Apr 25, 2019  
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to: USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

The Department of Psychology has five topical areas: 1) Brain and Cognitive Science addresses fundamental questions about the brain and mind in humans and animals in areas such as creativity, decisions, emotion, learning and memory, linguistics, motivation and perception. 2) Clinical Science applies scientific theories and methods to understand adaptive and maladaptive functioning to alleviate human suffering, and to promote adjustment. Specialization is available in clinical-aging, child and family clinical, and adult clinical. 3) Developmental Psychology studies developmental changes in social behavior, cognition, language, neurological structure and emotions from childhood through early adulthood. 4) Quantitative Methods studies basic and advanced methodology used in psychometrics and measurement, longitudinal data analysis, behavior genetic methods, decision making, and robust statistical methods for analyzing multivariate data. 5) Social Psychology studies the thoughts, feeling and actions of individuals as they are influenced by other individuals and by groups.

The department also offers a joint major in Linguistics/Psychology and participates in the Dornsife College's interdisciplinary program in Neuroscience.

Research is integral to psychology; it enables the faculty to make contributions in the field and to be more effective teachers. Undergraduate students are encouraged to work with members of the faculty on research projects. The most direct way for students to participate in research is to enroll in a directed research course (PSYC 290  or PSYC 490 ), but it is also possible to take part in ongoing research in less formal ways. Further options for research training also includes the honors program for psychology majors. The Department now offers two MS programs in Applied Psychology (MAPP) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Seeley G. Mudd Building 501
(213) 740-2203
FAX: (213) 746-9082

Chair: JoAnn M. Farver, PhD


University Professor, Dana Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology and Neurology: Hanna Damasio, MD

University Professor, David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology and Neurology: Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD

Harold Dornsife Chair in Neurosciences and Professor of Psychology and Computer Science: Irving Biederman, PhD

Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Linguistics and Psychology: Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, PhD (Engineering)

Provost Professor of Cell and Neurobiology, and Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Psychology: Pat Levitt, PhD (Cell and Neurobiology)

Provost Professor of Psychology and Business: Wendy Wood, PhD

Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing: Norbert Schwarz, PhD

Provost Professor of Social Work, Preventive Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Gerontology and Psychology: William Vega, PhD

Dean's Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Psychology, Education, and Communication: Daphna Oyserman, PhD

Merle Bensinger Professor of Gerontology and Professor of Psychology: Bob G. Knight, PhD (Gerontology)

Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law and Professor of Law and Psychology: Elyn R. Saks, JD (Law)

Mendel Silberberg Professor of Social Psychology: Stephen J. Read, PhD

University Professor, ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Chair in the Neurobiology of Aging and Professor of Gerontology, Biological Sciences, Anthropology, and Psychology: Caleb E. Finch, PhD (Gerontology)

University Professor and Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Psychology: Larry W. Swanson, PhD (Biological Sciences)

Professors: Laura A. Baker, PhD; Antoine Bechara, PhD; Sarah W. Bottjer, PhD (Biological Sciences); Peter Carnevale, PhD (Business); Gerald C. Davison, PhD*; Michael E. Dawson, PhD; JoAnn M. Farver, PhD*; Ernest Greene, PhD; Andrea Hollingshead, PhD (Communication); Laurent Itti, PhD (Computer Science); David G. Lavond, PhD; Steven Lopez, PhD; Thomas D. Lyon, JD, PhD (Law); Franklin R. Manis, PhD*; Gayla Margolin, PhD*; Mara Mather, PhD (Gerontology); John J. McArdle, PhD; Beth E. Meyerowitz, PhD*; Lynn Miller, PhD (Communication); Carol A. Prescott, PhD; Stephen J. Read, PhD; Robert Rueda, PhD (Education); Dan Simon, SJD (Law); Gale Sinatra, PhD (Education); Elizabeth Sowell, PhD (Pediatrics); Arthur Stone, PhD; Steven Yale Sussman, PhD (Institute for Prevention Research, Medicine); Penelope K. Trickett (Social Work); Suzanne Wenzel (Social Work); Rand Wilcox, PhD; Elizabeth Zelinski, PhD (Gerontology)

Associate Professors: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, PhD (Occupational Therapy); Giorgio Coricelli, PhD (Economics); Jesse Graham, PhD; Stanley J. Huey, Jr., PhD; Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, PhD (Education); Richard S. John, PhD; Adam Leventhal, PhD (Preventive Medicine); Toben Mintz, PhD; John Monterosso, PhD*; Joseph Priester, PhD (Business); David Schwartz, PhD; Brendesha Tynes, PhD (Preventive Medicine); David A. Walsh, PhD; Justin Wood, PhD*; Jason D. Zevin, PhD

Assistant Professors: Christopher Beam, PhD; Morteza Dehghani, PhD; Genevieve Dunton, PhD (Preventive Medicine); Tara Gruenewald, PhD (Gerontology); Henrike Moll, PhD; Daniel Nation, PhD; Darby Saxbe, PhD; Scott Wiltermuth, PhD, (Business); Ya Yang, PhD (Pediatrics)

