A person delivering a psychology lecture.

Psychology

We are a generalist program with strong roots in rural mental health, and special expertise in trauma and clinical disaster psychology. 

Prepare for Advanced Careers in Psychology

USD offers the state’s most comprehensive psychology program with graduate training leading to a Ph.D. degree with specializations in clinical psychology or human factors. Clinical psychologists focus on rural communities, cross-cultural differences with a focus on Native Americans, disaster mental health, first aid, trauma and substance abuse. Human factors professionals explore the interaction of humans and technology, testing the designs of systems, tasks, machines, tools and environments. The program has been fully accredited by the American Psychology Association since 1971.

As the workforce evolves, an advanced degree demonstrates your dedication to improving your expertise and credibility. Narrowing your research and focusing on a particular specialty allows you to become more competitive in your field.

Grow upon your past knowledge and skills and prepare for your future as a psychologist in either the clinical or human factors field as graduate student at USD.


Degrees & Offerings

Psychology (M.A.)

Master's

Psychology: Human Factors (M.A.)

Master's with Specialization
  Vermillion Main Campus

Human factors professionals make our world run smoothly. You will explore the interaction of humans and technology, testing the designs of systems, tasks, machines, tools and environments in order to enhance efficiency, ease of use, safety and productivity..

Explore this specialization

Accelerated Psychology: Human Factors (M.A.)

Major + Master's

Psychology: Clinical Psychology (M.A./Ph.D.)

Master's + Doctorate
  Vermillion Main Campus

Explore your individual interests within the broad areas of psychology through a wide range of evidence-based clinical and research training experiences involving a variety of settings and populations.

Explore this specialization

Joint Psychology, Law (M.A./J.D.)

Master's + Doctorate

Psychology Clinical Disaster Psychology (Ph.D.)

Doctorate with Specialization

Psychology: Human Factors (Ph.D.)

Doctorate with Specialization

Program Details

Graduate

College

Department

Contact

Graduate Admissions

Start Your Application Today

Each program has unique application requirements and deadlines. Be sure and consult the graduate catalog for detailed program information. It will ensure your application and materials are complete and submitted on time. To learn more about the application process, visit how to apply.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

An Affordable Education

Gain valuable real-world, professional experience while enjoying paid employment and discounted tuition rates as a graduate student at USD. The affordability you gain through graduate assistantships and fellowships will equip you with valuable, professional-level skills that will set you apart after graduation. 

Teaching and research assistantships are awarded by individual departments. If you do not receive an assistantship within your department, you are eligible for an assistantship outside of your academic program or within support offices (non-academic units) at USD. Further inquiries should be directed to the graduate director of the department.

Learn More

Real Experience Through Research

You'll find the mentorship and opportunities you need to study topics that spark your interest. Some of our recent master's graduates in the psychology program have crafted their degree plans around the following research areas:

  • Rural community psychology 
  • Cross-cultural/individual differences, with a particular focus on Native American mental health 
  • Disaster mental health and psychological first aid 
  • Trauma (interpersonal, generational, and PTSD) 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Mindfulness-based psychological treatment 

At USD, our graduate students are actively pursuing unique research and presenting at local and national conferences exploring innovative areas of interest to them. Additional research and grant opportunities include: 

Graduate Research

Build Your Network

USD is home to more than 170 student organizations, including several that are housed in the Department of Psychology. You may be interested in Psychology Club or social activities to make friends, develop new skills and explore your interests.

Advocacy Coordinating Team (ACT)

The ACT consists of students and faculty who are committed to advocating for the profession of psychology at the local, state, regional and national level. The APA Graduate Student Association designates students to regional coordinators who assist in the development of state and departmental program-based committees. 

Ally Group

Since 1996, the Ally Group has consisted of students who share a commitment to understanding the connections between racism, sexism, socioeconomic status, heterosexism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination. Ally provides a safe, supportive environment for difficult conversations. 

Human Factors and Ergonomics Student Chapter

This is a student chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Its mission is to further human factors and ergonomic education, both academic and applied, to create a rich environment promoting original ideas that generate quality research and increase communication and interaction between chapter members and professionals in the field.

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Students of Color in Psychology (SCIP)

Since 1994, the program's Students of Color in Psychology (SCIP) mentoring program has provided opportunities for students of color in psychology to explore issues of race and ethnicity in their developing professional identity. The SCIP program sponsors social activities for its members and for the program as a whole. They also sponsor/co-sponsor presentations on the topic of diversity.

Join Now

Health and Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee consists of a group of clinical psychology students who coordinate, plan and fundraise for social activities within the clinical training program and Department of Psychology. Annual activities include a fall welcome picnic, winter party and year-end potluck picnic lunch and farewell to interns.

Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA)

Join your fellow graduate and professional students at USD. We aim to build a sense of community between graduate and professional students. Build your resume, network with others and gain experience and the unique opportunity to represent the interests of graduate students to the greater campus and community.

Join Now

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in psychology.
Group of Psychology Students and a Professor.

Psychology

Expand your understanding of the human mind and behavior as you develop strengths in research, critical thinking, advocacy and service.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of Psychology. Our faculty serve as experts in their fields and maintain active research involving laboratory-based research, survey studies and/or community-based field research.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Douglas Peterson

Douglas Peterson

Chair, Psychology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jan Berkhout

Jan Berkhout

Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Chris Berghoff

Chris Berghoff

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Beth Boyd

Beth Boyd

Director, Clinical Psych Prog
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jean Caraway

Jean Caraway

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member BreAnne Danzi

BreAnne Danzi

Assistant Professor
Faculty Default

Sophia Gebauer

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Granaas

Michael Granaas

Director, Human Factors
Faculty Default

Kelly Gutzman

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Logan Hale

Logan Hale

Visiting Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sara Lowmaster

Sara Lowmaster

Associate Professor
Faculty Default

Julie Nelsen

Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Ricker

Timothy Ricker

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Raluca Simons

Raluca Simons

Professor/Dir DMHI
Bio Image for Faculty Member JongSung Yoon

JongSung Yoon

Assistant Professor
Two clinical psychology students participate in an activity at The Building Bridges Conference

Building Bridges

The Building Bridges Conference was established as a grassroots initiative in 1997 as a dream of two clinical psychology graduate students, who believed that to encourage Native American youth to persist in their education, there needed to be a bridge between their traditions and the traditions of higher education. 

This annual event is a collaborative conference sponsored by the clinical psychology program and the psychology department in the College of Arts & Sciences and by the Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Psychology students stand outside of Psychological Service Center

Psychological Services Center 

The Psychological Services Center (PSC) serves as a teaching, training and research center. At USD, the clinic provides the following services:


  • Assessment & Therapy Services to children, adults, couples and families through a variety of modalities including brief and longer-term individual, family and group psychotherapy. 
  • Consultation & Training may be arranged for individuals and groups. Examples include stress management, eating disorders, child abuse, depression, spousal/partner abuse and suicide prevention.
  • Procedures and psychological services are provided by doctoral students under the supervision of licensed psychologists. 

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 
Resident & WRGP
MN Residents
Non-Resident
Tuition (9 cr.)
3061.35
4398.75
5886.45
Fees (9 cr.)
497.7
497.7
497.7
Books (estimate)
360
360
360

More About Tuition & Fees

This is an estimate tuition rate* per credit hour and other factors such as special fees associated with your program may change the cost of tuition. Tuition rates are subject to change. 

If you are wondering about how to pay for graduate school, there are additional funding options to consider.

Take the Next Step