Graduate Handbook

Table of Contents

Overview of Graduate Program
Learning Goals
Human Development and Public Policy Concentration
Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience Concentration
Degree Requirements for Ph.D. in Psychology
Summary of Required Courses
Typical Course Sequence in Each Concentration
Examples of Electives
Psychology Department Graduate Course Descriptions
Psychology Courses Required for Both Concentrations
Additional Requirements
Weekly Developmental Lunch Meetings
First-Year Research Project
Guidelines for Timing of First-Year Research Project
Second-Year Research Project
Guidelines for Timing of Second-Year Research Project
Second Year Pre-Doctoral Grant Proposal
Area Paper and Defense
Overview of Pre-Dissertation Research Requirements & Timelines
Dissertation Research and Defense
Teaching Experience
Mentor/Student Meetings
Yearly Review of Student Progress
Switching Concentrations
Graduate Student Funding
Guidelines for Summer Pay for Graduate Students
Life in White Gravenor
Office Space and Keys
Mailbox and Telephone
Travel Funds
Kitchen
APPENDIX A: Teaching Fellow Timesheet
APPENDIX B: Yearly Review of Student Progress
APPENDIX C: Graduate Student Conference Funds Requests
APPENDIX D: Graduate Student Workshop Funds Requests
Graduate School and Georgetown University Policies and Resources

 

The Graduate Program in Psychology

The Graduate Program in Psychology at Georgetown University offers a five-year, full-time program of study in developmental science leading to a Ph.D. in Psychology. Located in close proximity to the White House, Congress, the National Institutes of Heath, the National Academies, and many of the world’s most prestigious research and nonprofit organizations, the Department of Psychology provides a unique graduate education that bridges academic study and practice in both public policy and health/medicine.

Our two graduate student concentrations take full advantage of these resources. Students concentrate in either Human Development and Public Policy or Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience. A dual degree in Psychology (Ph.D.) and Public Policy (M.P.P.) is also offered in collaboration with the McCourt School of Public Policy.

Both concentrations offer strengths that include an interdisciplinary education in the processes and contexts of development across the lifespan. Program requirements are explicitly designed to offer students rigorous training in the range of theories and methods that characterize the developmental sciences and enable them to place the study of development into the broader contexts- biological, familial, social, cultural, economic, historical, political- from which the field draws its societal applications.

Students must meet all requirements for either the HDPP or LCN concentration, but they may also take courses from the “other” concentration and count them as electives.

The Objectives of this Graduate Program, grounded in the Department's Mission Statement, are to:

  • Provide students with in-depth understanding of the historical and philosophical origins, the central issues, and the contemporary dilemmas that characterize the developmental sciences.
  • Provide students with instruction in the range of research methods used by developmental scientists and ample opportunities for developing their own original research, as well as gaining experience with grant writing and with publication and presentation of original research.
  • Instruct students in a range of disciplinary approaches to questions of lifespan development and encourage their capacity for interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Prepare students for a variety of post-degree positions, as well as positions that are not defined by discrete disciplinary boundaries, by emphasizing critical analysis skills, teaching proficiency, and communication and writing skills in all facets of their education.

University resources afforded graduate students include the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown Law Center, and Georgetown School of Foreign Service, each of which is among the leading programs in the nation. The Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at The Georgetown School of Medicine offers resources for cognitive neuroscience studies, including neuroimaging facilities and colloquia. 

Learning Goals

Goal 1: Foundational Knowledge

Fundamental Psychological Concepts Related to Human Development

Four overarching themes characterize the program of graduate study in human development:

  • The conceptual foundations of the discipline;
  • Theoretical and empirical issues relevant to social and emotional development across the lifespan;
  • Theoretical and empirical issues relevant to cognitive and neural development across the lifespan;
  • The ecological context of human development;

I. CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE DISCIPLINE

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Understand the historical and philosophical roots of psychology and their development up to the present time.
  • Be familiar with the “edges” of current knowledge within the field and thus be able to recognize promising directions for the future development of the discipline
  • Relate Psychology to other academic disciplines (e.g., biology, linguistics, philosophy, economics, law, policy)
  • Appreciate the global context in which Psychology has developed and continues to develop as a discipline.

II. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFESPAN

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Understand the theories, empirical findings and current directions and issues that illuminate current thinking about the social and emotional dimensions of human development from infancy through old age;
  • Understand current thinking about the interaction between heredity and environment as these dynamics affect social and emotional development across the lifespan.
  • Understand the role of individual differences in social and emotional development as they are manifested across the spectrum of typical and atypical development.
  • Understand aspects of the social and emotional dimensions of human development that are shared across or may differ according to cultural, ethnic, gender, geographic, or other boundaries.
  • Understand the opportunities and limitations that characterize science-based interventions aimed at fostering healthy social and emotional development.
  • Understand interactions between social-emotional development and neuro-cognitive development as they manifest themselves across the lifespan.

III. COGNITIVE AND NEURAL DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFESPAN

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Understand the theories, empirical findings, and current directions and issues that illuminate current thinking about functional and structural brain outcomes from infancy through old age;
  • Understand current thinking about the interaction between heredity and environment as these dynamics affect functional and structural brain outcomes across the lifespan.
  • Understand the role and biological sources of individual differences in functional and structural brain outcomes as they are manifested across the spectrum of typical and atypical development.
  • Understand aspects of functional and structural brain outcomes that are shared across or may differ according to cultural, ethnic, gender, geographic, or other boundaries.
  • Understand the opportunities and limitations that characterize science-based interventions aimed at fostering healthy cognitive and neuropsychological development.

IV. THE ECOLOGICAL CONTEXT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Understand the major theories and empirical findings that inform current thinking about the ways in which human development is affected by relationships with and among peers and groups.
  • Understand the theories and empirical findings that inform current thinking about the effects of family life on human development.
  • Understand how culture affects the norms regarding the expression of thought, emotions, and behavior,
  • Understand the theories and empirical findings that inform current thinking about the influences on human development and behavior that derive from neighborhoods and communities, societal institutions (e.g., schools, worksites), social-cultural structures (e.g., social-economic status), and legal/political systems.
  • Understand the opportunities and limitations that characterize science-based interventions aimed at fostering healthy social and emotional development;
  • Understand the limits and possibilities regarding how psychological principles and evidence can contribute to informing, and can be informed by, social and policy issues, as well as their contributions to a range of civic, social, and global responsibilities in both the developed and developing nations.
  • Develop awareness of the relationship between globalization and psychological processes, such as those concerning self, values, gender roles, group and inter-group dynamics, and identity.
Goal 2: Epistemological Foundations

Understanding the foundational theories, concepts, and findings of Psychology requires a familiarity with and appreciation for the assets and limitations of different methods of knowing. That is, students must be exposed to epistemological inquiry so that they develop a firm grasp of the significance of research findings and their own creative use of knowledge.

