor to graduate students (see the next section for a description of the composition of the Graduate Faculty in Psychology). Each student must maintain an academic advisor who is a core CGU psychology faculty member. The graduate faculty from the other colleges are sometimes not as familiar with the procedures and requirements of the graduate program and may not be the best source for current advice on such matters.

The choice of advisors is entirely up to you and you may change advisors any time simply by informing the department office and your new and old advisors of your current preference. Selecting and changing faculty advisors is a routine matter for the faculty; do not be concerned about offending someone by your choice or your decision to change as necessary throughout your graduate career.

Faculty research and academic advisors are "deputized" by the department to perform a variety of academic functions and to make certain routine decisions regarding the advisees in their charge. Academic advisors will approve course work for registration each semester and help you with questions about requirements and procedures, while research advisors normally will chair the portfolio, thesis, qualifying orals, and dissertation committees.

An important function of the research advisor is to recommend members for the various supervisory and examination committees with which a student must deal during his/her progress through the program. In particular, the research advisor selects (for recommendation, via the DBOS Dean to the CGU Provost) the qualifying examination committee that administers the qualifying oral examination, the dissertation supervisory committee, and the final dissertation examination committee. Research advisors generally make this selection in consultation with the individual student, but we must emphasize that the faculty research advisor and DBOS Dean nominate the committee; the student does not. The invitation to serve on a committee should come from the research advisor and not the student. The faculty research advisor similarly recommends the readers for Master's theses and for portfolio papers. Indeed, except for papers done as a course assignment, all others (master's theses and proposals, dissertation drafts and proposals, and portfolio papers) should be submitted directly to the research advisor, who will make arrangements for appropriate readers. As with committee selection, it is not the student's responsibility to select readers, though the advisor may consult with the student in making the selection.

Graduate student matters not handled routinely by the faculty advisors, such as problems with courses, an advisor, and personal or professional progress, are a primary responsibility of the Chair (currently Dr. William Crano). The Chair also evaluates students' transcripts to see what prerequisite requirements have been satisfied, and coordinates financial aid and fellowship allocations in the department. You should feel that you have "an ear" in the department. All of the faculty, but especially your advisors and the Chair, are ready to listen if you have problems and to help you succeed.

Evaluation Procedures

The DBOS psychology faculty meets at the end of each semester to review the academic performance and progress of each graduate student in the program. The input to that meeting consists of transcripts and grades, reports of the academic and research advisors and others working with the student (including graduate faculty from outside the core faculty), prior letters and communications from the student file, and, at the student's option, a memo from the student regarding accomplishments or extenuating circumstances. It is highly recommended that students provide their academic advisors with a brief summary of activities and plans at the end of each semester. This facilitates communication between yourself and your advisor and formally documents your activities and progress. Include any pertinent information that affects your progress through the program (i.e., employment, extra activities, etc.). The faculty reviews available material, receives reports from faculty members knowledgeable about a student's activities, and reaches a collective judgment in open discussion regarding whether the student has fallen below the expected level of academic performance.

The Graduate Faculty in Psychology (GFIP)

The faculty for the graduate program in psychology is known officially as the Graduate Faculty in Psychology (GFIP). The GFIP includes the full-time core CGU psychology faculty, certain graduate faculty members of other CGU departments who have agreed to work with psychology students, and those members of the faculty at the various other Claremont Colleges who have been nominated to membership by the DBOS core faculty and approved by the CGU Provost. Not all members of the psychology faculty in the other colleges are members of the GFIP, but most are. The exceptions are primarily persons on short-term contracts, visiting faculty, or part-time faculty. A list of the GFIP appears in the psychology section of the CGU Bulletin and a list annotated with research interests and other information is available online.

By virtue of belonging to the Graduate Faculty in Psychology, the faculty at the other Claremont Colleges can supervise graduate students, sit on committees, act as research advisors and sponsors, and pretty much do everything with graduate students that the full-time CGU faculty can. They have, in effect, volunteered to work with graduate students--but they are not obligated to do so. They are most responsive to industrious students who want to work with them on shared interests in relationships of mutual benefit.

