Steps to Graduation

The degree requirements are outlined here and specific steps are embedded in the paragraphs below. I’ve included information for each task as hyperlinks and my approved submissions in [brackets]. Take advantage of help from the Stats Consultant (who typically advertises their free services via mass email) and those in the Digital Learning Lab (who can help with poster presentations, Qualtrics surveys, PowerPoint, etc.).


In addition to 72 units of coursework, all Ph.D. students are required to complete a portfolio. The portfolio is meant to represent a cohesive set of experiences that balances training in the chosen area of specialization. It should include at least one item that synthesizes information in the chosen field (typically a review paper that may also double as chapter one of the dissertation). The portfolio will include one tool (see next section) and six of the following:

  • master’s thesis [my thesis proposal]
  • research article submitted for publication
  • formal oral presentation at a professional meeting
  • research or technical report
  • research or grant proposal
  • review paper
  • teaching experience
  • internship or field placement
  • relevant job experience
  • 8 or more units of non-required methodology
  • relevant non-required two sequence outside of psychology
  • a cohesive series professional development workshops from an accredited institution


The tool requirement was modified in May 2016, calling for one tool rather than two. Most tools require students to take a course prior to completing the tool. I selected and recommend the survey tool. The survey class serves as a degree requirement (PSY 315: 4 units of Advanced Methodology) and Jason is a great instructor.

  • foreign language
  • computer programming
  • survey research
  • evaluation research
  • qualitative research
  • child assessment
  • ESM
  • PECS
  • secondary analysis


When the student has completed their qualifying core courses and has had their completed portfolio approved by their advisor, they are required to pass an oral qualifying examination to determine their competency in their area of specialization. Though orals are person-specific, they may include any material from a class taken at CGU.

Oral Exam Proposal


Once all other requirements are fulfilled, including all coursework, the portfolio, and the oral qualifying examination, students must submit a dissertation proposal for approval by their committee. Once the proposal has been approved, the student may begin conducting research for the dissertation.

Dissertation Checklist
Preparing Dissertation for Submission
Dissertation Defense Announcement

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Notes for Meghan

Zak Lab
Gunnery Dissertation
Lyubomirsky Article