I. APPRECIATE THE USE OF DIFFERENT TOOLS OF INQUIRY

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to understand the strengths and limitations of [a,b,c,d] as they bear on specific areas of inquiry:

  • quantitative methods and analysis
  • experimental design and inference
  • qualitative methods and analysis
  • mixed research methods

II. USE DIFFERENT TOOLS OF INQUIRY

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • use probability and statistical analysis to evaluate and interpret data;
  • create and interpret graphic representations of data;
  • use qualitative analysis to evaluate and interpret data.
  • be familiar with the range of approaches available to operationalize and assess psychological constructs and aspects of the ecology of human development, and equipped to select appropriate measures and methods for one’s own area of inquiry.

III. ENGAGE WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY

Our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • evaluate the theoretical, empirical and applied significance of an area of study;
  • gain the in-depth understanding of an area of scientific inquiry that is required to identify, develop and implement the next steps of a program of research.
  • design and conduct studies that will advance understanding of a given area of inquiry
  • interpret data and evaluate hypotheses and to place findings into the larger context of the scientific area in question.
Goal 3: Professional Preparation in Psychology

Obtaining and sustaining a professional research-related career in psychology requires attention to the developmental of three essential practical skills: Teaching/mentoring, grant-writing, and communication of scientific evidence. These skills, which may be considered as part of the craft of becoming an effective psychologist, are intimately related to the effective application of psychology in the classroom, the scientific community, and the broader society. As such, our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Be effective classroom teachers and research mentors;
  • Be proficient at finding grant opportunities;
  • Prepare, revise, and administer grants;
  • Present ideas that are grounded in evidence in a logical and coherent manner in writing and in formal and informal presentations;
  • Communicate with academic as well as more general audiences.
Goal 4: Values in Psychology

The preservation and production of knowledge in Psychology entails the ability to weigh evidence critically, to embrace, understand, work with and learn from ambiguity, and to recognize and apply ethical practices that include respect for human and other forms of life. Specifically, our goal is to educate and encourage our students to:

  • Appreciate and assimilate the positive roles of curiosity, healthy skepticism and doubt in scientific inquiry;
  • Understand the limits of applicability (e.g., generalizability, cross-cultural translation; application to social policy) and the hazards of premature or uncritical application of psychological principles and evidence.
  • Evaluate psychological explanations and recognize that such explanations are inherently complex and must take into account variability along the continuum of human and animal life;
  • Recognize the evolving and cumulative nature of psychological explanations;
  • Understand and articulate the tentative nature (i.e., available evidence continuously modified by new evidence) of psychological knowledge and limits of its methods;
  • Recognize and respect the numerous manifestations of diversity, as well as the common universals in thought and action, that characterize human development;
  • Understand that the methods that guide psychological science must reflect, in Bronowski's words, independence of mind, originality, and dissent in the search for truth. They likewise must eliminate the untoward influence of personal gain and related desires, because the values of science are "...the inescapable conditions for it's practice”;
  • Follow the APA Ethics Code in the treatment of human and nonhuman participants in the design, data collection, interpretation and reporting of psychological research;
  • Recognize that ethically complex situations can develop in the application of psychological principles;
  • Recognize the necessity of ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of Psychology.

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Human Development and Public Policy Concentration

The concentration in Human Development and Public Policy and the dual degree in Psychology and Public Policy link students to Georgetown’s extensive network of policy scholars and programs; integrating a solid grounding in the theoretical, conceptual and empirical work that defines developmental science with rigorous instruction in quantitative and policy analysis skills, the policy process, and additional disciplinary perspectives common to policy studies, notably economics and political science. This concentration maintains close ties with the Masters in Public Policy (M.P.P.) program at the McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP).

The developmental element of this concentration emphasizes social, emotional, and cultural dimensions of development from infancy through adolescence. In addition to the core requirements for all of our graduate students, students in the policy concentration become well-versed in methods of policy analysis and program evaluation, and gain direct experience in applying scientific knowledge to policy issues affecting human development.

Students who select this concentration take a substantial share of the core courses required for masters’ students at MSPP. They become well versed in basic processes of human development; highly skilled in research methods, statistics, and policy analysis; and well prepared to apply their knowledge and skills to real public policy issues affecting human development.

Graduates are prepared to assume positions as academic teachers and researchers, policy analysts, and research specialists in an array of policy, nonprofit, and other institutions, both national and international.

Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience Concentration

The concentration in Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience integrates grounding in the theoretical, empirical, and conceptual scholarship that defines developmental science with rigorous preparation for teaching and research on cognition and its neural bases from a variety of methodological approaches. Students choosing this concentration may focus their own research on the behavioral/cognitive level to explore the processes of cognition from a systems perspective, and/or they may opt to use neuroimaging techniques to explore the brain bases of cognition. This concentration maintains close ties with Ph.D. programs in Linguistics and the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN).

Students may focus their research primarily on any period of development (early/late childhood, adolescence) adulthood or aging. Research questions may examine behavioral, neural, and/or genetic mechanisms underlying normal or disordered cognition and/or socio-affective function. Regardless of their particular research focus, all students choosing this concentration gain a firm grounding in basic theories and methods of experimental psychology and in their application to investigating the brain bases of behavior.

Students also gain a broad background in neuroscience in order to participate in interdisciplinary research and to appreciate how neuroscience at all levels contributes to, and benefits from, research on cognition. Students leave the program well-prepared to assume positions as academic researchers and teachers in medical and applied settings, or if they elect to take courses in our public policy concentration, to serve as policy analysts and applied researchers in various organizations.

To foster a broad background in neuroscience and to strengthen graduate student ties across disciplines, during their first year, in addition to Psychology courses, Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience students take the Neuroscience Core course which is also taken by the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN) students. In addition, graduate students in Linguistics and in the IPN often take Psychology’s graduate core seminars in Cognition (PSYC-511) and in Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYC-512).

Degree Requirements for Ph.D. in Psychology

The core graduate curriculum includes course work in statistics/methodology, advanced theory and evidence, applications of developmental science, and scientific ethics, as well as experience and instruction in teaching, grant writing, and other practical skills. There are a total of 42-credit hours required for the stand alone Ph.D. in Human Development and Public Policy (36 credit hours of required concentration courses and 6 credit hours of electives), 48/49-credit hours (depending on the ethics course that is taken) required for the stand alone Ph.D. in Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience (36/37 credit hours of required concentration courses and 12 credit hours of electives), and a total of 48 credit hours required for the dual Ph.D./M.P.P. degree. The requirements of this graduate program are designed to:

  • Ensure that students receive solid grounding in the interdisciplinary roots and methods of developmental science.
  • Involve students in research immediately upon starting their graduate education and, over the course of their education, support them as they develop their own original research.
  • Instruct students in the critical analysis, teaching, and communication skills that are critical to success in an array of post-Ph.D. positions.

