Doctorate in Psychology

  Accredited by the Mexican Postgraduate Quality Program SEP-CONACYT (PNPC)

(Scholarships for Foreing Students)


PROGRAM NAME: Doctorate in Psychology

General Office of Professions (DGP) Code: 231601

Typical time to degree: 6 semesters

Credits: 210

Degree conferred: Doctor of Psychology

Campus where it is offered: Hermosillo



General Objective

To train researchers capable of designing and managing original projects and research groups which address social problems on a regional, national and global level.

Specific Objectives

  • To develop the skills and competencies to design, evaluate and manage original psychological research projects.
  • To develop the skills to create psychological constructs to be used in research of current, new or emerging social problems.
  • To build, in graduates, competencies for the training of professionals (researchers and evaluators) in the behavioral science field.
  • To form individuals capable of evaluating projects and strategies based on psychological research, aimed at solving real problems in the regional and national context.



Graduate Profile


  • Graduates will master hypotheses and the theoretical-methodological foundations of the psychological research processes, applying them to creative and original action guidelines aimed at solving socially relevant problems.
  • They will be capable of drawing diagnoses which allow them to identify and intervene in situations and problems that call for analytical strategies and operational modes of psychological research to be adopted.
  • They will be competent in designing and conducting psychological research projects, applying their techniques, communication strategies and solutions in the different fields that demand it.
  • They will have conceptual tools which allow them to sustain valid and operational scientific arguments in the various fields of psychological science, which will allow them, upon completion of their research project, to identify and propose an original theoretical explanatory model of a social reality and/or issue.


  • Graduates will develop negotiation skills and abilities for the coordination of research and work groups.
  • They will be able to transfer the obtained research information to those who need it for the creation of complex solutions.
  • They will effectively use qualitative/quantitative research methodologies for the development of research projects that test explicative psychological models of social phenomena.
  • They will show the ability to publish book chapters, theoretical essays and empirical science articles, give lectures and teach or tutor on topics pertaining to the various dimensions and dynamics of the integration of scientific knowledge in psychology.

The Doctorate Program aims to furnish society with researchers trained in strategies for integrating methodologies, techniques and research models in Psychology and capable of creating original, innovative and critical projects in the field of study of the Postgraduate Program's various research lines. Graduates will address, on one hand, the discussion and most recent contributions of behavioral science and, on the other hand, the study of phenomena which are fundamental for social development.

Graduates from the program will show in-depth knowledge of psychological theories that explain various social issues. They will also have the competencies to carry out original research that addresses said issues and the experience necessary to propose specific solutions for specific problems.



Curriculum Map (Download PDF)

