The Ph.D. program in Psychology is focused on the study of Consciousness and Society. It is grounded in the Department's approach to psychology as a distinctively human science.  It will educate future scholars and practitioners at the highest level of the discipline to make original contributions to theory and knowledge. Our graduates will serve as researchers, consultants, leaders, and teachers who can creatively facilitate transformations in a global society.  The program reflects three theoretical approaches to analyze the intersection of consciousness and society: Humanistic, Critical, & Transpersonal. These approaches serve as reflexive and reflective anchors to the scholarly trajectory of our students in developing their own research interests.  All of the theoretic perspectives that inform the curriculum indicate a fundamental value of the program, to privilege the question of one’s subjective accounting of an event, either in experiential or discursive terms.  Whether in terms of reflexivity or awareness, this value links each of these traditions to more qualitative approaches to which the Departmental teaching is also committed.  In all of our classes and projects, the Psychology Department offers a more integrative and nuanced approach toward consciousness and society, including an awareness of the less explored spiritual dimensions that inform individual and community life. This promise is made good in our foundation in transpersonal psychologies with their articulation of the wisdom traditions.  Our broad based sense of the place of community life for the individual translates into our support of social justice and ecological and integrative thinking. It dovetails with our effort to continually creatively address the relationship between theory and praxis through more ethically informed and engaged modalities of research.

View our Psychology Department website

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

  • Overview

    Beyond traditional classes in psychological theory and research, students are exposed to a variety of experiences that foster rigorous and creative scholarship alongside social engagement and transformation. The program’s strong humanistic, cultural/critical, and transpersonal foundations mean that scholarship is linked to social engagement.   Faculty encourage and guide PhD students to submit articles to national and peer reviewed journals as well as a variety of national publications for professional development.  Each semester students receive opportunities to present papers and posters at regional and national conferences that represent their areas of interest and further advance the goals of evolving perspectives in psychology, human science, discursive psychology and qualitative research.

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus

    Method of Delivery

    Courses are 100% face-to-face.


    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 60
    Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 9
    A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team ( Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.


    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

  • Courses


    The curriculum includes a variety of course formats: lectures, seminars, tutorials, independent projects, and practica. Lecture courses are larger in size (10-15 students each), and present foundational overviews. Seminars are smaller (6-10 students), more specialized discussion oriented courses focusing on advanced topics. Tutorials are composed of 3-5 students who gather for advanced study in an area with a faculty mentor, following the tradition of associated with the Oxford model. Independent projects are individualized research projects designed by the student in collaboration with a supervising professor. These are available only to those students who have qualified for more in-depth work in a particular area. The practicum is a field placement.


    • PSYC-8000 - Consciousness and Experience

      This study of current approaches to consciousness, especially in light of one's own inner life and with particular attention to the emergence of consciousness, its nature, development, differentiations, and potential deformations and to its role in grounding, shaping, constituting, and orientating human experience.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8001 - Culture and Subjectivity

      An examination of the dialectical nature of the relationship between subjectivity and culture including recent development in linguistics, textual analysis and research on intersubjectivity.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8002 - Studies in Mind-Body

      Basic issues in mind/body psychology, such as the phenomenology of embodied consciousness, psychoneuroimmunology, neuroscience, holistic health and contemplative disciplines.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8005 - Human Science Methodologies

      An examination of the practice and application of research methodologies such as qualitative, phemonological, hermeneutic, ethnographic, and discourse analysis.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8006 - Advanced Human Science Methodologies

      Advanced applications and design of qualitative methods and their fields of application, including health psychology, education, community, program evaluation and other fields.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8007 - Critical Foundations of Psychology

      This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. This course provides a historical and current day perspectives on the seminal philosophical, theoretical and empirical perspectives in the discipline of critical psychology. Within this course we develop an understanding of consciousness as situated at the intersection of systems of power, be it at the individual, group or societal level.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8008 - Humanistic Foundations of Psychology

      This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. The course examines the paradigm of psychology as a specifically humanistic discipline. Its focus is on the historical origins and philosophical foundations of this approach.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8009 - Transpersonal Foundations of Psychology

      This course represents one of the program's fundamental approaches to the study of consciousness and society. It provides a theoretical and experiential foundation in transpersonal psychology. Western psychology often focuses on the individual person as a single, separate, extrinsically existing entity in relation to others. Transpersonal psychology challenges this assumption, effectively returning to psychology's original meaning as the study (or revealing) of soul or spirit.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8010 - Theoretical Foundations of Psychological Inquiry