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Summary of Required Courses

Required Concentration Courses: Human Development and Public Policy (42)

  • PSYC 501 – Lifespan Development: Brain and Behavior (3)
  • PSYC 502 – Human Development in Context (3)
  • PPOL 501 – Quantitative Methods I (3)
  • PPOL 502 – Quantitative Methods II (3)
  • Choose PPOL 503 or PSYC 522
    • PPOL 503 – Quantitative Methods III (3)
      -OR-
    • PSYC 522 Advanced Topics: Regression Analysis (3)
  • Choose PPOL 510 or PPOL 511
    • PPOL 510 – Public Policy Process (3)
      -OR-
    • PPOL 511 - Comparative Policy Process (3)
  • Choose PPOL 518 or PPOL 519
    • PPOL 518 – Ethics, Values and Public Policy (3)
      -OR-
    • PPOL 519 - Ethics in a Globalized World -OR-
    • A comparative course
  • Choose PPOL 524 or PSYC 365
    • PPOL 524 – Child Development and Public Policy (3)
      -OR-
    • PSYC 365 – Science, Children and Politics (3)
      -OR-
    • A comparable course examining the intersection of Human Development and Public Policy
  • PSYC 901 - Graduate Tutorial in Teaching (3)
  • 5 electives (15)
    • Highly Recommended:
      • PPOL 506 - Intermediate Microeconomics (3)
      • PSYC 522 Advanced Topics: Regression Analysis (3)

Required Concentration Courses: Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience (48/49)

  • PSYC 501 – Lifespan Development: Brain and Behavior (3)
  • PSYC 502 – Human Development in Context (3)
  • Choose an Ethics course
    • PHAR 534 – Ethical Issues in Scientific Research (2)
      -OR-
    • A comparable course
  • PSYC 521- Quantitative Methods in Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 522 Advanced Topics: Regression Analysis (3)
  • NSCI 501 – Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience (6)
  • NSCI 503 – Systems & Cognitive Neuroscience (6)
  • NSCI 507 – Critical Readings (1 Fall, 1 Spring)
  • PSYC 511 -Seminar in Cognition(3)
  • PSYC 512 –Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (3)
  • PSYC901 –Graduate Tutorial in Teaching (3)
  • 4 electives (12)

 

 

Additional Required Courses for Dual Ph.D./M.P.P. Degree (15 additional credits, but 6 of them replace 2 of required electives above, so this degree carries a total of 51 credits)

  • PPOL 503 – Quantitative Methods III (3)
  • PPOL 507 Public Finance (30
  • Choose PPOL 514 or 515
    • PPOL 514 - Public Management (3) -OR - PPOL 515 Comparative Public Management (3)
  • Choose PPOL 528 + PPOL 529 or PPOL 526-527 (counts as 2nd year psychology project)
    • PPOL 528 + PPOL 529 - Thesis workshop (6)
    • PPOL 526 + PPOL 527 - Policy Analysis Capstone (6)
  • Additional elective counting toward MMP (3)

Typical Course Sequence in Each Concentration

Typical Course Sequence: Human Development and Public Policy

Year 1 - Fall PSYC 501 or 502 (3) PPOL 510 (3) PPOL 501 (3) Total Credits: 9

Year 1 - Spring PPOL 502 (3) PPOL 524/PSYCH 365 (3) Elective #1 (3) Total Credits: 9

Year 2 - Fall PSYC 501 or 502 (3) Elective #2 (3) Elective #3 (3) Total Credits: 9

Year 2 - Spring PPPOL 503/PSYC 522 (Advanced Quant) (3) PPOL 518/PPOL 519 (3) Elective #4 (3) Total Credits: 9

Year 3 - Fall Thesis Research (0) Elective #5 (3) Total Credits: 3

Year 3 - Spring Thesis Research (0) PSYC 901: Graduate Tutorial in Teaching (3) Total Credits: 3

Year 4 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Year 5 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Total Credits: 42

Typical Course Sequence: Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience

Year 1 - Fall PSYC 501 or 502 (3) Psych 511 (3) NSCI 501 (6) NSCI 507 (1) Total Credits: 13

Year 1 - Spring PSYC 521 (Quant) (3) PSYC 512 (3) NSCI 503 (6) NSCI (1) Total Credits: 13 

Year 2 - Fall PSYC 501 or 502 (3) Elective #1 (3) PHAR 534 (2)/POL 518 (3) Total Credits: 8 or 9

Year 2 - Spring PSYC 522 (Advanced Quant) (3) Elective #2 (3) Elective #3 (3) Total Credits: 9

Year 3 - Fall Thesis Research (0) Elective #4 (3) Total Credits: 3

Year 3 - Spring Thesis Research (0) PSYC 901: Graduate Tutorial in Teaching (3) Total Credits: 3

Year 4 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Year 5 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Total Credits: 48 or 49

 

 

Typical Course Sequence: Dual Ph.D./M.P.P. Degree

Year 1 - Fall PSYC 501 (3) PPOL 506 (3) POL 501 (3) PPOL 510 (3) Total Credits: 12

Year 1 - Spring PPOL 507 (3) PPOL 524/PSYCH 365 (3) PPOL 514 (3) PPOL 501 (3) Total Credits: 12

Year 2 - Fall PSYC 502 (3) PPOL 518/PPOL 519 (3) PPOL 503 (3) PPOL 526/PPOL 528 (3) Total Credits: 12

Year 2 - Spring PPOL 527/PPOL 529 (3) Elective #1 (3) Elective #2 (3) Note: 1 elective must count as a PPOL elective Total Credits: 9 

Year 3 - Fall Thesis Research (0) Total Credits: 0 

Year 3 - Spring Thesis Research (0) PSYC 901: Graduate Tutorial in Teaching (3) Total Credits: 3

Year 4 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Year 5 - Fall/Spring Thesis Research (0)

Total Credits: 48

 

***NOTE REGARDING THESIS RESEARCH SECTIONS***

  • If you are taking one or more "regular courses" which, together, are worth a total of fewer than credit hours, then you will also need to take Thesis Research Section 3 (PSYC-999-03) that semester, in order to maintain your status as a full-time student.
  • If you are no longer taking any "regular courses" at all, then you will take Thesis Research 1 (PSYC-999-01), which, in itself, is enough to provide you with status as a full-time student.
  • If you are going to teach a course of your own during the semester, you will be registered for Thesis Research Section 5 (PSYC-999-05).

