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Psychology, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Prepare for a career in research, teaching or applied health care in our doctoral program with concentrations in cognitive and neural sciences, clinical-community psychology, school psychology and quantitative psychology.

Work with faculty members who are top researchers in their fields within state-of-the art labs like the McCausland Center for Brain Imaging or the Center for Child Well-Being. You'll have opportunities to impact the local Columbia community and other South Carolina communities while making contributions to the field.

Program Highlights

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    Notable Program

    Study in a department that is consistently ranked as one of the university's most research-productive departments.

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    Highly Ranked

    Benefit from a school psychology concentration that consistently ranks as one of the top doctoral programs in the nation.

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    Supportive Environment

    Join a community invested in diverse representation and perspectives in the classroom, research and applied work.

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    Real Experiences

    Work in the Columbia area and the surrounding communities to impact children, adults and families in need.

What You’ll Study

Course requirements vary by concentration. Conduct research in areas including cognitive neuroscience of attention, language, memory, multicultural psychology, psychological development, etiology, prevention and treatment in labs, communities, family and school contexts, and more. Applied concentrations complete your clinical training.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

    Multicultural Awareness

    Understanding cultural variation and adapting behaviors and communication styles accordingly

    Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

  • Research

    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

    Scientific Writing

    Communicating scientific research and findings in a clear, accurate and compelling manner


    Foster learning by conveying knowledge, skills and concepts to students

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Potential Careers

  • Psychologist
  • Educator
  • Researcher

Workplace Settings

  • Academia
  • Research Institutes
  • Medical Centers
  • Human Health Services
  • Private Practice
  • Non-Profit Organizations

This program fit my research interests and allowed me to develop as a clinician. Taking on an externship (as a fellow with the Supporting Substance Use Disorder Services program) expanded the breadth of my clinical experience and gave me new insights into what kind of setting I hope to work in.

Elizabeth Bodalski
Portrait of Elizabeth Bodalski

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.