Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology

The Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology (PhD) with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology focuses on the psychology of human performance in professions that demand excellence in psychomotor performance. This program applies theories of emotion, cognition, and motivation to understand peak performance. Course topics include foundations of performance psychology, psychomotor performance, principles of behavior modification, psychology of leadership and performance enhancement. This broad research degree typically appeals to those looking to advance their career in industries including sports, medical, business, sales, marketing, government or higher institutions of education.

In earning a PhD in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology, learners will examine empirical, research-based approaches to understanding mental and thought processes including memory, reasoning, intelligence, motivation and learning. Learners will examine the social, group and multicultural factors affecting individual behavior, the influence of mass communication on social awareness and control. The construction, analysis and interpretation of psychological tests to measure learning outcomes are also taught. The goal is to improve learning and performance conditions including regulating emotion, attention, information-processing factors, strategies and decision-making.

The application of performance psychology is broader than that of industrial/organizational psychology, though both share a common goal of improving employee performance through similar means, such as goal setting.

Learners are advised to inquire directly with their state if they intend to pursue licensure, as this degree does not lead directly to licensure in and of itself. Entry to this program requires a graduate degree and related coursework.

For those seeking a doctoral level degree designed for those who want to consult or lead change management in an organization, you may also want to consider:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

For some individuals, a doctoral degree may seem out of reach. At Grand Canyon University, we have designed our PhD program to include an integrated dissertation process, two hands-on residencies, as well as a dynamic, virtual community to help keep learners connected and provide support throughout the doctoral journey.

This program is offered in the following formats or locations:


The dynamic capabilities of GCUs online curriculum offer considerable flexibility and convenience for career oriented professionals who are pursuing their educational goals. Full time faculty members, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Our small class sizes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Classes begin frequently.


The convenience of GCUs evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals. Evening classes meet once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom, filled with career minded individuals. Evening class sizes are kept small, providing a warm nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. Classes begin frequently at various locations.

Online and Evening program disclosures      

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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