Examples of Electives

  • CCTP 729 – The Code War: Policy Implications of Internet Architecture
  • LING 555 – Formal Approaches to Language Acquisition
  • NSC 522 – Introduction to Neuroanatomy
  • NSCI 521 – Elements of Imaging
  • NSCI 523 – Brain & Language
  • NSCI 532 – Skills and Ethics to Survive and Thrive in Science
  • PPOL 502 – Macroeconomics
  • PPOL 523 – Poverty and the Social Safety Net
  • PPOL 525 – The Policy and Politics of Entitlements
  • PPOL 553 – Education Policy and Inequality
  • PPOL 660 – Family Demography and Policy Issues
  • PSYC 361 – Children and Technology

 

***NOTE REGARDING ELECTIVES***

Students can register in elective classes outside their degree programs if and when those classes would prove beneficial to their training / dissertation research. The following stipulations must be met: 1) the instructor agrees to allow the student to enroll in their course, 2) the student meets all prerequisites or preconditions required for enrollment, and 3) the course is open to non-degree students. 

Registering for Courses

HDPP and Joint degree students should submit their Public Policy course requests to the HDPP graduate co-director, who will forward them directly to the McCourt school dean’s office. The dean’s office will manually enroll each student in the PPOL courses. The co-director will contact incoming HDPP students in June regarding their first semester fall registration requests.

Psychology Department Graduate Course Descriptions

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Additional Requirements

Weekly Developmental Lunch Meetings

All students participate in a weekly lunchtime meeting on Fridays from 12:15-1:00, the major purpose of which is to establish a community of scholars among the graduate students and faculty. The content varies from week to week, based in part on graduate students’ suggestions, but the central activity consists of research presentations by students. Developmental Lunch also provides an opportunity to bring in outside speakers (Psychology Department Colloquia usually on the first Friday of each month). To ensure that graduate students have ongoing input into the structure and function of the program, the last Developmental Lunch of each semester consists of a graduate-students-only discussion of what is working and what could be improved about the program. The group then sends the Co-Directors of Graduate Studies a summary of their concerns and suggestions.

First-Year Research Project

As part of the admissions process, each incoming student is assigned a faculty mentor, based on faculty and student preferences and faculty availability, prior to arrival. During the student's first year in the program, intensive research experience with the mentor will result in a first-year research project. This project is likely to be part of an ongoing project in the mentor's research. It is designed to ensure that students are rapidly involved in research and gain experience in presenting research results in a poster format. The project is written up as a conference poster and presented at developmental lunch during the student’s second year. Under the best of circumstances, the poster will be accepted for presentation at an appropriate conference.

The first-year research project is designed to get students rapidly immersed in research and to give them an early “product”. The product is a conference poster, in poster format, along with a brief list of conferences where the poster could be submitted. The student is first author on the poster, with the mentor and any others who have made substantive contributions being co-authors. In many cases, this first project will be derivative of the mentor’s research, but students are welcome to conduct original research, including original (secondary) analyses of existing datasets, subject to the approval of the mentor.

The project is developed with the student’s mentor and must be read and approved by the mentor and a second reader from either the ordinary or affiliated faculty (exceptions to this restricted list of faculty may be made at the request of the student and mentor).

Guidelines for Timing of First-Year Research Project

  • A. Select topic and reader: Dec 15th, 1st year
  • B. Collect and analyze data: spring semester through summer, 1st year
  • C. Draft poster and get feedback from mentor and reader: end of summer after 1st year
  • D. Present research at Developmental Lunch: 2nd year
Second-Year Research Project

In the second year of the program, each student conducts an independent research project under the supervision of the mentor and one reader. This project may grow out of the first-year project, or it may be completely different. The project is to be completed during the second year, and is presented at Developmental Lunch in the third year. It is also expected that the work will be presented as a poster or paper at a conference. This project is intended to be an independent research project designed and conducted by the graduate student, in contrast to the first year research project, which is likely to be an offshoot of faculty research. Original (secondary) analyses of existing datasets, or further analyses of data collected in conjunction with the first-year project, to address new hypotheses may constitute the second-year project if approved by the mentor. 

In addition, the student should submit the first-year project and / or the second-year project to a professional journal by the end of the Fall semester of the third-year. Preparation of a journal article entails a more sophisticated literature review, data analysis, and discussion of results than for posters. In many cases, the first and/or second-year projects also provide pilot data for inclusion in the second-year pre-doctoral research proposal.

Guidelines for Timing of Second-Year Research Project

  • A. Select topic and reader for second-year project: Oct 1st, 2nd year
  • B. Collect and analyze data for second-year project: October – March, 2nd year
  • C. Draft second-year poster or paper and get feedback from mentor and reader: July, 2nd year
  • D. Present second-year project at Developmental Lunch: 3rd year
  • E. Final journal article submission approved by mentor and reader: Dec 15, 3rd year
Second Year Pre-Doctoral Grant Proposal

Although not required, students are strongly encouraged to prepare a grant proposal and, when possible, submit it to the appropriate funding agencies. This requirement accomplishes several goals: giving the student experience with grant writing; jump starting preparation for the dissertation research; and, under the best of circumstances, bringing in a pre-doctoral award for the student's dissertation. Which external funding sources are appropriate will depend on the student’s area of research, and so this is a topic for students to discuss early and often with their mentors and other faculty and student colleagues as the students’ research plans develop.

Area Paper and Defense

During the third year, each student submits an area paper that provides a synthesis and critique of the literature pertinent to the student's dissertation topic. The area paper is to be written as a Psychological Bulletin-style article and includes a discussion of the history of thought and research on the topic. The paper is presented to a committee of three faculty, including the faculty mentor, and one member outside of the Psychology Department, who conduct an oral exam based on the paper. Committee members should be supplied with an updated CV before the exam.

The oral exam also provides an opportunity for the faculty and student to reflect on the first two years of study, preliminary plans for the dissertation, and career plans. The area paper and its oral defense serve as the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. At the end of the defense, the student’s examining committee signs the appropriate form from the Graduate School, which may be obtained from the Psychology Department office (see note regarding “Passing with Distinction” below). The mentor gives the signed form to one of the Co-Directors of Graduate Studies who signs for the Department and submits the form to the registrar. Upon successful completion of this requirement, the student begins work on the dissertation and, if desired, may obtain a Master’s degree in passing.

