Accredited Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Ohio [2024 Updated]

Last Updated: June 25, 2024

As a prospective psychology graduate student, you have several important decisions ahead of you. What specialty do you wish to pursue? What sort of graduate degree do you want or need? Where will you study?

These and other important questions will drive your search for the right school and the right program. But if you are reading this guide, you might already have two of these questions answered – which specialty you wish to study and the location you want to get your degree.

Ohio is a great choice to pursue graduate psychology education because there are so many colleges and universities with child psychology-related programs. The most difficult part of the process will be to choose the program that best fits your needs. That’s where this guide comes in!

best child psychology programs in Ohio

Child Psychology Graduate Programs in Ohio

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

  • The Ohio State University
  • Capella University
  • Walsh University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Ohio University
  • Kent State University
  • Grand Canyon University

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University was founded in Columbus in 1870. Its first graduating class got their diplomas in 1878. Ever since, OSU has been a top academic institution, not just in Ohio, but in the nation.

Its years of academic achievement aren’t the only accolade OSU has earned – it’s considered a veteran-friendly school, a top school for innovation, and it has one of the best online campuses in the nation.

OSU is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university with 18 colleges and schools. With nearly 68,000 students, OSU is one of the largest universities in the United States. The school also offers more than 12,000 courses each academic year at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

With that kind of variety, you can supplement your studies in child psychology with coursework in a wide range of psychological inquiry and related areas.

Child Psychology Program Information

The Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Ohio State is a 4-5 year residential program primarily focusing on childhood cognitive development. However, you will also take part in studies that examine moral development, social cognition, and parent-child relationships, to name a few.

The first two years of the program are dedicated to building a foundation of knowledge in developmental psychology. During this time, you will work towards a master’s degree, which you will earn after the successful completion of your master’s thesis.

The program’s third year marks the beginning of your Ph.D. candidacy, for which you must pass a Candidacy Examination. Once you pass the examination, you will pursue advanced developmental psychology studies, including a 1-2 year Ph.D. dissertation experience.

OSU offers a robust financial aid package for Ph.D. students. This includes at least four years of financial support in the form of tuition assistance and a monthly stipend. You can further offset the cost of your education by participating in:

  • Research assistantships
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Fellowships

The admissions criteria for this program are as follows:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution
  • Submit a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • Provide a statement of purpose
  • Submit official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • Provide details about all psychology courses you’ve taken
  • Identify your first and second choice of program

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University is a public research institution that was founded in 1964. CSU is relatively young compared to other colleges and universities in Ohio, but it has grown rapidly over the years and has approximately 16,000 students currently enrolled.

Moreover, the university has grown to include ten colleges and schools within which nearly 200 academic programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Since CSU is a public school, one of its primary missions is to enable upward mobility for students. Throughout its existence, CSU has excelled in this area and ranks as one of the top schools for upward mobility in the nation.

Child Psychology Program Information

Cleveland State offers a School Psychology program that culminates with dual degrees: a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Psy.S. in School Psychology. Earning both degrees qualifies you for licensure as a school psychologist in Ohio. Furthermore, you will be eligible for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist designation.

This three-year program includes two years of studies devoted to the MA degree, which requires 51 credits to complete. A further 30 credits and an additional year of studies are required to get the post-Master’s Psychology Specialist degree. The curriculum for these degrees includes courses like:

  • Functional Assessment of Behavior
  • Child and Adolescent Assessment and Intervention
  • Multicultural Psychology and Diversity
  • Family-School Collaboration
  • Crisis Intervention in the Schools

The fall and spring semesters of the program’s third year are dedicated to a supervised internship experience in a school setting. Your degree will be conferred upon successful completion of the required coursework and field experiences.

You can apply to CSU’s school psychology program online. To do so, you must submit the following:

  • An application for admission
  • Official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • Two letters of reference
  • A personal statement

Ohio University

The state of Ohio’s long history of top-notch academics began in 1787 when Ohio University was founded. Not only was the school founded 17 years before Ohio was admitted to the Union as a state, but it was also the first public college chartered by the United States Congress. Needless to say, Ohio University has a long and storied tradition of academic excellence.

