Best Accredited Psychology Graduate Programs in Ohio [2024 Updated]

As a prospective psychology graduate student, you have a lot of decisions to make. What area of psychology do you want to study, and where do you want to study it? These are two of the most important questions you face.

If you want to study in Ohio, you have the advantage of a wide selection of colleges and universities that offer graduate psychology degrees. Furthermore, Ohio’s colleges and universities offer a multitude of specialization areas.

This guide will help you identify some of the most popular programs in the state. You can use the information provided below to direct your school search and find the psychology graduate program in Ohio that best meets your needs.

Best Psychology Graduate Programs in Ohio

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering psychology graduate programs in Ohio:

  • Cleveland State University
  • Walsh University
  • Ohio University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Dayton

To find out how we select colleges and universities, please click here.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University was founded in 1964 as a public research institution. Back then, the school’s mission was to provide upward mobility for students. That’s still the case today. CSU is one of the nation’s leaders in upward mobility for its students. It’s also a top research university with accolades from many industry publications. For example, CSU is among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges and Universities.

Though CSU is a relatively young school, it has grown rapidly since its inception. Today, the university has around 16,000 students who pursue degrees in ten colleges and schools. All told, CSU offers more than 175 academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, including a number of psychology programs at both levels.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from CSU is a preparatory program for clinical practice, psychological research, or continued studies at the doctoral level. CSU offers two tracks to accommodate these different interests: a thesis-based doctoral preparation track or a non-thesis practitioner track.

In either case, you need about two years to complete the program, provided you study full-time. You will complete 50-51 credits of coursework that includes the following:

  • Clinical Interviewing
  • Adult Psychopathology
  • Personality Testing and Lab
  • Social Psychology
  • Ethical and Professional Issues

In addition to coursework, you will also complete research or a thesis, depending on which track you choose. You will also have a clinical field placement that’s divided into two four-credit experiences over the course of two semesters.

If you decide to utilize this program to prepare for a doctorate, you might consider CSU’s Ph.D. in Adult Development and Aging. This non-clinical program focuses on research issues related to aging, including cognition, behavioral components of aging, and social aspects of aging.

CSU also offers other graduate degrees if clinical psychology isn’t to your liking. You can choose from the following:

  • Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Research
  • Master of Arts in Psychological Science
  • Master of Arts and Psychology Specialist Degree in School Psychology

You can apply for these programs online. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution that shows a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA.
  • Have a strong record of studies in psychology.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation.
  • Provide a personal statement
  • Submit a curriculum vitae
  • Submit a 200-word answer to this question: What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you, and why is it important?

Ohio University

Ohio University might not be the largest public school in the state, but it does have the distinction of being the oldest. The school was founded in 1787 and was the first public college chartered by Congress. In fact, the school was founded 15 years before Ohio was a territory and 17 years before Ohio became a state.

Today, Ohio University has about 28,000 students. Though most students study on campus, Ohio has about 8,000 students that study remotely. If you choose to study on campus in Athens, you will reap the benefits of a good-sized campus with a small-town feel. You can choose from more than 250 degrees and programs that set you up for success in a career in psychology.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Ohio University offers a Psychological Science degree that takes just one to two years to complete, making it one of the shortest programs on this list. The 30 credits required for graduation are a mix of coursework, research, and a master’s thesis.

Some of the classes you will take include the following:

  • Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
  • Intermediate Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
  • Linear Regression
  • Research Seminar
  • Readings in Psychology

The thesis component is empirical, meaning you must complete original psychological research, compose the thesis, and defend it to a committee prior to graduating from the program.

Ohio University also offers two Ph.D. programs if you wish to continue your education after completing your master’s degree. The Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program continues the focus of research from this master’s program and gives you greater resources for expanding your psychological research. You can choose from several specializations, too, including Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, and Health Psychology.

The other Ph.D. option is in Clinical Psychology. This option is preferable if you intend to become a clinical practitioner rather than a psychological researcher. This degree has three specializations: Clinical Psychology, Clinical Child Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology.

But first, you must apply to graduate school and complete a master’s degree. To apply to the Ohio University M.S. program described earlier, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with at least 18 hours of psychology coursework and a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher. You must also submit the following:

  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your native language

Ohio State University

Ohio State University was founded in 1870 in Columbus. Though the school was initially small with few course offerings and degrees, over time, OSU has grown into the largest university in the state and one of the largest in the nation. OSU has nearly 68,000 students on campus in Columbus, at regional centers throughout the state, and online. As a student at OSU, you can choose from degrees in 15 colleges and schools.

Academics are central to life at OSU. This is true of all universities, but OSU takes its commitment to academic rigor to another level. The university ranks first among public colleges in Ohio and is in the top 20 of America’s Best Colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report. Ohio State also ranks highly for its online programs, innovation, and it’s a veteran-friendly school.

