Clinical Psychology


Master of Arts Degree


The clinical psychological specialization M.A. program aims to train highly qualified, culturally responsive master's level graduates to work in a vareity of clinical and research settings and/or to move on to doctoral work. 

Program Overview

The Clinical Psychology specialization of the M.A. degree offers a broad education in the fundamentals of Clinical Psychology, preparing students for further study at the doctoral level or for post-M.A. employment in settings offering psychological services or engaging in research. The Clinical Psychology specialization degree is a terminal master’s degree program; the department does not offer a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. We further strive to celebrate diversity and emphasize its importance in attaining cultural responsiveness both globally and in the field of psychology.

Graduates who do not pursue doctoral studies may elect to work as “psychology assistants”  under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Psychology assistants work in clinical, hospital, forensic, and other settings and engage in treatment, assessment, and research activities. Please note that graduates of this master’s program are not eligible for psychology licensure in the State of Ohio, though the degree may allow for licensure in several states outside of Ohio.

This program strives to offer opportunities for growing professionals to further develop their cultural responsiveness and competence through course(s) and the practicum offered in the second year. We aim to encourage an atmosphere of open dialogue and discussion around diversity to foster cultural growth within our students. We aim to train our students to be the next generation of psychology professionals that are capable of (and competent in) offering services in diverse settings. 

Refer to our Applying for Graduate Admissions page for information about admissions criteria and procedures.

Program Requirements

The Clinical specialization offers two tracks of study to accommodate the interests of students:

  1. Doctoral preparation (“thesis”) track, which requires the completion of a data-based research thesis; and
  2. Practitioner (“non-thesis”) track, which does not require completion of a master’s thesis and thus allows students some flexibility in elective coursework while preparing them for work as Psychology Assistants.

Each track requires the student to complete a 50-credit hour program of coursework and clinical field experiences. The program requires full-time study for two academic years. No courses are offered during the summer, though students in the doctoral preparation track frequently work on their theses during the summer between the first and second years of the program. 


Both tracks emphasize core content and basic clinical/assessment skills in the first year, and emphasize practical experience and professional skills in the second year. Doctoral preparation track students are required to identify a thesis advisor and thesis topic by the end of their first year in the program.


During the second year, all students complete a supervised, 450-clock hour training experience in a clinical setting such as a private practice clinic, assessment center, residential treatment center, forensic setting, or other setting in which clinical experiences are provided.

During the second year, doctoral preparation students complete and defend their thesis projects. In lieu of a thesis, students in the practitioner track take additional coursework (two elective classes) in clinically-relevant areas (examples could include substance abuse/treatment classes, multicultural psychology, child and adolescent assessment, neuropsychological assessment, etc.) they may find helpful in their expected employment/future careers.

Program Sequence

Students are required to complete program requirements as outlined in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of their admission. An example of the typical recommended sequence is provided below:

Year One

Fall Semester

  • PSY 511  Univariate Statistics (4 credits)
  • PSY 535  Clinical Interviewing (3)
  • PSY 538  Intellectual Assessment & Practicum for Clinical Psychology (4)
  • PSY 555  Adult Psychopathology (3)

Spring Semester

  • PSY 604  Concepts & Methods of Individual Psychotherapy (3)
  • PSY 611  Advanced Data Analysis with Computer Applications (4)
  • PSY 651  Clinical Psychopharmacology (3)
  • PSY 660  Ethical & Professional Issues (3)
  • PSY 696  Special Problems in Clinical Psychology* or Any PSY Graduate Course** (3)
Year Two

Fall Semester

  • PSY 587  Personality Testing & Lab (3)
  • PSY 690  Field Placement Practicum I (4)
  • PSY 699  Research & Thesis* OR Any PSY Graduate Course** (3)

Spring Semester

  • PSY 525  Social Psychology (3)
  • PSY 691  Field Placement II (4)
  • PSY 699  Research & Thesis* OR Any PSY Graduate Course** (3)

*Students in doctoral preparation track only
**Students in the practitioner track only

Award of Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree: 50-51 semester credit hours 


Faculty members of the Clinical Psychology specialization program have diverse interests which are reflected in the content of the classes they teach, in their research programs, and in publications appearing in national and international venues. These interests include but are not limited to:

  • Clinical neuropsychology;
  • Behavioral and psychophysiological correlates of emotion regulation;
  • Developmental psychology (e.g., bullying in adolescents, aging, etc.);
  • Psychopathology and the treatment of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia;
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other psychotherapies; and
  • Personality assessment

More detailed information on faculty interests can be found on the faculty profile pages, which can be accessed below.