Course List

Research Seminar I

Research Methodology I

Classic Psychological Theories

Research Seminar II

Research Methodology II

Contemporary Psychological Theories

Research Seminar III

Research Methodology III

Elective I

Research Seminar IV

Research Methodology IV

Elective II

Graduation Seminar I

Elective III

Graduation Seminar II

Elective IV

Doctorate Thesis

Elective Courses

Legal Psychology

Psychological Resilience

Positive Psychology and Social Living

Family Psychology, Development and Psycho-social Well-being

Social Living and Justice

Social Epidemiology

Curriculum Design and Evaluation

Evaluation and Development of Strategic Learning

Creation of Measurement Instruments in Education

School education and psychology

Education, psychology and social organizations

Learning through competencies

Environmental Psychology

The Psychology of Sustainability

Education for Sustainability

Research Methods for Environmental Psychology

Positive Psychology and Sustainability

Positive Environments



1. Psychology of social coexistence and health psychology

2. Education and human development

3. Environmental and sustainability psychology





Dr. Víctor Corral Verdugo

Dr. Martha Frías Armenta

Dr. José C. Gaxiola Romero

Dr. Daniel González Lomelí

Dr. Juan José Irigoyen Morales

Dr. Federico Zayas Pérez

Dr. Marcela Sotomayor Petterson

Dr. Blanca Silvia Fraijo Sing

Dr. César Tapia Fonllem

Dr. Karla Acuña Meléndrez

Dr. Cecilia Norzagaray Benítez

Dr. Nadia Saraí Corral Frías



Entrance requirements

  • Master's degree in Psychology, Behavioral Science, Social Science, or a related field. Degree candidates with a letter of commitment to graduate may be accepted.
  • Have passed, with a grade average equal to or greater than 80, all courses in their master's degree plan of studies.
  • Complete the National Graduate School Entrance Exam (EXANI-III-CENEVAL) with a minimum score of 1000.
  • Pass an English exam equivalent to TOEFL with 500 points.
  • Doctorate research project proposal in one of the three lines of generation and application of knowledge pursuant to the Postgraduate degree.
  • Have at least two publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters or in extenso conference proceedings (a finished master's thesis is considered a publication).
  • Interview with the Academic Committee.
  • Entrance application.
  • Statement of purpose explaining the reasons for entering the Doctorate program in which applicants express their interest in entering the program and make a commitment to fulfilling the assigned academic activities.
  • Doctorate research project proposal in one of the three lines of generation and application of knowledge pursuant to the Postgraduate degree.
  • Curriculum vitae with documentation evidencing research experience (publications, articles, lectures, academic events, etc.).
  • Letter of intent of full-time commitment to the program and, for applicants coming from Higher Studies Institutions, an institutional letter that attests to the full-time commitment.
  • Certificate of English (TOEFL) or proof that the applicant will present it at our Institution.
  • Proof of completion of the EXANI-III-CENEVAL or proof that the applicant will take it at our Institution.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Unique Population Registry Code (CURP)
  • Official ID with photograph
  • Proof of address.
  • Professional Degree
  • Official Grade Transcript (bachelor's degree)
  • Master's Degree
  • Official Grade Transcript (master's degree) with general average.
  • Evidence of other studies (if any).


Applicant Profile

Applicants must have a master's degree in psychology, any social science discipline, or related fields. They must show awareness of social reality and their social, political and cultural context, as well as possess clear orientation towards scientific research and, importantly, demonstrate creative skills, shown by their master's thesis and/or publications, which may have been created individually or in collaboration with established researchers. Their vocational background must be related to the work and techniques of Behavioral Science, allowing them to be directly and efficiently involved in the analysis and promotion of creative solutions for social problems along with other human sciences. Applicants must also show special interest in the use of logical and analytical reasoning which will allow them to link with other disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches for the solution of concrete issues. In addition to this, applicants must be capable of relating to, recognizing and communicating with other professionals, as well as expressing interest in developing high-quality scientific research.

Students must dedicate themselves full-time with a professional commitment to fulfill the activities demanded by the postgraduate program. Preference will be given to applicants who prove experience in research activities in any of the academic areas pertaining to the doctorate. Also, it is an entrance requirement that the research topic pertains to local, regional or national issues; this does not imply the exclusion of projects with international impact, as it emanates from a systematic, global vision that recognizes the two-way interaction between local and global matters. Even if, for curricular and academic organization purposes, three lines of generation and/or application of knowledge are presented, the doctorate's approach to addressing social problems shall be flexible and consider an area of opportunity to broaden the research lines or core topics defined so far.



Graduation requirements

To obtain the doctorate degree, the student must:

  • Successfully complete all course credits and satisfy the other requirements established in the corresponding graduate program;
  • Certify comprehension of a language other than Spanish, as established by the Graduate Academic Committee of the respective study program.
  • Pass the degree examination in the written and oral phase before an ex-profeso appointed committee.
  • For the doctorate degree, pass a general knowledge exam, if required by the postgraduate program.
  • Comply with the provisions and requirements established by the Department of Academic Services for the issuance of the degree.


Degree options

The only valid way to obtain the degree is a thesis. This must be based on rigorous empirical research, accompanied by its respective theoretic support and relevant background.



Cost of the National Graduate School Entrance Exam (EXANI-III)

The applicant registration fee to study at the University of Sonora is published every year along with the new student admission announcement. See last year's information:


Enrollment and tuition fees

Pursuant to the Fee Regulation, when enrolling in one of the University of Sonora’s graduate degree programs, students must pay all corresponding fees based on the current minimum wage in the city of Hermosillo. See last year's information: fees and discounts per course



Dr. César Tapia Fonllem

Program Coordinator

Edificio de Investigación y Posgrado, Universidad de Sonora. Reforma y Blvd. Luis D. Colosio, Col. Centro, C.P. 83000. Hermosillo, Sonora.

Tel: +52 (662) 45484-10