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Prospective Students

After a century of excellence in teaching, research and service,  The Ohio State University is recognized as a leader among the nation's centers of higher learning. Ohio State sponsors a wide variety of graduate and professional programs. The study of psychology is part of a long and distinguished tradition at Ohio State. The first psychology course was offered in 1879, and in 1907 an independent Department of Psychology was formed. The first Master of Arts degree in Psychology was awarded in 1915; the first Ph.D. in 1917. Since that time, about 2,800 master's degrees and 2,000 doctorates have been conferred. Department graduates hold respected teaching, research and professional positions across the United States, and many practice in other countries. In fact, there is at least one Ohio State graduate on the psychology faculty of almost every major university in America.
As a graduate student at Ohio State University, you will find that faculty consider you a colleague. You will have every opportunity to develop the research and professional skills you need to become a well-qualified psychologist in the specialty area you choose. With the faculty's help, you will develop an individualized study and research program and you will study in an invigorating, research-oriented environment, one you should find both challenging and intellectually stimulating. Our overriding goal is to train scholars who, through independent research, are capable of making substantive contributions to the body of knowledge in the field of psychology.
The Department of Psychology invites applications for its graduate program. Your application will be evaluated by the department's Admissions Committee and by the faculty in the area of study in which you intend to concentrate. You will be asked on the application to indicate one or more OSU Psychology Faculty members or labs with whom you would like to work while at OSU. This field will be required so please take time to look and see whom you feel your interests are similar. All faculty pages are linked with their names under the Program Areas and Admitting Faculty tab. We are eager to receive applications from members of disadvantaged groups. Only students who intend to pursue the Ph.D. are admitted. To apply, we recommend you have a minimum of 14 semester hours or 20 quarter hours-of study in psychology at the undergraduate level. You don't need to have an undergraduate psychology degree. Transfer credit is considered on a case-by-case basis, as is advanced standing based on graduate work done elsewhere. Credit decisions are based on how closely the previous work matches that which is required by the area in which you intend to concentrate.

M.A. and Ph.D. Expectations

Graduate students are expected to pursue full-time study. Advanced degrees are awarded to candidates who demonstrate both a personal excellence in their area of specialization and a general understanding of the various methodologies and contents of psychology.

You may complete a master's degree as you pursue your doctorate. The master's thesis, generally based on empirical research, must be completed before you can receive the MS degree.

The Ph.D. program can be completed in five years. The final one to two years of work are heavily concentrated on research leading to the dissertation. 

In certain areas, a one-year predoctoral internship is required. While the department cannot guarantee an internship, our students are successful in finding placement.

Specific programs of study are largely determined by your interests and the requirements of the specialty area. 

All areas emphasize research competence. You can expect to take courses in history and systems of psychology, statistics, and research methodology. 

You also are urged to attend colloquia outside your area of specialization.

Other study requirements include:

  • Credit-hour standards
  • Written and oral examinations
  • Thesis or dissertation

No foreign language proficiency is required, but graduates must be able to communicate fluently and precisely in English.