Eric Allard Associate Professor and Interim Chair; Affiliate Member Aging, Cognition, and Emotion Laboratory (ACE Lab)
Elizabeth Goncy Associate Professor HEART Lab:  HEAlthy RelaTionships
Tawana Jackson Assistant College Lecturer   
Amir Poreh Professor Neuropsychology and Memory Assessment Laboratory
Kathleen Reardon Assistant Professor Multimethod Assessment of Personality and Psychopathology (MAPP Lab)
Ilya Yaroslavsky Associate Professor Mood and Emotion Regulation Laboratory (MER Lab)

Next Steps for Clinical Psychology Graduates and Professional Resources

Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis, assessment, evaluation, treatment and prevention of psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorders across the lifespan. Clinical psychologists engage in many professional activities, working with a variety of client populations.

The entry-level degree for the profession of professional psychology is typically a doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), although some states allow limited licenses for master’s-level psychology graduates. At present, Ohio does not allow licensure of master’s-level clinical psychology graduates; a doctorate is required for licensure as a psychologist in the state. (Note: The Ohio State Board of Psychology does offer licensure for school psychologists at the master's level).  Persons with master’s degrees in psychology may work under the supervision of a doctoral-level psychologist to conduct evaluations of clients, implement treatment programs, and engage in research-based activities.

Licensed clinical psychologists work in hospitals, behavioral health care clinics, private practice settings, residential treatment centers, addiction treatment centers, forensic settings, and in other settings. Nationwide, roughly 45% of clinical psychologists are self-employed (i.e., work in private practice settings). For more information about the field of Clinical Psychology, please visit the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology) website:

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to work as a psychotherapist. Will I be able to do that once I complete a master's degree in clinical psychology? 

It is likely that you will be able to provide psychotherapy services after graduation, but you should note that master's-level clinical psychology graduates are not eligible for a psychology license in Ohio at present (such licensure is possible, however, in certain states outside of Ohio). As such, graduates wanting to provide psychotherapy and/or assessment services in Ohio must work under the supervision of a licensed professional (typically, a licensed psychologist). Similarly, graduates of Clinical Psychology master's programs are not eligible for licensure as Counselors in the state of Ohio; only graduates of counseling programs are eligible for such licensure. If you are interested in a career as a counselor, consider investigating those programs available via Cleveland State University’s College of Education and Public Affairs.

If I choose the practitioner track of CSU’s Clinical Psychology program, does that mean that I should not apply to doctoral programs after I graduate? 
Not at all. However, research experience (via the thesis and/or other means) can be very important in terms of potential acceptance into doctoral programs. In particular, a completed thesis is highly valued by most traditional Ph.D. programs in clinical and counseling psychology. Extensive research experience may be less of a necessity if you plan to apply for a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) program in clinical or counseling psychology (a number of our graduates--both from the thesis and practitioner tracks-- have been accepted into Psy.D. programs). A Psy.D. program, unlike a Ph.D. program, provides relative emphases on clinical v. research training. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions concerning the main differences in Ph.D. and Psy.D. degrees/programs. 

Will I be able to transfer credits from the Master's program to a doctoral program? 
The answer is typically “yes,” although the actual number of credits that are accepted by doctoral programs can vary considerably.

Can I complete the Master's program as a part-time student? 
No. At present, the program is designed for full-time students only. Most courses are held during the day. 

I am interested in applying for the program next year. May I take graduate courses as a non-degree graduate student? 
This is possible, but it should be noted that completion of such courses is no guarantee of admittance into the master’s program. Students who apply for non-degree status and take courses as a non-degree graduate student are still required to complete the regular application process, and their materials will be reviewed along with the larger pool of program applicants. Up to 12 credits of non-degree graduate coursework can be applied toward the master's degree. Many of the program’s graduate courses are reserved for program students only; however, there are several courses available to non-degree graduate students (enrollment in such courses require the permission of the instructor).

I completed graduate psychology courses at another institution. Will these courses be accepted as transfer credits for the Master's degree at Cleveland State? 
It depends. Transfer credits are reviewed by a committee of program faculty on a case-by-case basis. Factors such as the match of the course with the our curriculum, the year the course was completed, and the grade received are considered prior to approving any credits as transfer credits. Additional conditions for transfer credit may be imposed by the College of Graduate Studies.