Our Program

Program Overview

Our program trains students to integrate theory with rigorous research methodology to address issues in psychology and the study of mental and physical health. Students are trained to be independent scholars who think critically and pursue excellence in research and teaching in their field of study. Collaboration within the department, across disciplines, and with neighboring medical and academic institutions (i.e., University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson, UT Health, Methodist Hospital) is ingrained in our program’s culture. Though neuropsychological assessments are used in some research labs, this program does not provide clinical or practical training in clinical psychology and therefore does not lead to licensure. Students seeking careers in research and teaching are encouraged to apply.

During the first three years in the program, students split their time between coursework, lab commitments, teaching assistantships, independent research projects, and defending their Master’s thesis. During their fourth and fifth year, students focus primarily on dissertation research and building their career portfolio (e.g., publications, conference presentations, guest talks, teaching). Throughout the entirety of the program, all health psychology students are required to attend weekly research seminars, during which researchers from the field present their work and students are encouraged to build professional relationships with scholars in the field. Students are also highly encouraged to attend academic conferences annually and apply to highly competitive grants and fellowships, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Course Requirements

Note: Students who are interested in courses not currently offered at Rice also may take classes offered by University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health)

Please visit the Forms page to access the required paperwork to establish candidacy.