In addition to the core CGU faculty in psychology there are about 50 members of the Graduate Faculty in Psychology from the other Claremont Colleges and other departments in the Graduate University. While not available full-time to graduate students, these additional members of the GFIP represent a valuable resource for the graduate program. It is the participation of the faculty from the other colleges that permits the graduate psychology program to cover the broad range of student interests and areas of study that are represented. Ph.D. students should expect to have substantial contact with several undergraduate psychology faculty during the course of your graduate career. It is your responsibility to take the initiative in identifying those pertinent to your interests and reaching out to make contact with them, possibly for research supervision or course work, or perhaps only to meet them and discuss your interests and obtain their input to your graduate education.
You will have the opportunity to meet some of these faculty members at departmental activities, such as brown bag lunches or colloquia.

Involvement in Research

As noted earlier in this document, Ph.D. students are expected to be engaged in research throughout their term as a graduate student. This does not necessarily mean collecting data and running a study, but it does mean some independent inquiry, theoretical or conceptual if not empirical, as a regular part of your activities. A typical and appropriate sequence would be for a student to begin research on a master's project the first semester, get involved in follow-up research, faculty research projects, portfolio-related research, or other independent research when the MA is completed, then begin developing dissertation research after the qualifying orals.

The MA co-concentration program does not require that students complete a thesis, and independent research is not a required component of the program. Students typically secure additional research training through an internship or job opportunities with faculty on campus (including faculty from other Claremont Colleges) or organizations outside of the University. These research projects can provide students with valuable experience, and in some cases, may result in professional presentations and publications. In rare circumstances, students may complete a thesis project if arranged with an individual faculty member.

Since good research, like good conversation, does not mean much unless it is shared, you are also strongly encouraged to disseminate the results of your research through the professional networks that exist for that purpose. A relatively accessible vehicle, for example, is presentation of papers at the annual meetings of the Western Psychological Association (WPA), which is usually held on the West Coast some time in April, the American Psychological Society (APS) which usually meets in June, and the American Psychological Association (APA) which usually meets in August. Be sure to seek out organizations that focus on your special interests, such as the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the Academy of Management, and divisions within larger organizations such as APA Division 7 for Developmental Psychology. Applications for presenting papers are usually due six months prior to the date of the conference. You should also take every opportunity to write up your results for submission to an appropriate journal and eventual publication. Publication and conference presentations not only provide valuable experience in communicating and learning about professional networks, but get you started building a vita and establishing a professional identity. Such documented accomplishments and professional activities can considerably improve your employment prospects as a new Ph.D.

Students who have completed their first year and are working on a Master's project have the opportunity to share their progress with incoming students. During the Social Socials and Brown Bag seminars students sometimes make short presentations of their work. This gives new students an opportunity to see the different types of Master's projects being completed and gives the more advanced students an opportunity to polish their presentation skills.

Dissertation research. Like master's research, dissertation research should best be an extension or continuation of an ongoing interest or research program. It is a misconception to believe that the dissertation work has to be completely independent to the extent that no one else can have any input. You should expect to get some guidance on prospective dissertation topics from your faculty research advisor, and the topic should evolve from discussion or previous work, not simply be brought to the advisor for approval. Although your dissertation topic does not have to be brand new to the field, you do have to develop it to the point where it is distinct from what anyone else is doing. Also, like the master's, it is appropriate in most cases to set somewhat modest goals for the dissertation project. While dissertation work is expected to be a significant contribution to the discipline (more so than master's work), it nonetheless should be of manageable scope.

Expected Review Time for Papers. When students give a draft of their thesis, portfolio papers, or other official program requirements to faculty members to review, the students should expect that ordinarily the faculty will review the work and return it to them with comments within two weeks. The review of dissertations may take longer. If a faculty member is not able to review student work within two weeks, the faculty member should contact the student to explain the situation and provide an anticipated date for completing the review. For example, because the period just before the end of a semester is particularly demanding for faculty, additional review time may be necessary at those times. It is the responsibility of the student to keep faculty apprised of when subsequent drafts of papers will be turned in. Faculty members are not required to review drafts of theses, dissertations, and other official program requirements while on sabbatical, nor are they required to do so during summer months.


Plagiarism is a most serious offense in academia, subject to severe sanctions, including expulsion from school. Ignorance is no excuse, so it is important that you know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Plagiarism is presenting words or ideas of another without giving appropriate credit. Even if plagiarism is unintentional, it is still a serious breach of ethical standards in academia, and the plagiarist is subject to sanctions.