Clinical Professor: Ernest R. Katz, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor: Marian Williams, PhD

Professors (Research): Margaret Gatz, PhD; Jonathan Gratch, PhD (Computer Science); Donna Spruijt-Metz, PhD

Associate Professors (Research): Susan Luczak, PhD; Stacy Marsella, PhD (Computer Science)

Assistant Professors (Research): Assal Habibim PhD; Karen M. Hennigan, PhD; Jonas Kaplan, PhD

Professor of the Practice: Ellen Leggett, EdD

Associate Professor of the Practice: Robert Chernoff, PhD

Assistant Professor of the Practice: Samantha Broitman, PhD; Shannon Couture, PhD

Associate Professor (Teaching): Ann Renken, PhD

Assistant Professor (Teaching): C. Miranda Barone, PhD

Lecturers: William Breland, PhD; Sule Guney, PhD; Canan Ipek, PhD; Meredith Lepley, PhD; Francesca Puggelli, PhD; Steven Westberg, PhD

Adjunct Professors: Lynne Bernstein, PhD; Elizabeth Susman, PhD

Adjunct Professor (Research): Nancy Pedersen, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor: Joanne Steuer, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor: Jasmine Tehrani, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor (Research): Kaspar Meyer, PhD

Adjunt Lecturers: Maura Roggero, PhD; Khatera Sahibzada, PhD; Luke Thelen, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Mendel B. Silberberg Professor Emeritus of Social Psychology: Norman Miller, PhD

Emeritus Professors: Elaine Anderson, PhD; Kathleen Chambers, PhD; Norman Cliff, PhD; William W. Grings, PhD; Jerald Jellison, PhD; Albert R. Marston, PhD; Sarnoff A. Mednick, PhD

*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.

Academic Program Staff

Clinical Associates: Barbara Cadow, PhD; Kenneth Cole, PhD; Vivian Fernandez-Credidio, PhD; Beth Leedham, PhD; Michael Maloney, PhD; Karen Meiselman, PhD; Pamella Oliver, PhD; Berta Ortiz, PhD; Cynthia G. Pearson, PhD; Charles Weinstein, PhD

Undergraduate Degrees

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Psychology

For the lower division: LING 210 , PSYC 100  and PSYC 274Lg  are required. For the upper division the following courses are required: LING 301  and LING 302 ; PSYC 314L ; two courses selected from LING 380 , LING 401 , LING 402 , LING 403 , LING 405 , LING 406 , LING 407 , LING 410 , LING 415 LING 466  and LING 485 ; three additional courses selected from LING 406 , PSYC 301L , PSYC 326 , PSYC 336L , PSYC 337L , PSYC 424  and PSYC 433 . See Department of Linguistics .

Minor in Critical Approaches to Leadership

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies .

Honors Program

The department offers an honors program for outstanding students in the BA, Psychology major who desire advanced research training in preparation for graduate work in the social sciences or in professional schools. The primary focus of the honors program is the completion of a research study under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester of their junior year and enter the program in the spring of their junior year by enrolling in PSYC 380 . To be eligible for admission, a student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of application to the program. This program is not available to students majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology. Students in the honors program complete all major requirements, including PSYC 380 Junior Honors Seminar  during the spring semester of their junior year and PSYC 480 Senior Honors Seminar  during the spring semester of their senior year. Students complete an honors thesis proposal as part of the Junior Honors Seminar and must submit a completed senior honors thesis by April 1 of the senior year. Students are also expected to have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of graduation. For further information, contact the undergraduate adviser or the director of the program, Dr. JoAnn M. Farver.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduates who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of the College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.

Graduate Degrees

The Department of Psychology offers an MS in Applied Psychology, an MS in Applied Behavior Analysis and five programs of study that to the PhD degree: (1) clinical science, including specializations in adult clinical, clinical-aging and child and family; (2) developmental psychology, including child and adolescent development and adult development and aging; (3) brain and cognitive science, including cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, clinical neuroscience and behavioral genetics; (4) quantitative methods; and (5) social psychology. All five specialty PhD areas provide training for careers in research, teaching and applied work. 

Admission Requirements

Psychology courses required for admission to the PhD program include the following courses: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, or Experimental Psychology; and at least one course from each of the following lists: (1) comparative psychology, physiological psychology, sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation, and emotion; and (2) developmental psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, personality, and history of psychology. Additional courses are desirable, as is work in the biological, physical and social sciences, in mathematics and in philosophy. Students with less background in psychology but outstanding undergraduate records in related fields are also encouraged to apply.

Students are selected on the basis of their undergraduate records, scores on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, course background, letters of evaluation, personal statement of interests and goals and evidence of research skills or interests (e.g., publications or participation in research projects).

The faculty of each specialty area select the students to be admitted to that area. Therefore, applicants should designate the specialty area to which they seek admission.

Application for admission in psychology is completed online and all materials must be submitted by December 1 for admission to the following fall semester.

Degree Requirements

These degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation  section and The Graduate School  section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.


    Bachelor's DegreeMinorMaster's DegreeDual DegreeDoctoral Degree


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