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Is it possible to complete a psychology PhD under a faculty member in a different department?

I'm looking into psychology graduate programs, particularly looking for researchers who study sexuality/relationships. People in this area vary in their actual department - for example, some are in sociology, communications, medicine, social work, etc. which vary pretty drastically from psych in terms of how the departments operate. If someone in a department like this is studying something I'm very interested in from a psychology perspective, would I be able to somehow complete my PhD under them? Can I do that by having a co-advisor in the psych department and if so, what might be the criteria for finding an advisor in psych?
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Anna’s Answer

It is possible (although ideally the professor would be in your department)!

It will depend on the other professor's funding - are they willing to support you even though they do not technically have funding to do so? Whether or not they are willing to do this depends on the person.

I was in a very unique situation - my PhD advisor left my school mid-way through my degree. I found a professor at a different SCHOOL to co-advise me because no one else in the department did research in my area. Officially, I had an advisor at my school and a co-advisor at the other school, but in practice I just worked with the "co-advisor" on everything.

Anna recommends the following next steps:

Find professors you're interested in working with
Reach out to those professors to learn more about their work and make a final decision on if you would like to go for that professor
Find out if the professor is okay with this kind of setup
Find out if the psych department is okay with this kind of setup
Apply
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Kimberly’s Answer

Hi Alexandra, I'm assuming you're interested in applied psychology as a researcher as opposed to clinical psychology as a therapist. As a doctoral candidate you are assigned a professor who is your dissertation advisor throughout your doctoral program. This professor must be a professor in the department in which you are seeking your doctorate. As a doctoral student you will not take classes in other disciplines, so you want someone who specializes in your area of study to assist in guiding you. Some schools specialize in gender and sexuality, so that may be an option for you. I hope this is helpful for you and good luck! I suggest you look at the graduate catalog for whichever universities you are interested in and see what their areas of specialization are.

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