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Psychological Science - M.A. and Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Sciences

144 Kent Hall
Tel: 330-672-2166


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychological Science program offers doctoral education and training in psychological science, 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 (M.A.) in Psychological Science 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.

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. and Ph.D. require 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. 

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Graduation Requirements

M.A.: Requirements for the M.A. degree are a minimum of 30 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.

Ph.D.: The doctoral program 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 a master's degree upon starting the program must complete all the requirements for the master’s degree.

The program requires full-time continuous enrollment including summers.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the current theories and significant empirical findings in a major area of psychological science. Mastery includes acquiring both an understanding of these materials as well as the ability to think critically about them.
  2. Teach courses in psychological science.
  3. Supervise and mentor undergraduate students in both research settings and in the classroom.
  4. Design, execute, analyze and report empirical studies that make a significant contribution in a major area of psychological science.
Thesis/ Dissertation

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