Overview of Pre-Dissertation Research Requirements & Timelines

In summary, to fulfill program research requirements, by the end of the summer of the third year in the program, the student should have:

  • Completed first- and second-year projects, resulting in:
    •  at least two poster presentations at conferences
    • at least one submitted first-authored journal article.
  • Written and defended the area paper (fulfilling the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination)

The paragraphs above contain suggested timelines for accomplishing each of these, but students’ circumstances will vary, depending on factors such as funding agency and conference submission deadlines, so that the order in which these goals are accomplished will vary. It is the student’s responsibility to keep these requirements and timing guidelines in mind and to discuss them frequently with the research mentor to ensure timely completion of the degree.

Dissertation Research and Defense

General Guidelines: The dissertation is the final, original project that each graduate student completes. It is intended to be the primary focus of the 4th and 5th year in the program, although students may have begun collecting data that becomes part of their dissertation during their earlier years in the program. There are a variety of ways in which the dissertation research may be conducted, within two main parameters: (1) It is important that the dissertation be the original work of the student, rather than derivative of a faculty members’ research. This is not to say that a dissertation cannot be part of a larger project, for which the mentor may be the P.I. It is important, however, that the dissertation be a substantial addition to the larger project that is conceived and executed by the student. (2) The dissertation must contain at least one publishable set of findings, which is to say that it makes an original, empirical (quantitative and/or qualitative) contribution to the field and thus advances knowledge. Indeed, part of the dissertation may have been published by the time of the defense. Sometimes a dissertation will be a collection of inter-related studies, whereas in other cases, it will be a single study. We prefer that it involve new data collection, as distinct from secondary data analysis. It is the job of the dissertation committee to guide the student so that the proposal meets the two criteria described above and can feasibly be completed and defended by the end of the student’s 5th year in the program.

Dissertation Committee: In consultation with the mentor, the student should identify a dissertation committee that must consist of at least three Georgetown Faculty (including the mentor) and one reader from outside Georgetown. The outside reader may be an affiliated faculty member from another institution or may be another expert in the topic of the dissertation. Ideally the outside reader can attend meetings and the defense, but the requirement is that the outside reader just must approve the dissertation itself.

Dissertation Proposal: The student should write a dissertation proposal, using the appropriate Graduate School form, as soon as possible after successful completion of the area paper. In most cases, the dissertation is expected to involve original data collection. The student should meet with the dissertation committee to discuss the proposal and to obtain their approval before submitting it to the Graduate School.

Format of Dissertation: The dissertation is written as a journal article (or a pair or set of articles, depending on what is appropriate to the dissertation research) which will be submitted, or already has been submitted, to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.

Dissertation Defense: The dissertation defense consists of a 45-minute presentation of the research in colloquium format, which is announced (by the Graduate School) to the entire university community. All Psychology Department faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend, as are friends and family of the candidate. After an opportunity for brief questions from the audience, the candidate and committee go into closed session during which the committee questions the candidate. At the end of the questioning, the candidate will be asked to leave the room so the committee can come to a conclusion about the status of the dissertation. The candidate is then invited back into the room and informed of the committee’s decision. The committee signs the appropriate forms. Candidates and their mentors are encouraged to announce tentative dates for a doctoral defense as early as possible so that departmental faculty and students can make plans to attend. In addition, committee members should be supplied with an updated CV before the defense.

Regarding “Distinction”: Although the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences allows Committees the option of selecting “High Pass” and “Distinction" when grading the Area Paper Defense and the Dissertation Defense, respectively, our Department does not because of the inherent variability in the awarding of such categories.

Teaching Experience

Teaching is an essential and central part of training for a career in Psychology. Therefore, all students, regardless of financial support, are required to teach for at least four semesters, distributed as follows, so as to build teaching expertise and credentials.

  • 1 semester assisting in General Psychology or a large lecture class such as Social Psychology, Childhood & Adolescence, or Abnormal Psychology. This typically occurs during the first or second year.
  • 1 semester assisting in Research Methods & Statistics, typically during the second year. This includes teaching a recitation section each week.
  • 1 semester assisting in an upper-level seminar, typically during the third year.
  • 1 semester teaching the student’s own 3-credit advanced seminar in the student’s dissertation area, typically during the fourth year.

Following at least two semesters of teaching assistance, each graduate student will prepare a syllabus (as part of PSYC-901) and serve as instructor for an advanced undergraduate seminar under the supervision of the mentor or another appropriate faculty member. The students in the course complete written evaluations of the seminar using the standard University forms.

In addition to the above requirements, most students will receive financial support for at least some semesters via a Graduate School Teaching Fellowship. In such semesters the expectation is that the student will be a Teaching Fellow (TF), assisting in a Psychology course assigned by the Psychology Department, for one course each semester, requiring approximately 15 hours/week. The exception to this is that the 3-credit course taught by the student (usually during the fourth year) fulfills the financial obligation for both semesters.

Teaching Fellows are expected to keep a teaching timesheet during the semester, recording the hours spent each week. (See: Appendix A) The primary purpose of this requirement is to give us accurate information on the amount of work required by the different teaching assignments.

Mentor/Student Meetings

Our program is small and individualized. Its success depends on students having close and frequent contact with their fellow graduate students, and with the other members of their research team/lab, particularly the research mentor. Having a regular one-on-one mentor-student meeting is the best way to ensure that the student gets ongoing guidance. These meetings can be used to discuss ongoing work including program/research project progress and research ideas, as well as longer term “big picture” issues such as career plans and time-management skills.

Yearly Review of Student Progress

All graduate students (including first years) will submit, by May 20, an annual progress report and a copy of their current vita and graduate transcript to the Co-Directors of Graduate Studies and their current mentor. The reviews are posted on each student’s web area under GUShare, which is available to the members of the Graduate Program Committee who review the progress of all graduate students in a meeting in April / May of the Spring semester. Brief written comments which provide the student with an opportunity to correct or update an incomplete file as well as to review plans and to assess his or her progress are sent to each student shortly after this review. The student’s annual progress report and vita will be used as a major input for these evaluations, as will the comments of the student’s mentor and other informed faculty members. See Appendix B for more details on this review, including a list of the materials students should submit.

The annual reviews are used to determine whether the graduate student is in good academic standing. Satisfactory performance must include not only coursework but also progress in research and satisfactory performance as a TF. Unsatisfactory reports are grounds for probation or dismissal from the program.

Performance in the graduate program is judged on the basis of the following three criteria, which incorporate the Graduate School requirements for maintaining good academic standing, eligibility to graduate, and termination of candidacy. These criteria concern (1) research, (2) teaching, and (3) work in graded courses. They are outlined below.

