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 admitting faculty. We are eager to receive applications from members of disadvantaged groups.
Only students who intend to pursue the Ph.D. are admitted. To apply, you should have a minimum of 20 quarter hours-or 14 semester hours-of study in psychology at the undergraduate level. You need not 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 M.A. 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.
Please ensure that all of your application materials are received by the December 1 deadline for full consideration. You should anticipate typical delays in obtaining letters of recommendation, test scores, and get an early start. Admission decisions are made only after all materials are received.
Waiving Application Fees
Participants in the following programs may be eligible for a fee waiver:
- ABRCMS/SACNAS (IBGP-PHD applicants only)
- Americorps (John Glenn School of Public Affairs applicants only)
- CIC Free Apps
- City Year (John Glenn School of Public Affairs applicants only)
- Graduate & Professional Student Visitation Day (GPSVD)
- McNair Scholars Program
- National Name Exchange
- PGD Program
- Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)
- Teach for America (John Glenn School of Public Affairs applicants only)
These guidelines provide information about eligibility and documents that you must submit to prove financial need. If you have already been awarded a fee waiver from the application service or from the required admission testing service (DAT, GRE, OAT, PCAT, MCAT), the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office will automatically waive the application fee.
Domestic and International applications are due December 1.
November 22, 23, 24, 25 is a Holiday Weekend for the University. We will not be available for questions during these days.
GRE scores can take 2-3 weeks to be processed by the Admissions Office once received. Students should take the GRE before mid-November to ensure scores are received in time.
The program application will require all of the following components:
- $60 domestic
- $70 International
Unless waived as explained above.
References and Recommendations
You should submit three letters of recommendation. The people who submit these recommendations should have direct knowledge of your capacity for graduate work. Electronic recommendations can be submitted with the graduate school application.
Include names and email addresses of three professional references. Recommendation letters will be submitted online through the Graduate School application.
GRE & TOEFL Scores
Although self-reported scores will not be considered official, they are helpful in our initial review of applications. Students are responsible for reporting accurate information.
Have Your Official General GRE Scores Sent to Ohio State (1592). International Students Must Submit OFFICIAL TOEFL Scores (do not send copies) if they have not graduated from an accredited U.S. university or college
Graduate Record Examination Current scores in the verbal, quantitative, and analytical (written) categories. The GRE is administered nationally by the Educational Testing Service (Princeton, NJ) and may be taken at most universities and colleges. See your local registrar for further information. You are strongly encouraged to take the GRE in October (or earlier). Historic mean and median GRE scores of past, admitted students can be seen in the table below.
|Past GRE Mean/Median Scores|
|Mean Verbal %||Median Verbal %||Mean Quant %||Median Quant %||Mean Analytical||Median Analytical|
Program Area First & Second Choice
Choose from the following: Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, IDD, Quantitative, Social, or Decision Science. You will not be able to submit your application unless you list at least a first choice of area.
Information on all Psychology Courses Taken
You will need the Course, Instructor, Grade, and Credit Hours for each. There may not be enough room for all your courses, but please try to list them under the appropriate area (General, Developmental, Social/Counseling, Industrial/Applied, Quantitative).
Autobiographical Statement/Statement of Purpose
This statement is very important. Please describe why you wish to pursue graduate study, why you chose psychology as your major field of graduate study, and why you are interested in attending Ohio State. You only need to upload this document. It is not necessary to send copies. Your autobiographical statement should be uploaded as either a PDF or DOC/DOCX file.
Required of all applicants who wish to be considered for a Graduate School Fellowships. You only need to upload this document. It is not necessary to send copies. Also, please do not include writing samples with your CV. Writing samples will be solicited by the area admissions chair to which you are applying if needed. Your CV should be uploaded as either a PDF or DOC/DOCX file.
Please use the “Upload Transcript” button to send copies (front and back) of official transcripts from ALL institutions attended where college credit was earned – even if you attended while in high school. International Credentials should include certified educational records and degree certificates or diplomas in the original language with English translations.
Send an electronic copy of official transcripts issued by your institution’s Registrar or order electronic transcripts. Make sure to mark out all U.S. social security numbers before scanning. Ohio State will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores, or transfer credit on another school’s transcript.
If you are admitted to the university as a graduate student, you will be required to submit final official transcripts. Do not send the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office paper official transcripts unless specifically requested by our office. Transcripts take 2-4 weeks to process once received. Students are responsible for requesting official transcripts from their institutions in plenty of time to allow for OSU to process them prior to the deadline.
Include grade point average (GPA) and courses, and the quality of the undergraduate training you received. You must supply complete transcripts of all previous academic training, including the first semester or quarter of the senior year, if possible. We require at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA to be considered for admission. Very rarely students with undergraduate GPA < 3.0 but with other outstanding strengths (e.g., extensive research experience) are admitted provisionally. Historic mean & median GPAs of past, admitted students can be seen in the table below.
|Mean GPA||Median GPA|
Faculty You Want to Work With
Indicate one or more admitting faculty 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 with whom you feel your interests are similar.
Checking Application Status
After submitting an application, first time applicants are sent an email from The Ohio State University’s Information Technology (IT) Service Desk, assigning an OSU ID and username (lastname.#). This username is used to check your application status on the Self Service website.
New applicants with no prior or current affiliation with The Ohio State University who know their OSU ID and username must activate their username and create a password by requesting an activation code on MY.OSU. For assistance with the activation code request process, please contact:
Questions or Concerns?
You can direct questions and/or concerns to the following:
Psychology Graduate Program Coordinator
E-mail: email@example.com (preferred)