Doctoral (PhD) Programs

The core tenet of the Behavioral Neuroscience Doctoral Program is that a complete understanding of behavior requires understanding the mechanisms and principles at multiple levels of organization (i.e., behavioral, neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, neurochemical). Since ideas, methods and techniques from these underlying levels of analysis are necessary for the investigation of brain-behavior relations, students in the behavioral neuroscience program are expected to achieve general competence in the breadth of biological factors that control and affect behavior, and in-depth proficiency in areas relevant to their special interests.
The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program follows a "clinical-science" training model. Clinical science is a psychological science focused on using scientific methods and evidence to inform the assessment, understanding, treatment and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition or health. Consistent with this model, students are involved in clinical research continuously from their first semester, and the program is best suited for students who desire academic or research-oriented careers in clinical psychology.  
The Cognitive Psychology Doctoral Program offers an exceptional, research-intensive training environment for students interested in understanding how the mind works. Program faculty are nationally and internationally known for innovative research on sentence comprehension and discourse, speech and language perception, word recognition and lexical access, animal cognition, auditory perception, categorization, learning and motor control.
The Social-Personality Doctoral Program at UB offers an exceptional, research-intensive training environment for students interested in understanding the dynamic interplay between the self and the interpersonal world. Program faculty are nationally and internationally known for innovative research on automatic processes, self-esteem, self-construal, close relationships and stress and coping. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do these programs typically take to complete?

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program takes an average of seven (7) years to complete. The PhD programs in Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology and Social-Personality Psychology take approximately five (5) years.

Are all the PhD programs APA accredited?

Only the Clinical Psychology PhD Program is currently APA accredited. Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to:

The Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979

I'm interested in a counseling career. Is this the right department for me?

Although the Clinical Psychology PhD Program is APA accredited and includes training in clinical practice, the program has a far stronger research emphasis. The program is designed to develop the skills necessary for becoming a clinical researcher and to prepare students for careers in academic settings, such as psychology and psychiatry departments.

Applicants who do not have a strong interest in research may want to consider the counseling-based doctoral and master’s level psychology programs offered at UB within the Graduate School of Education, along with the graduate programs offered by UB’s School of Social Work. Our Cognitive Psychology PhD, Social-Personality PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience PhD and General Psychology MA programs do not offer clinical training, nor provide the credentials necessary for graduates to be eligible to be a licensed therapist or counselor.