Psychology Graduate Programs

Ohio State’s Psychology Department offers a Ph.D. program in a unique field – Decision Psychology. This program zeroes in on the factors that influence decision-making, like cognitive processes, social pressures, and affective components. This is a research-based program, so you will spend much of your time conducting behavioral experiments, analyzing data, performing computational modeling, and so forth.

This is an interdisciplinary program, and as such, you will take a variety of courses in different disciplines that help you gain a deep understanding of how people make decisions. Some of the courses you might take include the following:

  • Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making
  • Attitudes and Persuasion
  • Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience
  • Statistical Methods in Psychology
  • Current Research in Decision Psychology

Additionally, you must declare a formal concentration in another area of psychology or another academic field. Cognitive, social, or quantitative psychology are a few options, as are public health, economics, or marketing.

This program requires about five to six years of study, including coursework, research, and dissertation requirements. OSU offers other Ph.D. programs of similar lengths in related areas, too, including the following:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Quantitative Psychology
  • Social Psychology

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for admission. Likewise, you must submit the following documentation in support of your application to the program:

  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • An autobiographical statement or statement of purpose
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A list of OSU psychology faculty with whom you’d like to work

University of Akron

The school known today as the University of Akron was originally called Buchtel College when it was founded in 1870. Back then, it was a very small college with just 171 students. Today, though, the University of Akron is a mid-size school with about 15,000 students. The study body isn’t the only thing that’s grown, though. Akron has greatly expanded its course offerings to include hundreds of undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs, and certificates.

Akron is also a well-regarded school for academics. It’s among the top ten best colleges in Ohio, according to Academic Influence. Akron also ranks among the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest, according to Princeton Review.

Moreover, the Carnegie Foundation lists Akron as an RU/H research university. With this focus on academic quality and research, Akron has received accreditation from nearly three dozen professional agencies.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Akron is a foundational degree that prepares you for master’s level work or advanced studies in a doctoral program. The MA offers two tracks – a thesis and a non-thesis option.

The thesis option requires 39 credits to graduate and focuses specifically on industrial-organizational psychology. This option prepares you for immediate entry into the workforce. Conversely, the non-thesis option is available as a 41-credit program in industrial-organizational psychology or a 37-credit program in applied development and aging. Both of these options are terminal master’s programs as well.

You will need about two years to complete any of the options listed above, provided you study full-time. Each program is residential, meaning you will have to study on campus in Akron. Once you complete the program, you can choose among several Ph.D. options at Akron. These include the following:

  • Ph.D. in Adult Development and Aging
  • Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

You can begin the admissions process online at any time, though applications and related materials must be submitted by January 15th of each year to be considered for fall admission. You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for admission:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher in a psychology major or an equivalent. You must have a 3.0 GPA or higher in your psychology studies
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Provide GRE Aptitude test scores
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency

University of Cincinnati

Two schools were founded in 1819 – the Medical College of Ohio and Cincinnati College. These schools were separate until 1870 when they became part of the newly-formed University of Cincinnati. As the university grew, it expanded its course offerings to much more than medicine and common degrees. Today, the university has 14 colleges in which you can choose programs ranging from business to physics to psychology, and many more.

UC has about 50,000 students, making it a very large school. With such a large student body, UC offers a highly diverse campus with more than 25 percent of the student population identifying as minorities. Not only does the university offer a welcoming and diverse learning environment, but it also has a solid reputation for academics. UC is a prime research university and ranks among the best such schools in the nation.

Psychology Graduate Programs

The University of Cincinnati’s Master of Arts in Psychology program focuses specifically on organizational and community psychology. Furthermore, the program is designed to hone your knowledge and understanding of crucial psychological concepts that apply to any areas of this field, including cognitive psychology, social psychology, psychological research, and statistical methods.

This 30-credit program can be completed in as little as one calendar year. There are thesis and non-thesis tracks. Upon completing the MAP program, the former prepares you for entering a doctoral psychology program. The latter prepares you for working in the public sector or industrial applications of psychology and replaces the thesis with an applied project or internship.

This program is available as a 4+1 option as well. This track allows undergraduates to earn graduate credit and then complete the MAP degree in just one year. This accelerated option is available for the thesis and non-thesis tracks.

Once you complete your master’s degree studies, you can continue your education in one of UC’s Ph.D. programs in psychology. These options include:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Clinical Training Program
  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Cognition, Action, & Perception
  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Community and Organizational Research for Action

You must create an online account to apply to the University of Cincinnati. Once you do so, you can complete the application for graduate admissions. To be eligible, you should have a bachelor’s degree or be close to completing a bachelor’s degree. The program must include at least 18 hours of coursework in psychology.

You are required to submit the following when applying to the program:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A personal essay

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