Ohio University has grown significantly as it’s aged. What began as a small school with a handful of students and faculty has grown to an institution with around 28,000 students, most of which study on campus in Athens, Ohio.

The number of academic programs at the school has greatly expanded as well – you can choose from more than 250 degrees, including dozens of graduate programs like the Child Clinical Psychology program outlined below.

Child Psychology Program Information

Ohio University’s Clinical Psychology program offers a concentration in Child Clinical Psychology that prepares you to work with children and adolescents in many different clinical settings. You can pursue one of three degrees in this specialty: a Master of Arts, a Ph.D., or a Psy.D. In each case, you will explore evidence-based assessments and interventions to use with young clients in clinical, school, and home-based settings.

Additionally, your training will focus on building effective psychological research skills, school consultation skills, and behavioral management of children with behavioral problems. You’ll take an array of courses to build these skills, such as:

  • Child and Adolescent Assessment
  • Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
  • Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence

At least three semesters of clinical child psychology practicum experiences are required, in addition to a one or one-and-a-half-year clinical child psychology internship in an APA-accredited setting.

This program’s admissions requirements are as follows:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall 3.0 GPA or higher and a 3.3 GPA or higher in psychology
  • Submit official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Provide a personal statement
  • Provide a resume or curriculum vitae

Kent State University

Kent State University was founded in 1910 as a teacher training school. However, as the years went by and more students enrolled, a greater interest in other academic areas unfolded. Today, there are dozens of academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and specialist levels for the school’s 33,000 students.

Kent State has grown into an eight-campus system that serves students across Ohio. With a top-100 graduate school and a ranking as one of the best public universities in the nation, it’s no wonder that Kent State has attracted so many students.

The school’s study abroad program undoubtedly entices some students to enroll – you can choose from around 200 study abroad programs in five-dozen countries around the world.

Child Psychology Program Information

Kent State’s Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Ph.D. program has three primary areas of focus: clinical psychology, child development, and clinical child/pediatric psychology. As such, your first two years in the program will include coursework in the following:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Child Psychotherapy
  • Developmental Pathology
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Clinical Child Research

You will also take courses in minority and cultural issues, statistics, and research methods.

The second through fifth years of the program focus on evidence-based treatments. This includes coursework in treatments like Behavioral Parent Training, Exposure With Response Prevention, and Habit Reversal Training. You will also participate in several clinical practicum experiences that allow you to put your learning into practice.

This program culminates with a year-long clinical internship. You may choose to complete a year-long clinical externship after that as well.

To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. You may also be required to submit the following:

  • A writing sample
  • A personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • Official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended

Child Psychology Work Opportunities in Ohio

With a population of nearly 12 million people, Ohio is the seventh-most populous state. Nearly 22 percent of the state’s residents are children, meaning there are ample opportunities for finding work in the child psychology space.

Some people with an advanced degree in child psychology use their skills to help advance the education of children with social, emotional, or behavioral issues. For example, you might work for a head start program in Cincinnati as a clinical child psychologist. Your role in this position might be to assess children for behavioral or mental illnesses, outline a treatment plan, and implement interventions that will help the child be more successful in school.

Alternatively, you might specialize your training and have a private practice where you work with children that have been diagnosed with ADHD, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, or another childhood disorder. Your primary role in this setting would be to diagnose and treat children with these disorders, help them build skills to cope with this disorder, and perhaps work with the child’s caregivers to help them advance their understanding of their child’s needs as well.

These are but two examples of careers you might explore with a graduate degree in child psychology. Ohio offers many other opportunities – working with children in treatment facilities, outpatient mental health care, community mental health, and juvenile detention settings.

No matter the setting, though, as a child psychologist, you will have an opportunity to affect positive change in children’s lives, and you could very well change the course of their life to a more positive and productive places.

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