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Experimental Psychology - M.A. and Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychology

144 Kent Hall
Tel: 330-672-2166
Fax: 330-672-3786


The Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology program offers doctoral education and training in experimental psychology, with specializations in behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology and health psychology. The curriculum and other aspects of training offered by the Department prepare students for careers in research and teaching.

The Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology is an intermediate degree required of students in the doctoral program and offers specialization in behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and health psychology.

With the interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology–Gerontology, students develop a specialty in gerontological studies in preparation for doctoral work.

The graduate programs in psychology are strongly research-oriented. Students are encouraged to become engaged in a variety of research projects.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission are accepted only from holders of  a baccalaureate who aspire to the doctorate.

The M.A. requires a broad undergraduate preparation; research experience; junior-senior scholastic GPA average of 3.0; and 18 semester hours in psychology, which include a course in statistics and a broad background in psychology.  Students also must submit a statement of goals and motivations for pursuing a career in psychology, official transcript(s), scores from the Graduate Record Examination, and three letters of recommendation. 

In addition to the requirements above, admission into the Ph.D. program requires an M.A. or M.S. in Psychology.

Graduation Requirements

M.A.: Requirements for the M.A. degree are a minimum of 32 total credit hours, which include a basic core of required courses and a thesis. Additional courses are selected with the aid of an advisor. A limited number of courses outside the department may be credited toward the degree. No 50000-level psychology courses may be applied toward degree requirements for psychology majors.

Students must complete at least 18 semester hours of course credits within an academic year.

Ph.D.: The doctoral program, with the M.A. as an intermediate degree, requires a minimum of four years of full-time attendance for holders of the baccalaureate degree. All doctoral students in psychology (regardless of area of specialization) complete a program of basic core courses, select additional courses and seminars with the aid of a faculty advisor, and complete a master’s thesis and a doctoral dissertation. A limited number of graduate courses outside the department may be credited toward graduation. No 50000-level psychology courses may be applied to the degree program for psychology majors.

Doctoral program aspirants who do not hold the M.A. must complete all the requirements for the master’s degree.

The program requires full-time continuous enrollment including summers.

Thesis/ Dissertation

M.A.:  Students must complete a master’s thesis.

Experimental Psychology-Gerontology: The master’s thesis must be empirical in nature. It will be presented and defended before a committee of graduate faculty members, at least two of whom will be members of the faculty in gerontological studies.  One member of the thesis committee must be from another department participating in the gerontological studies program. The thesis and its defense must meet the requirements of the Department of Psychology.

Ph.D.: Students must complete a doctoral dissertation. 


Ph.D.: Students who have been admitted into the doctoral program will be considered for Ph.D. candidacy after they have met all requirements for the M.A. and have passed a qualifying examination in a major area of specialization in psychology. In addition, the department reserves the right to separate from the program a student who, in the opinion of a duly constituted departmental committee, is not likely to succeed professionally despite earning acceptable grades.  Proficiency in a foreign language is not a requirement for a doctoral degree in psychology.