The most obvious form of plagiarism is when exact words are taken from someone else's work and presented without a proper citation. Less obvious, but still plagiarism, is when ideas are taken and used without proper citation. Even if the work of another is paraphrased into your own words, you must cite the original source. Exact words must be enclosed in quotation marks and a citation given. If you draw material from a secondary source, you must cite both the original writer and the author of the secondary source. See the APA Publication Manual for detailed examples of proper citation format.

When you take notes from your reading, you should use quotation marks and other personal conventions to identify words and ideas that are taken directly from the other author, so that when you use your notes later you will be able to give appropriate citations. It is good practice to include the full APA-style reference in your notes so that you will be able to give the proper citation.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your reader can determine the source of all of the ideas and words that you present. For example, if an entire paragraph is drawn from another source, but a citation is given to only part of the paragraph, the rest of the 'borrowed' material is plagiarized.

Program Requirements, Deadlines, and Timelines

Like all graduate programs, the program in psychology is structured around a set of requirements for prerequisites, courses, research tools, examinations, deadlines, and the like. In addition, there are certain institutional requirements that must be met, e.g., residency and degree unit requirements. The details of these matters are fully documented in the CGU Bulletin. It is your responsibility to read the Bulletin and study the supporting material from the department office. Students should be aware that it is solely their responsibility to submit their paperwork with signatures to the appropriate office by the deadline(s) established.

In addition to meeting the specific deadlines, you should have a plan for yourself that brings you to the completion of your degree well within the institutionally set time limits. The CGU administration will sometimes grant extensions of these time limits, upon recommendation of the department, but in psychology we are reluctant to make such recommendations unless the student demonstrates active progress before the time limit expires.

We recommend that you sit down during your first semester and chart out all the requirements and when and how you think you will meet them. With this homework done, meet with your advisor to go over the plan and to get answers to any questions that this exercise has turned up.

Important Additional Information for Ph.D. Students

Students in the Ph.D. program are responsible to read and be aware of all requirements and deadlines specific to the doctoral program. Follow this link for detailed information on steps in the Ph.D. program in Psychology.

GPA Policy

Institutional requirements specify that all graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to receive a degree from CGU. In addition, any Masters student whose GPA falls below 3.0 for two semesters or does not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year of full time study will be terminated from the program. Similarly, any Ph.D. student whose GPA falls below 3.0 for two semesters or does not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year of full time study will be terminated from the Ph.D. program or placed in the terminal M.A. program, and their financial aid will be reduced accordingly. Students who are terminated from their academic program on the basis of GPA may petition for reinstatement.

Program Deadlines

All students should have their prerequisite courses completed by the end of their first year in the psychology program.

Research Requirements for First Year Ph.D. Students. The specific research requirements for first year Ph.D. students are specified in the section above on “What is Expected of Graduate Students,” item 2, Research.

All Ph.D. students are required to complete the proposal for their thesis or first year project by the end of their third semester in the program. If this deadline is not met, the student will be moved to the terminal MA program immediately and have their financial aid reduced accordingly.

All Ph.D. students are required to complete their MA thesis or first year empirical project by the end of their third year in the program. If this deadline is not met, the student will be moved to the terminal MA program immediately and have their financial aid reduced accordingly.

Dual degrees. The Psychology program supports dual degree combinations involving Psychology and a Master's degree in Business Administration, Information Science, Public Policy, or Human Resources Design. Other combinations may be possible but need to be arranged on an individual basis. Students who wish to enroll in a dual degree program with another department must make arrangements for the program within their first semester at CGU. Dual degree programs provide a savings in total units compared to earning the degrees sequentially. More information is available in the CGU Bulletin.

Transfer of Credit. Students entering with a completed master's degree that included an empirical study may petition the faculty through their academic advisor for acceptance of up to 24 graduate units of relevant course work completed elsewhere to apply toward the 72 unit requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Courses completed more than 5 years before first enrollment at CGU are not acceptable unless the student completed a Master's degree and the courses in question were completed as part of the M.A. requirement. Courses showing grades below B (or the equivalent) are not acceptable. Students who completed a master’s degree elsewhere that did not require an empirical thesis may transfer up to 16 units of relevant coursework that was completed as part of their master’s degree program.

Students who expect to transfer in graduate units from a previous master’s program are expected to complete all of the requirements for that master’s degree prior to entering the CGU program. Students have until the last day of classes in their second semester to complete all of the requirements for a previous master’s degree program. After that time, the number of units that can be transferred to CGU from the previous graduate program is limited to 6 units.