      Philosophy of inquiry is the foundational course for the research sequence. The course focuses on problems and concepts with direct relevance to psychological inquiry. Including a survey of historical views of science and scientific method, and competing views of what grounds the authority of science.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8102 - Psychospirituality and Transformation

      An examination of wisdom traditions and approaches to psychospiritual personality integration and how they apply to modern human problems.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8103 - Science, Technology, and Consciousness

      An examination of the individual and social psychological significance of living in an increasingly technological world, including implications for such issues as identity, agency, cultural change, and adaptation.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8185 - Special Topics in Human Development

      Special series of seminars meant to explore subjects in human development which are of particular interest to students & faculty.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8280 - History of Consciousness

      Examination of the evolution of human consciousness through a focus on key historical epochs in civilization and the transformations wrought in each.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8300 - Exploratory Methods in Consciousness Studies

      Practice in the cultivation of methods of conscious awareness, such as meditation, yoga, and other forms of mental discipline.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8584 - Advanced Seminars

      These seminars will offer advanced study in special topics; Child & Youth Care, Organizational Transformation, Community Building & Generativity, Disaster Mental Health, Cultural Diversity and Community.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-8884 - Psychology Proseminar

      This post-master's-level seminar introduces students to advanced study in psychology by critical examination of key issues in contemporary psychology. Particular topics will vary. May be repeated for credit.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-9002 - Doctoral Qualifying Seminar

      The doctoral qualifying course serves two purposes. Firstly it prepares a student for comprehensives, which will be presented within the context of the class. Secondly, it allows one to discuss and develop a frame for a dissertation proposal and leads to a proposal draft. May be repeated once for credit. Student should have completed all required classes and required hours to enroll

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-9187 - Practica

      A focused immersion into a specific psycho-social intervention, in the course of which the student is to develop a systemic understanding of the issue(s) addressed, as well as a concept of what constitutes a change in consciousness awareness or systemic transformative intervention around those issues.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

    • PSYC-9887 - Internship

      Internship is defined as intensive and independent fieldwork experience that occurs concurrently with dissertation research. It typically follows proposal defense and comprehensives. The internship should bear a clear and articulated relationship to student's interests and doctoral program aims and teachings. It is at least one semester long. Site, hours and supervisory contract will be negotiated by the student, the internship instructor and appropriate personnel site supervisors.

      View Instructors, Syllabi and Other Details

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    • All graduate applicants must complete the online Graduate Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
    • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
    • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
    • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

    Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

    • Three letters of recommendation. Academic letters are preferred although other professional letters will be accepted.
    • Official GRE General Test Scores. There is no minimum but GRE scores will be considered in the applicant’s profile and must be submitted. The program will not accept scores more than 5 years old. For more information about the GRE, please visit the web site at GRE scores should be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office using school code: 5900.
    • A current curriculum vitae listing contact information (including email address), educational background, employment history, awards and recognitions, presentations, etc.
    • A reflective essay describing why you are drawn to this particular program and how you understand the relation of consciousness and society. The essay should include a statement of how you imagine the program will contribute to your future plans.
    • A description of a potential research project following this template: Research Proposal Template [pdf, 156 kb]
    • A writing sample: an academic paper is highly preferred but other formats are acceptable. The word limit is 8,000 words, all inclusive (including references,etc).

    Note: Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree will be considered, although applicants with graduate degrees, e.g. a Master’s degree are preferred. Those with degrees outside of psychology are welcome as well as those with degrees in the field of psychology. Additional courses in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia may be required due to disciplinary background or level of educational attainment. After your complete application has been received by the College of Social Sciences, it will be sent to the Director of the Ph.D. Program.

    Application Deadlines

    We only accept applications for the fall semester each year.  The application deadline date is January 10th, which includes the Application, app fee, and all supplemental items/documents. For more information on deadline dates, please refer to the link below:

    Admission Process Checklist

    One exception: If you will not be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.


    Graduate Admissions

    Program Inquiries:
    Dr. Marie-Cécile Bertau, Program Director:

  • Dates

    This program admits during Fall Semester only.

    Fall Admission Only: The deadline date is always January 10th.

    Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate Only), Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

  • Objectives

    Objectives not available