  1. Research. Satisfactory performance on all research requirements as described above by required deadlines.
  2. Teaching. Satisfactory performance as a TF in all required courses, as well as in teaching the required advanced undergraduate seminar.
  3. Work in Graded Courses. Grades for graduate coursework are recorded as follows:
Assigned Grade: Grade Quality Points:
A 4.000
A- 3.670
B+ 3.330
B 3.000
B- 2.670
C+ 2.330
C 2.000
F 0.000
I Incomplete
W Withdrawal
S Satisfactory (for pass/fail courses only)
U Unsatisfactory (for pass/fail courses only)
AU A
IP

In Progress

NR No Grade Required

The Department discourages the use of the grade “I”. Incompletes should be made up within two or three weeks of the end of the semester. Any student with 2 or more “I”s may be placed on probation unless there are extraordinary circumstances to justify the incompletes.

Any student who receives a “C” or lower or a “U” in any course will automatically be considered on probation until reinstated to good standing. A student receiving a “C” or lower or a “U” will be considered on probation until the course has been retaken or a full semester of additional course work has been taken with satisfactory grades, and, in cases in which the unsatisfactory course is required for the degree, that required course has been retaken successfully (a grade higher than a C).

A Quality Point Index (QPI) of no less than 3.330 will be required to maintain good academic standing and to graduate. Grades of “S” and “U” are not included in calculations of a student’s QPI. However, for the purpose of reviewing academic performance leading to probation and termination, a “U” will be considered the same as an “F”. Grades received in courses which have been approved for transfer credit and in courses taken through the Consortium are not computed in calculations of the QPI. Once a final grade for a course has been correctly posted to the transcript, a student may not retake any portion of the course requirements or do additional work to change the posted grade.

Students may not repeat courses for credit. The sole exception is that a student is permitted to repeat a course in which a grade of “F” or “U” is received. If such a course is repeated, all registration for the course and their respective grades, including the original grade of “F” will remain on the transcript record. Both the original grade of “F” and the grade for the repeated registration will be included in calculating the QPI used to evaluate the student’s academic standing and eligibility to graduate.

The initial responsibility for recognizing an academic difficulty and for taking steps to resolve it rests with the student. Those encountering academic difficulty in courses or other degree requirements are expected to consult with the appropriate faculty member immediately and, if necessary, to seek additional assistance. When it is found that a student is in academic difficulty, and depending upon the severity of the situation, the student may receive:

  • a.) An oral warning from the department;
  • b.) A written warning from the department;
  • c.) A written warning from the Graduate School; or
  • d.) A written termination of degree candidacy from the Graduate School.

The first, second, or third actions will be taken when the student receives one “F”, or when the student’s grade point average or letter grade average falls below 3.330, the minimum level for good academic standing. The fourth action, termination of candidacy, will be taken either when the student has accumulated two failing grades (grades of “F” or “U”) regardless of the number of credits assigned to those two courses, or when it is no longer possible for the student’s Quality Point Index (QPI) to reach the minimum level required for graduation in his or her degree program. Students will not be allowed to register for additional credits beyond those required for graduation for the purpose of raising an inadequate GPI.

Switching Concentrations

In general, we discourage students from switching concentrations. However, in the unusual case that a student discovers that his or her interests have changed while in the program, the student may petition the Graduate Program Committee to transfer from one concentration to the other. Decisions will be based on preparation prior to graduate school, performance in the Georgetown graduate program, and reasons for proposing to switch concentrations. Such petitions will not be accepted after 3 semesters in the graduate program.

Graduate Student Funding

We expect that students will usually take 5 years to complete the degree, and that this requires full-time commitment all year long.

Except in circumstances when a student brings outside funding (e.g., an NSF predoctoral fellowship already awarded), acceptance to the program comes with a commitment from the Graduate School of 4 years of academic-year funding as a Teaching Fellow, assuming the student remains in good standing and continues with satisfactory progress toward the degree. For both of these sources, the student’s tuition is paid and, in addition, the student receives health insurance and a stipend. This stipend usually increases slightly each year, and the amount for the current year may be found on the Financial Support page of the Graduate School of Arts and Science's website.

The Graduate School does not provide funding for the fifth year. All students are strongly encouraged to submit a grant proposal for outside funding as part of their training, and so some students will be able to cover the fifth year (and perhaps even earlier years) via such outside funding. Others will be funded by external grants of their mentors, or by external internships. Funds freed up in our Graduate School TF allocation this way will then be used to fund other students during their fifth year.

The Graduate School also does not provide funding for the summers. Applicants should discuss this topic with their prospective mentor when they are considering coming to Georgetown. Depending on the mentor’s current external funding situation, some mentors will be able to assure students of summer funding, but others will not. In addition, for upper- level students, there may be opportunities for teaching courses in the summer for pay. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the mentor to work with the student and the Co-Directors of the Graduate Program to attempt to find appropriate summer support. It is also understood that in taking on the role of mentor, the mentor becomes responsible for working to obtain funds to support the student’s research.

Graduate students who wish to apply for a scholarship/fellowship that limits departments to one nominee should indicate their interest to the co-directors by three weeks before the deadline. If more than one student is interested in serving as the department’s nominee, the graduate committee will meet and select the student whose application will be submitted on behalf of the department. 

Guidelines for Summer Pay for Graduate Students

Although not always the case, generally summer stipends off of Faculty grants for graduate students are calculated by determining the Bi-weekly Payment amount of Graduate School Teaching Assistantship stipend the year prior and multiplying it by 6 to cover the 3 months mentors generally cover (May, June, and July). As such, students are paid 11/12 months of the year (8 from the Graduate School, 3 from their mentor’s grant or other funds).

For example, the 2012-2013 Academic Year the Graduate School Teaching Assistantship Stipendis for $22,000. Students fully supported off of grants, then, received $22,000 / 8 = $2,750 each Summer month, for a total of $8,250.

Students receiving a Summer stipend on a grant should make sure that they are registered for Summer Research in PSYC-999-61, or else FICA will be charged.

TF Funds for Non-Psychology Graduate Students

In years in which we do not need our full departmental stipend for Psychology Graduate Students, the Graduate School encourages our department to support graduate students in other Departments as TF's. Typically, we do not know whether there will be funds available for a given academic year until after the recruitment of new graduate students has been completed (and we know how many new students will be joining the program) and the extent to which Psychology’s upper-level students have obtained outside funding or will be completing their degrees.

In years in which the Co-Directors determine that such funds will be available for the coming year, they will notify the Psychology Department Faculty of the presence of such funds as soon as possible, typically by mid-May. Full-time Psychology Faculty will be invited to submit brief requests for such funds for the coming year, specifying the amount they would need, the name of the student (if identified), the program in which the student is enrolled, the graduate student’s CV and transcript, and the relation of that student to the faculty member making the request.