Students entering without a MA degree may petition the faculty to transfer 6 units of graduate credit. Ordinarily, no transfer credit is accepted for courses taken outside of Claremont while a student is enrolled at CGU. However, such courses may meet prerequisite or portfolio requirements. With the approval of the academic advisor, a student may take selected upper division courses at the Claremont Colleges for graduate credit.

Financial Aid

Internal Fellowships

Internal fellowships are awarded by CGU upon recommendation by the psychology faculty, and are initially announced at the time of admission. These fellowships are continued at the original level offered as long as the student is in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress towards his/her degree. Fellowships are generally awarded to students during the years in which they are enrolled in the coursework required for their degree.

Additional fellowships are periodically awarded to students currently in the program. These awards are given based on availability and generally reflect the generosity of our donors, though some are allocated from the school’s endowment as "Dean’s Fellowships." Awards given to augment the fellowships of current students are based on faculty evaluations of academic performance, progress toward completing program requirements, various professional activities, as well as performance in course work.

Students who have a GPA less than 3.0, or more than two grades of Incomplete, are not eligible for institutional financial aid.

External Fellowships

The DBOS website includes a list of some of the major funding opportunities, but this is in no way an exhaustive list. In addition to these suggestions, see APA's funding resources webpage. It takes some work but additional sources can be located. Please be aware that most fellowship opportunities are highly competitive and you need to file promptly when deadlines arise. Deadlines vary throughout the year so be vigilant and don't wait until spring to start applying.

You should visit the CGU financial aid office for whatever information and support they can provide. The department makes considerable effort to bring in funding and support the student quest for funding, and you should have no hesitancy about talking with your advisor and any other relevant faculty member about your financial needs.

Funding can come from many sources, including fellowships, research or teaching assistantships, other jobs within the Claremont Colleges, external employment, savings, or loans. Some research, teaching, and staff positions are available through DBOS, and the school’s Research and Jobs Coordinator provides listings of external employment and funding opportunities through emails and a website.

Minority support. There are several good programs for supporting minority graduate students (e.g., from the American Psychological Association). If you are a minority, even if only on one side of the family twice removed, contact the DBOS Program Coordinator to be sure that your status is known.

Other Useful Information

Department office. An important center of activity is the department office. You will soon come to know and appreciate the office staff, who are extraordinarily supportive of DBOS graduate students on a day-to-day basis. They are the keepers of program documents, required forms, paychecks and also the cookie jar. You are always welcome in the department office, but be mindful of the need for the staff to accomplish the business of the department. Socializing should not be allowed to interfere with office work.

Academic computing. The academic computing labs are located near the psychology department office. Room 118 is staffed with computer attendants only during specified hours. Room 126 is sometimes used for classes. See Lab postings for hours. There is a fee associated with using the laser printer. In addition, the Academic Computing Center regularly offers workshops and specialized classes on specific applications (e.g., Internet, Microsoft Word).

Claremont Evaluation Center. The Center is located at 175 East 12th Street near Dartmouth Avenue in Claremont. This institute is sponsored by DBOS. Many funded research projects are run through the institute, and DBOS students may find opportunities for paid research employment. The research institute also posts and keeps on file potential internships and fellowship opportunities. It is a good idea to meet with the =Research and Jobs Coordinator sometime during your first year and discuss your employment needs. Although the research institute does not have a list of jobs just waiting for students to fill, it can be of assistance in networking and evaluating your qualifications and potential positions of interest. Bring your resume or vita to be kept on file.

Summer. CGU in general and the psychology program in particular are on a two-semester academic calendar. Though the department may sponsor a summer session program, which can be attractive to students wishing to accelerate their progress toward the unit requirement, it by no means provides a full academic program in the summer. Summer is the time that most of us make significant headway on our research and writing. Although you will not ordinarily take course work during the summer, you should plan to accelerate your research activities during the summer hiatus from classes. Also, you should know that the psychology faculty are on nine-month academic year contracts. Unless they specifically contract to teach a summer session course, they are quite literally not employed by CGU over the summer. Many of the faculty are out of town during the summer or use the time for projects of their own. You should plan your academic work so that you do not need to ask faculty to read papers, meet on committees, etc. over the summer. While some faculty members will perform these functions if the need is urgent and they happen to be in town, it is definitely above and beyond the call of duty and should be viewed as a courtesy and not an obligation.

