PhD Psychophysiology

Printer Friendly Version

Our specialization in Psychophysiology is the only doctoral program in applied psychophysiology in the world at this time. This psychology PhD degree program trains people to be true professionals in the unique constellation of assessment and interventional techniques that combine to form the sub-specialty of applied psychophysiology.

Applied psychophysiology focuses on the amelioration / treatment and prevention of disease as well as creation of optimal functioning patterns in education, sports, and business through teaching people techniques for recognizing and correcting abnormal physiological levels of function and responses. The field has a long history of making major contributions to education and health care in both treatment and prevention arenas. For instance, psychophysiological techniques are widely recognized as being effective in both the treatment and prevention of headaches.

The program is designed to be offered mainly via distance education supported by two required "in person" training sessions per year. The distance courses are usually provided through pre-recorded audiovisual lectures available through the course web site and student - teacher interaction via the internet following each lecture. The "hands-on" sessions take place (a) during the annual meetings of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology (AAPB) which meets once per year in various parts of the United States (this is the field’s professional organization) and (b) at Saybrook's Residential Conference in San Francisco.

The doctoral program consists of a combination of online lecture courses, in-person laboratory experiences, seminars, and training experiences for a total of 105 credits. Ninety credits are in psychophysiologically-oriented courses and fifteen are core psychology courses. Three of the psychophysiologically-oriented courses are electives chosen from at least six available. There is also some latitude in which core psychology courses must be taken depending on the student’s interests. Students entering the program with graduate courses in psychology such as ethics, psychopharmacology, and developmental psychology may not need to retake these courses depending on the outcome of an individual review of each student’s transcripts.