Typically the faculty member making such a request will have one of two reasons for doing so. (a) The faculty member is the non-Psychology student’s dissertation mentor, and thus is requesting that the student receive a full TF stipend of the sort Psychology graduate students get, so that the student will have financial support and gain teaching experience. (b) The faculty member is not the student’s dissertation mentor, but needs a TF (or an additional TF) for a class and knows that this student is interested in undertaking the TF assignment. In this latter case, typically the student will be reimbursed on an hourly basis, and so the faculty member should request the amount needed. In either of these cases the maximum TF time commitment of 15 hours/week applies.

Such requests will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Co-Directors (who may decide to involve the full graduate committee), with priority typically being given to cases in which the faculty member is the non-Psychology student’s dissertation mentor. Such commitments will be made for a single year, but are subject to competitive renewal if funding becomes available in following years.

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Life in White Gravenor

Office Space and Keys

Graduate students who are in their second year or above usually have workspace in their mentor’s laboratory. However, graduate office space and desks for first-year and some upper-year students are located in White Gravenor Hall 405. Please keep personal valuables out of sight, since this building is not secured. Graduate students are issued submaster keys that open the main entrances to Suites 301, 303, 306, and 308. Graduate students should not lend their keys to unauthorized personnel under any circumstances. If keys are lost please notify the Psychology Department Administrator.

Mailbox and Telephone

Each graduate student has a mailbox in Suite 306. Mail for graduate students is placed in these individual boxes daily. Be sure to check your mailbox frequently. For your convenience, there is a telephone located in White-Gravenor 405. If this phone is out of service or busy, please use the phone at the front desk in Suite 306.

Travel Funds

Graduate students are expected to present their work regularly at major conferences, and the Department aims to support their expenses as much as possible. Please see Appendix C for more details and a form to be used to request Department travel funds. Funds must be used within the fiscal year awarded (July 1 – June 30), so paperwork with original, itemized receipts (and boarding passes, if applicable) should be submitted no later than June 10. This fiscal year restriction applies to all funds, including those awarded by the Graduate School.

Funds for Extramural Workshops/Courses

Many workshops, such as those offered by the American Psychological Association, provide important opportunities for learning specialized skills, such as longitudinal data analysis techniques or advanced neuroimaging techniques or analyses, and also for networking. Our graduate students are encouraged to apply for and attend these workshops as appropriate. Students may apply to the Psychology Department for funding up to the amount of $600 to participate in such workshops. An application form is attached as Appendix D. Note that the student must write a brief description of how the work will benefit her/his training, and this request must be endorsed by the student’s mentor. The graduate co-directors then make a recommendation to the Department Chair regarding whether a proposal should be supported. Typically, each student is limited to receiving funding for only one such workshop during the course of training here.

Kitchen

There is a kitchen located in Suite 301 for the use of faculty, staff, and graduate students. Water, coffee and tea are available, as well as storage space, a refrigerator, microwaves, and a toaster for individual convenience. Please help keep these facilities in good condition and clean up after yourself. 

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APPENDIX A: Teaching Fellow Timesheet

Instructions: Each TF should set up this spreadsheet for her/his course at the beginning of the semester and keep this record of her/his hours . An e-version should be given to the professor teaching the course, and should be posted to the student's GUShare area at the end of the semester so that it is available in the TF's evaluation portfolio for the yearly evaluation. Times should be rounded to the half hour.Examples of categories for the tasks column are listed here. If you choose "Other," please add a few words of explanation. e.g., homework grading exam grading, attending lecture office hours, professor / TF meeting, conducting review session, writing exam / quiz, preparing lecture, giving lecture proctoring exam, reading for class organizing gradebook other.
 

APPENDIX B: Yearly Review of Student Progress

  • Details of What Students Should Submit
    • Time period covered: through March 1 of current year
    • Prepare e-version via GUShare
    • Student should seek mentor’s advice in preparing, particularly for CV and progress report narrative

Student should include the following, as applicable, given the year in program (cumulative across all years—but highlight current year):

  • Current CV (student should star or highlight substantive changes since previous year)
  • Transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • Slides from developmental lunch (and any other) presentations
  • Copies of posters & articles listed in CV
  • Copies of work in progress or unpublished writing written outside of class such as:
    • Conference abstracts submitted for presentation
    • Journal articles submitted for publication
    • Grant proposals submitted
    • IRB protocols submitted
  • Teaching Evaluations from Undergraduate Students
  • Copies of lecture notes and/or powerpoints from lectures you gave in undergraduate classes (if appropriate)
  • Teaching Timesheets
  • Syllabus from seminar course
  • Progress report narrative for current year (one to two single-spaced pages MAXIMUM) including sections on:
    • Summary and self-evaluation of the student’s progress/accomplishments during the past year in terms of research, coursework, teaching, and service.
      • Research: focus on summarizing what was done—referring to materials submitted—and whether this progress is satisfactory in the student’s view.
      • Coursework: focus on your performance and (if applicable) your choice of courses
      • Teaching: focus on what was done and what student has learned. Include here description of any undergrad research mentoring.
      • Service: indicate any service such as committees served on at university or in discipline or community
    • Statement of where the student stands regarding relevant major deadlines/requirements in the program (e.g., area paper) and, if behind, plans for completion
    • Goals for next year
    • Thoughts on long-term goals (post Ph.D.) and current trajectory to achieving them
  • Progress report narratives from all earlier years

Faculty Input: The Graduate Program Committee will request that faculty submit a brief written commentary on the performance/progress of any students with whom they have had contact during the year(s) in question either because they mentored the student in research or because the student was TF for them. This includes comments on professionalism in the department in interactions with faculty and students Faculty are also welcome to comment on notable aspects of any students’ work in their classes (e.g., exceptionally strong or weak contributions to class discussion). These comments will be used by the Graduate Program Committee to review progress in the program.

APPENDIX C: Conference Funds Requests

POLICY: Graduate students are expected to present their work regularly at major conferences. Every Psychology graduate student who is seeking support for travel to a professional conference or meeting must make application to the Graduate School for funds awarded by that unit. (Details about the process of applying for travel support from the Graduate School can be found here.) Provided that such application has been made, the Psychology Department commits to providing each qualifying graduate student up to $800 per fiscal year (July-June) in addition to whatever funds might have been awarded to the student by the Graduate School, up to but not exceeding the total travel costs for the event in question. Travel expenses that exceed the amount funded by the Graduate School and Department will need to be supported by the mentor, student, or alternative source.