Faculty sabbaticals. You also should pay attention to the faculty sabbatical schedule. Normally, each full-time faculty member will be on leave every seventh semester. Courses routinely taught by that person generally are scheduled in such a way that the sabbatical leave causes no interruption, but there are occasional exceptions. Faculty on sabbatical leaves have no obligation to sit on student supervisory or examination committees, advise students, or perform any other departmental functions. Contact your professors to find out when they will begin their next sabbatical and how it may affect your CGU career.

Research and travel expenses. Through the Jenness Hannigan fellowship, the department can provide some small help with unreimbursed research expenses, including student travel to conferences and other such events. In addition, the GSC, APA, and WPA generally provide some travel stipends to students on a competitive basis. If you are submitting a paper to one of these conferences, be sure to apply to that Association for travel funding if you are eligible.

Research space. Research space within the department is limited, and is allocated to core faculty at the beginning of each academic year according to need. Fortunately most research projects for both faculty and students are conducted in the field, and we can manage with somewhat less laboratory space than more traditional programs. If you need laboratory space or equipment on campus, check with your research advisor to see if he or she has the necessary facilities. If not, the department will make an effort to help you obtain what you need, either in the department or elsewhere on campus.

Library. Through the generosity of the Austin family, many current psychology journals and reference books are available in the department's Austin Library (ACB 117). Reference books are kept in the locked cabinet in the DBOS Lounge, and the key is available through the department office. Also, the department maintains a reasonably complete set of the dissertations and master's theses that have been completed by psychology graduate students. They can be examined and checked out through the department office.

Lounge. The DBOS Lounge is intended to be a place where you can relax and interact with other students. Here you will also find student mail boxes and bulletin boards with important information. If you need a quieter place to study, you may wish to use the Honnold Library, which is just one block away.

Photocopy machine. The University provides photocopy machines at both the Mail Room (Harper Hall) and the Honnold-Mudd Library for student use. The photocopy machine in the department office is for office use only.

Using Human Subjects

When you plan to conduct research with human subjects, you must secure the approval of the CGU Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to contacting subjects. The purpose of the IRB is to review research proposals to ensure compliance with Federal guidelines regarding the protection of human subjects from psychological and physical harm. It is the policy of Claremont Graduate University that research involving human subjects conducted by or under the direction of the CGU investigator--faculty, staff, or student--funded or not, regardless of location, must be submitted to the CGU IRB for review, and must not be conducted without IRB approval.

Many of the research projects conducted in the psychology department will actually be "exempt" from review from the full IRB, but you must obtain IRB approval even for "exempt" projects. The most common types of projects that are exempt are those that involve standard educational tests or those that involve survey or interview procedures, as long as (a) the subjects' identity is confidential, (b) the subjects’ responses do not put them at risk, or (c) the research does not deal with sensitive aspects of the subjects' own behavior, such as illegal conduct. More information on the CGU IRB requirements is available online.

DBOS Policy on Student Access to the DBOS Student Listserv

DBOS graduate students periodically request access to SBOS alumni for (a) job networking and placement, and (b) research purposes. Any student who is interested in contacting DBOS alumni for job networking and placement should arrange to meet with the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation's Director of Operations and External Affairs (DOEA) to make arrangements to do so. To protect the privacy of alumni, students will not be given alumni contact information without explicit permission from the alumnus; instead, alumni identified as a possible connection by the DOEA will be given current student’s contact information, and he or she will be invited to initiate contact.

On the other hand, graduate students are not permitted access to the DBOS alumni listserv distribution list for research purposes (course-based or otherwise), whether the research requires IRB approval or not, unless the project has been initiated at the request of DBOS faculty or staff and requires information that only DBOS alumni can provide. If initiated at the request of DBOS faculty or staff, the DOEA retains the right to confer with the Chair and Dean regarding final permission to conduct the study.


If you should ever feel wronged by a decision or practice of any member of the CGU Psychology program, the first step should be to discuss the problem with your advisor, the Chair, and/or the DBOS Dean. If the problem is not resolved, and you feel there has been a breach of established practice or policy, you should contact the Dean of Students for information necessary to initiate a formal grievance procedure.

Last updated 8/10/13