Psychology Graduate Programs

We invite you to join the almost 100 students currently enrolled in graduate study in Psychology at Cleveland State University! A faculty of eighteen professors and lecturers, augmented by a cadre of part-time clinicians and researchers, offers high-quality instruction, mentoring, and research experience for students in various areas of specialization and interest.

The Department of Psychology offers three different graduate degrees. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Adult Development & Aging is awarded upon completion of a research-oriented program of study that prepares students for careers as researchers and higher education faculty; this degree is offered jointly with the Department of Psychology at the University of Akron. The Department also offers the Psychology Specialist (Psy.S.) degree, which is open to students who have completed the School Psychology specialization of the M.A. degree.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is available in four different specializations – Clinical Psychology; Industrial-Organizational Research; Psychological Science; and School Psychology. Each specialization offers a unique curriculum that includes required and (for some specializations) elective courses; seminars; and field and/or research experiences. Psychological Science students also are required to write a thesis, while other specializations (Clinical, Industrial-Organizational Research) feature an optional thesis. Students enrolled in the School Psychology program do not write a thesis, but they have other opportunities to participate in faculty-led research. All M.A. specializations are designed so that all requirements can be completed within a two-year timeframe. (The School Psychology program also entails a third year of study for the Psychology Specialist degree.)

Finally, there are a limited number of opportunities for students to register for graduate courses in Psychology on a transient or non-degree admission basis.

Our Graduate Programs

More extensive information about our M.A. Degree specializations, Psy.S. program in School Psychology, Ph.D. program in Adult Development and Aging is available at the links below.

Adult Development and Aging Program at CSU (Doctor of Philosophy)
School Psychology at CSU (Master of Arts and Psychology Specialist Degrees)
Clinical Psychology at CSU (Master of Arts Degree)
Industrial-Organizational Research at CSU (I-O; Master of Arts Degree)
Psychological Science at CSU (Master of Arts Degree)
To receive more information about our graduate programs, please contact us:
Graduate Admissions Information Request

Preparing for Graduate Programs in Psychology

Listen to a student talk about preparing to apply for graduate study in Psychology:

Check out the American Psychological Association's video series on "Preparing and Applying for Graduate School in Psychology".

Visit the American Psychological Association’s webpage on Diversity Issues in Graduate Education.

Applying for Graduate Admissions in Psychology

Go to our Applying for Graduate Admission in Psychology page for information about admission requirements and application procedures for each of our graduate degree programs and specializations.

Tuition assistance and other financial support in Psychology

Financial support may be offered to graduate students in the form of assistantships or other student work, contingent on the availability of University funds.  For Master’s Degree students, the value of these awards are influenced by budget provisions and the number of grants awarded each semester. In general, preference is given to M.A. students who are enrolled in the Fall and Spring semesters of their first year of study. Support is also are available to a handful of second-year students who are nominated by faculty for specific responsibilities, such as assisting with select higher-level courses in which the student has previously demonstrated excellence.  Students who receive such support are required to work 10-20 hours per week depending on the award.  Supported students will work in the Department, assisting faculty with teaching and/or research-related duties and other projects.  In general, a greater number of teaching-related tuition grants are available.

Doctoral (Ph.D.) students in Psychology are eligible to receive graduate assistantships, which are directly applied by the university to cover students’ full tuition costs, and a stipend to assist with living expenses. Doctoral students are required to work 20 hours per week in the Department. Based on consultation with Ph.D. program faculty, students are assigned to teach undergraduate courses, and to assist faculty with teaching- and/or research-related duties.

Other campus offices and units offer tuition grants and assistantships to students; these are different from the awards made by the Department of Psychology, and students are encouraged to take advantage of these additional funding opportunities.

For information about other financial aid opportunities available for graduate students, visit the university’s Financial Aid office page at

M.A. Thesis Information and Procedures

Each of the M.A. specializations that include a thesis option or requirement has its own (a) deadline for students to submit a plan of study, including thesis option election; (b) deadline for students to confirm thesis committee and topic; and (c) deadline for thesis proposal defense. Current students should consult their handbook or program/specialization director to learn these deadlines and associated procedures. In general, students should begin thesis preparations during their first semester of study, including conferring with faculty about potential topics and identifying an advisor.

Students are permitted to register for thesis credit (PSY 699) only after they have completed and obtained signatures (thesis chairperson, department chairperson, college dean, and dean of graduate studies) on the Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form (which lists the thesis topic, advisor, and committee members).*  Then, students should complete the Permission to Register for PSY 699 form, which must be signed by the students’ graduate program/specialization director. This form must be completed for each term in which the student wishes to register for thesis credit (PSY 699), and submitted to the Department Secretary, who will verify the thesis approval by the College of Graduate Studies. The Department Administrative Coordinator can then authorize the students’ registration for PSY 699.

You may find additional information about thesis requirements from the College of Graduate Studies page.

*Please note that PSY 696 (Graduate-level independent study) may NOT be used as a “substitute” for PSY 699 (thesis).

Student Travel

We are very proud of our students’ research accomplishments, which include presentations at state and national scholarly and professional conferences, in addition to published manuscripts that are often co-authored with Department faculty. When students successfully propose a paper or poster presentation to a peer-reviewed conference held outside of the local area, the Department of Psychology makes every effort to help defray students’ travel costs (mileage/airfare, hotel, meals, conference registration fee). Students should consult faculty advisors, who can help direct them.  Students should also look for forms and additional information on the Psychology Travel Award page.

Graduate Association for School Psychology

The Graduate Association for School Psychology was founded in 2007 as a vehicle for enhancing relationships among cohorts of students enrolled in the CSU School Psychology program; improving communication about program-related issues; providing support for students in their studies; promoting the welfare of children and families in the Greater Cleveland area; and contributing to decisions affecting program curriculum and policies. Through GASP (a CSU Student Government-sponsored organization), students also may be eligible to receive funding for professional activities such as conference attendance and presentations. Officers are elected by current students to represent each of the three cohorts of students – First, Second, and Third (intern) Year students. The School Psychology Program Director serves as the moderator of this student organization. Meetings are held periodically during the academic year, while social activities are scheduled on a periodic basis.