Areas of Study

All students receive intensive training in research and experimental/quasi-experimental methods. Students specialize in one of four content areas that collectively form our Psychology graduate PhD degree program: Clinical; Cognition, Brain, and Behavior; Developmental; and Quantitative. The Department of Psychology does not offer a terminal Master's program, only a PhD track. PhD candidates are able to acquire a Master's as part of the requirements for their doctoral degree.

Clinical Science

The clinical science area at Notre Dame provides excellent research and clinical training that prepares students for research and academic careers. In addition to specialty training in clinical psychology, students acquire expertise in statistics, research design and methodology, and they gain a broad and general knowledge of the field of psychology. The area trains academically oriented psychologists who appreciate how science and practice mutually inform one another to advance the discipline and to enhance human functioning. Learn More 

It has not been decided which professors will be recruiting a graduate student in the 2022-23 admissions cycle. 

Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Doctoral candidates in the cognition, brain, and behavior area acquire knowledge in the areas of cognition. Research in these areas uses a sophisticated array of methodologies and stresses issues in memory retrieval, spatial cognition, language production and comprehension, music cognition, visual and auditory processing, attention, and aging. This combination of experiences prepares students for postdoctoral careers in university, industry, and government settings. Learn More 


In the developmental area, students develop substantive knowledge bases necessary for careers in research and scholarship, in teaching, and in intervention. Concentrations in developmental psychology vary according to the specific interests of students and fit into three categories: cognitive development; socio-emotional development; and developmental psychopathology. Learn More


The quantitative area faculty train students to have expertise in a variety of analytical tools and to advance methodology through novel research on statistical applications and creative use of existing techniques.  Areas of expertise within the concentration include math modeling and statistics.  As in all of our concentrations, there is great flexibility of curriculum, and students may work with a variety of faculty, both within and between programs. Learn More

Joint Doctoral Areas

The department has established a joint doctoral degree area with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering. Learn More