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Degree Title: Doctor of Philosophy
Program Name and Number: Psychology – Experimental (PH4103, PH4106)
Department/Unit: Department of Psychology
Delivery Mode: Athens Campus
Terms of Entry: Fall
Program Mission: The mission of the doctoral program in experimental psychology is to offer an outstanding and distinctive graduate education that prepares students for careers in academic and other professional settings and that produces graduates who have a comprehensive understanding of a substantive area of experimental psychology, who have the quantitative and methodological expertise to conduct rigorous, cutting-edge research, and who are equipped with the skills to provide competent psychological services to their clients, in the case of graduates in industrial/organizational psychology.
Program Learning Objectives:
- Knowledge Base in Content Area: Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in one of the substantive areas of psychology.
- Research Methods in Psychology: Students will develop strong research skills that will enable them to contribute original and independent insights to the existing psychological literature.
- Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: Students will develop the ability to critically analyze the body of scholarship comprising psychological science.
- Values in Psychology: Students will behave in a manner that reflects appropriate professional values and ethical standards.
- Communication Skills: Students will develop excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Teaching Skills: Students will develop strong teaching skills that will enable them
- to effectively convey the content knowledge of psychology to audiences with diverse backgrounds, such as undergraduates and community members,
- to showcase the value and necessity of critical thinking for advancing psychological theory and for finding viable solutions to complex real-world problems of a psychological nature and otherwise
- to showcase the value and necessity of integrative thinking (i.e., finding the commonalities in seemingly disparate ideas) for advancing psychological theory and for finding viable solutions to complex real-world problems of a psychological nature and otherwise
Program Overview: The experimental psychology program focuses on a scientific investigation of normal psychological processes. The purpose of the five-year program of study is to prepare students for scholarly work as well as basic and applied research in these processes. Program requirements include coursework in a broad array of content areas, although students work closely with their faculty advisors to plan programs of study that reflect their own professional interests and goals. As part of their training, students will be expected to complete extensive coursework in statistics and research methodology, reflecting our belief that students who develop skills in these areas will be better prepared to tackle both basic and applied research problems in psychology. Throughout their graduate study, students are expected to be actively involved in research. This includes completing a master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. Because of the commitment of the faculty in the experimental psychology program to collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, students often engage in research partnerships with faculty and students outside of their own areas of specialization.
- Cognitive Psychology - The strength of this specialization is in the formal modeling of cognitive process, including those involved in perception, conception, learning, and decision making. Because of the emphasis on interdisciplinary research in this department, faculty and students in the Cognitive Psychology specialization often engage in collaborative research partnerships with faculty from other specializations and disciplines. The primary goal of this specialization is to train psychologists who are capable of conducting rigorous research in cognitive psychology. Under the guidance of their advisors, all students become actively involved in research beginning with their first semester. Throughout their graduate training, students are expected to spend the majority of their time actively engaged in research. As part of their training, students will be expected to complete extensive coursework in statistics, mathematical modeling, and research methodology. We believe that students who develop skills in these areas will be better prepared to tackle both basic and applied research problems in
- Health Psychology – Health psychologists are devoted to understanding the impact of psychological factors on health and illness. Health psychologists share an interest in the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention of physical and mental illness; psychological aspects of the diagnosis and management of physical and mental illness; psychosocial, emotional, and behavioral consequences of physical and mental illness; and the improvement of the health-care system and formulation of health policy. Students who elect the health psychology specialization in experimental psychology must complete all of the general requirements for the experimental psychology doctoral program. Specialization-specific requirements include courses or seminars of particular relevance to health psychology, and supervised research experience in an area of health psychology.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PH4106) – This specialization provides broad training in both Industrial and Organizational topics, while fostering integration with the other specialties within the department (e.g., cognitive, health, and social psychology). The I/O specialization follows the scientist/practitioner model and our goal is to prepare the student for both academic and applied positions, but with an emphasis on training scholars to conduct research. Both independent and collaborative research projects with faculty members are required. To these ends, students are expected to complete courses in statistics, research methods, and basic and advanced seminars in I/O and other areas of psychology. Likewise, I/O students can take the applied quantitative track to hone statistical and computational modeling skills. These psychology and I/O courses provide substantial training in the psychology of human resource management (i.e., personnel) and organizational behavior. A supervised practicum is encouraged after students complete their comprehensive exams. Students may pursue personal interests through seminars, other courses in the Department of Psychology, and courses elsewhere in the university, including the College of Business.
- Social Psychology - The strength of the social psychology specialty is in social cognition and social judgment. The primary goal of this specialization is to train psychologists who are capable of conducting high-quality research in social psychology. Under the guidance of their advisors, all students become actively involved in research beginning with their first semester. Throughout their graduate training, students are expected to spend the majority of their time engaged in research. All students complete similar courses their first year and then in consultation with their advisors, they develop specializations of study tailored to their unique interests. These specializations not only include courses in social psychology, but also may include coursework in other areas of psychology, including cognitive, physiological, health, developmental, and industrial/organizational.
- Applied Quantitative – The applied quantitative psychology specialization is based on the belief that progress in psychology demands the development of formal models of behavior. For this reason, the applied quantitative psychology specialization offers advanced training in quantitative methods to graduate students who are concurrently studying in one of the other experimental or clinical psychology specializations. Besides the usual coursework required of all students in either the experimental psychology or clinical psychology program, students who select this specialization receive extensive training in mathematics, computer science, and/or statistics. The aim of this specialization is to prepare students for conducting research in academic, business, health or government settings that require proficiency in mathematical, statistical, or computer-based techniques.
Opportunities for Graduates: The great majority of our graduates take positions in academic settings, ranging from universities to two-year colleges, and in research settings, both public and industrial. Most of our graduates in recent years have found that their teaching experience in our department benefited them substantially.
Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/psychology/
Link to Program Handbook: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/psychology/grad/experimental-psych/index.cfm
Graduation Requirements: For details about graduation requirements see the handbook at the link provided above. The experimental program requires a Master’s thesis, dissertation, and the successful completion of comprehensive examinations. Students typically take five years to complete their on-campus requirements for graduation.
Culminating Experience: Dissertation
Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, we prefer that you have completed at least 18 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of psychology at the undergraduate level, including one course in statistics and one in experimental research design. Moreover, you should have an overall undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 (B) and an average of at least 3.3 (B+) in psychology. Applicants who have completed some graduate work should have a grade-point average of at least 3.4 in that work. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation and GRE scores (Psychology Subject scores preferred, especially if no BA or BS in psychology).
The deadline for applying for admission in the fall semester is December 1 of the previous calendar year. The following materials will be required when applying:
- One (1) official transcript from each postsecondary school attended.
- Official GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative); Psychology Subject GRE is recommended, especially if not a Psychology Major as an undergraduate.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from psychology faculty members.
- A personal statement describing your special interests and professional goals. Include in your personal statement a rank-ordered list of the three faculty members with whom you most want to work.
- A curriculum vitae (or résumé)
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