Students must submit receipts within 1 month (or before the fiscal year ends on June 30th if traveling in June) in order to be reimbursed. For summer travel, students must apply retroactively for travel support from the Graduate School by submitting the application prior to the October 1st deadline. If a graduate student has a paper or poster accepted at a second conference in a given fiscal year, and the department has remaining travel funds, the student can apply for a second travel grant using the same procedures described above. This support cannot, however, be guaranteed.

[When applying for the Graduate School funds, students should prepare their budget (as the Graduate School requires) and then indicate in their application that Psychology will cover up to half of the total funds so as to match the Graduate School funds (assuming that this half would not result in the student exceeding their $800 possible from the Department for the year).]

To apply for departmental funds, students should complete this form, print it out, and submit it with the indicated attachments to the Administrative Officer in the Psychology Main Office. The faculty mentor should make sure that all paper work is in order before it is submitted for processing. The Chair will sign off on the paper work once all is ready for processing.

APPENDIX D: Workshop Funds Request

POLICY: Many workshops, such as those offered by the American Psychological Asosciation, provide important opportunities for learning specialized skills, such as longitudinal data analysis techniques or advanced neuroimaging techniques or analyses, and also for networking. Our graduate students are encouraged to apply for and attend these, as appropriate. Therefore, students may apply to the Psychology Department for funding up to the amount of $600 to participate in such workshops. Typically, each student is limited to receiving funding for only one such workshop during the course of training here. Funds must be used within the fiscal year awarded, so paperwork with original receipts should be submitted no later than June 10.

To request the departmental funds, students should complete this form, print it out, and submit it with the indicated attachments to the Administrative Officer in the Psychology Main Office. The faculty mentor should make sure that all paper work is in order before it is submitted for processing. The student should then give the application to one of the Co-Directors of Graduate Studies, who will then make a recommendation to the Department Chair.

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Graduate School and Georgetown University Policies and Resources

In general, the information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin, the primary source for information about all manner of academic policies and procedures.  

Graduate Bulletin and Policies

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences establishes minimum requirements for admission and the award of degrees. Students should familiarize themselves with all the rules, regulations, and procedures relevant to their pursuit of a Graduate School degree.  The link to the current version of the Graduate Bulletin can be found at:  http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/policies/  

Registration and Academic Calendar

Important policies and procedures pertaining to graduate student registration are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section II: Registration.  Procedures and links for graduate student registration is located at:  http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/registration/

In addition, all graduate students must be aware of the registration schedule, withdrawal deadlines, academic calendar, course schedules, and other important academic information published each semester by the University Registrar.  The Registrar’s website (and academic calendar) can be found at:  http://registrar.georgetown.edu/

Academic Integrity / Academic Misconduct Issues

The policies and procedures for Academic Integrity issues are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section VI: Academic Integrity: Policies and Procedures (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page at: http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/policies/)

Leave of Absence

During the course of a graduate student’s time at Georgetown, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence for personal or medical reasons.  The policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section VII: Graduate Student Leave Policies (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page at: http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/policies/)

Grade Appeals

If a graduate student feels that there is reason to appeal an official grade, the policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section III-A-5: Academic Regulations and Procedures /The Grading System / Appeals Contesting Grades  (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page at: http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/policies/)

Language Study Scholarships / Policies

There are specific policies and procedures that cover graduate student enrollment in language classes.  The policies and procedures for this are found in the Graduate Bulletin, Section II-E-4  Registration / The Registration Process / Language Study Scholarships  (view/download the Graduate Bulletin from the top of the Policies page at: http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/policies/)

International Issues  (OGS-Office of GLobal Services)

Issues of special relevance to international graduate students are handled by Georgetown University’s Office of Global Services (OGS).  These include visa and immigration issues; work visas; full-time/part-time study issues; emergency situations; and other topics.  For more information, please see their website, located at http://globalservices.georgetown.edu/. The OGS offices are located in the Car Barn building at 3520 Prospect Street, N.W. (near 35th and Prospect Street) in Suite #210.

Graduate School Contacts / Resources

Graduate School Deans & Offices and contact information can be found at:  http://grad.georgetown.edu/about/leadership-staff/

The Graduate Student Lounge is located at 3520 Prospect Street, on the roof pavilion (4th Floor) of the Car Barn.  It provides a quiet space exclusively for graduate students to study.  The Graduate Student Lounge is wifi-enabled, has comfortable seating and study desks, and is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or as posted.

Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

GSO is the governing body for graduate students and also serves as an advisory board for student organizations composed primarily of graduate students. To help unite graduate students across the Georgetown campus, GSO hosts academic, networking, cultural and social events and also allocates funding to member organizations for events and programming. More information about the GSO can be found at:  https://hoyalink.georgetown.edu/organization/gso/

Graduate Student Ombuds

The Graduate Student Ombuds Office provides an informal, impartial, neutral, and confidential environment where graduate students can discuss University-related concerns and disputes. The Ombuds office does not advocate for any individual point of view, and does not participate in any formal grievance process, but works to promote a fair process for all. The function of the Graduate Student Ombuds Officer is to listen thoughtfully and sympathetically to the concerns of graduate students and to assist them in identifying options for addressing their concerns.  The Graduate Student Ombuds website is located at:  http://grad.georgetown.edu/academics/grad-ombuds/  Graduate students can contact the Graduate Student Ombuds at:  gradombuds@georgetown.edu  

Sexual Misconduct and  Harassment Policy Statements
Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Need-Based Aid: Office of Student Financial Services
The Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) provides counseling services to prospective and current students and their families about:

  • Options available for financing higher education costs
  • Eligibility for assistance
  • Applying for and obtaining funding
  • Budgeting expenses and paying bills

For both undergraduate and graduate students, the OSFS determines eligibility for assistance from federal, state and private financial aid programs based on the rules and regulations established by those external agencies.

More information is available at: http://finaid.georgetown.edu/contact-us/

Merit-Based Aid: Graduate School Dean’s Office
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers merit-based awards on a competitive basis to some programs for incoming and continuing students. The primary purpose of this financial assistance is to support qualified graduate students in the pursuit of their academic careers and the timely completion of their Graduate School degrees.

Information about the types of merit-based aid available to graduate students is available at: http://grad.georgetown.edu/financial-support/merit-based-financial-aid/

Student Research Travel Grants 
The Graduate School is pleased to support the professional development of graduate students by providing Conference Travel Grants to both master's and doctoral students on the Main Campus and the Medical Center.

The Graduate School also invites nominations for Dissertation Research Travel awards for up to $5,000 each. These competitive awards support the travel costs of students enrolled in doctoral students engaged in archival or field research outside the United States.

Details for both travel grant programs are available at: https://grad.georgetown.edu/financial-support/student-research-funding

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