Working with Dr. Meston

Dr. Meston receives numerous applications each year from students wanting to work under her mentorship. Please check back in September 2021 for information on whether Dr. Meston will be accepting a graduate student for Fall 2022 admission.

Frequently asked questions:

Q. What do I need to be accepted into the UT Clinical Psychology Program under Dr. Meston’s mentorship?

A. Most students accepted into Dr. Meston’s lab have GPA score averages that are 3.7 and above however, special consideration will be given if third and fourth year GPA scores are considerably higher than first and second year scores. Attention will also be given to the quality and ranking of the undergraduate institution, the type of courses taken, and the grades received on statistical courses. Students accepted into Dr. Meston’s lab have excellent letters of recommendation from individuals (usually professors or research supervisors) who have worked closely enough with the applicant to be able to speak to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Q. Other than GPA and letters of recommendation, is there anything else that will improve my chances of getting accepted into the UT Clinical Psychology program to work with Dr. Meston?

A. The Clinical Psychology Program at UT and Dr. Meston’s lab are heavily focused on research. Dr. Meston is looking to accept students who ultimately seek academic careers in sexuality research. As such, individuals applying to work with Dr. Meston must have a strong record of research and evidence of interest in sexuality or related research fields. Most students accepted into Dr. Meston’s lab have presented at professional conferences, worked on studies related to the field of sexuality research, and are often co-authors on peer-reviewed academic manuscripts and book chapters. Most students accepted into the Ph.D. program under Dr. Meston’s mentorship have had at least one year post-undergraduate research experience.

Q. I want to become a sex therapist. Is this a good program for me?

A. Although the UT clinical psychology program has excellent clinical training and prepares its graduate students well for placement at top ranked internships, the program does not aim to train students who seek a career in clinical work. There is a heavy emphasis on research and students are expected to devote the majority of their time to research. The students in Dr. Meston’s lab have been extremely prolific and successful in attaining academic job positions (see links for current and former graduate students). Click here to see awards won by Dr. Meston’s graduate students while under her supervision.

Q. If I get accepted into Dr. Meston’s lab, what type of research will I do?

A. Dr. Meston strongly encourages students to find their own special niche of research. Currently, her laboratory focuses primarily on women’s sexuality, evolutionary perspectives on sexual function, and sexual function/satisfaction among couples. Dr. Meston does not specialize in research on LGBTQ+. If you have a specific area of sexuality research you are interested in studying, you may want to email Dr. Meston directly to see if it is relevant for the Female Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory.

Q. What equipment is available in Dr. Meston’s lab for my research?

A. The Female Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory is well equipped to conduct a variety of experimental studies. The lab consists of a large waiting area and six rooms: an experimenter/psychophysiology equipment room, a participant testing room, a participant interview room, two graduate student/study coordinator offices, and a large computer assessment/workroom. The psychophysiology equipment room contains two Pentium computers, 16 infrared photoplethysmographs, a video library, two videocassettes, two digital videodisc players, and two MP100WS data acquisition units (BIOPAC Systems, Inc.). The MP100W is a complete data acquisition system that includes both hardware and software for the acquisition, filtering, transformation, and analysis of psychophysiological data, including vaginal pulse amplitude, vaginal blood volume, heart rate, blood pressure, heart rate variability, and skin conductance. The testing room contains a 42” plasma color television screen and a comfortable recliner for the participant to be seated in during assessments. An intercom system allows for communication between the testing room and experimenter/psychophysiological equipment room. There is also a participant interview room which contains a second 42” plasma color television screen, sofa, loveseat, reclining chair, and two end tables, and may be used as an alternate assessment room for completion of questionnaires and/or psychophysiological assessment. There is also equipment and resources available for hormone and neurotransmitter metabolite analysis of saliva, urine, and blood samples (including a specimen storage freezer, centrifuge, and electroimmunoassay equipment). The computer assessment/workroom contains five computers spaced to ensure maximum privacy between users, a printer, seven lateral file cabinets for data storage, and a large table and desk space

Q. Do I need to know exactly what study I want to conduct before getting accepted into the program?

A. No. Few students know exactly what studies they want to conduct before entering into the program. Dr. Meston encourages students to conduct several studies in areas of interest to the student before deciding on a specific area of focus. It is expected, however, that students applying to work with Dr. Meston have read extensively in the area of sexuality research that is of particular interest to them, and they should have a broad understanding of the basic findings and controversies current in the field.