Jul 25, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, MA

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Department of Psychology

Union Building, Room 715
(216) 687-2544
Eric Allard, Interim Chair
Michael Horvath, Associate Chair
Ilya Yaroslavsky, Clinical Program Director
Chieh-Chen Bowen, Industrial-Organizational Research Program Director
Eric Allard, Psychological Science Program Director
Patrick Frato, School Psychology Program Director

Areas of Study (Specializations of the M.A.)

Clinical Psychology
Industrial-Organizational Research
Psychological Science
School Psychology (M.A. Phase)

The Specializations

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology program is comprised of specializations in Clinical Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Research, Psychological Science, and School Psychology.

The program in Clinical Psychology is designed to prepare students for further study at the doctoral level or for post-M.A. employment in settings offering psychological services or engaging in research. Based on the scientist-practitioner model, the program is designed to help students acquire core competencies in producing and consuming clinical research through coursework and supervised research opportunities, and to develop requisite skills to provide psychological service across community, hospital, and forensic settings. Graduates are admitted into doctoral programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology or work in applied clinical or research positions.

The Psychological Science program emphasizes basic and applied research skills, to be developed through an individually tailored program of study that includes both core (required) and elective courses and culminates in the successful completion of a thesis. Underlying both basic and applied areas of research in psychological science is the systematic application of the scientific method. Graduates obtain positions in various research settings as research coordinators or data analysts and managers, or pursue advanced educational programs.

The program in Industrial-Organizational Research prepares students to apply psychological research techniques and concepts in business and institutional settings. Graduates are qualified for positions in public opinion polling, market research, program evaluation, personnel, human resources, and other applied research and data analysis contexts.

The M.A. in Psychology serves as the first phase of the School Psychology program, which is described in the Psychology Specialist, School Psychology Program  section of this catalog.

Financial Assistance

A Graduate Assistantship without a Scholarship (i.e., a stipend-only assistantship) may be available to M.A. students. Students may apply for an assistantship requiring service to the Department in the form of either or both teaching- and research-related duties. Eligibility for assistantship is based on regulations of the College of Graduate Studies, as well as departmental requirements. Other forms of aid, such as scholarships and graduate assistantships in other units on campus, also may be available.

For More Information

For further information, contact the Department of Psychology at (216) 687-2544 to arrange an appointment with a graduate advisor. The Department of Psychology is located in the Union Building Room 715.

Clinical Psychology Specialization


The Clinical specialization at Cleveland State is a terminal master’s degree program because the department does not currently offer a doctoral degree program in Clinical Psychology. Upon receipt of the Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, graduates often apply to doctoral programs at other institutions. Graduates may also elect to work as a psychology assistant under the supervision of a doctoral-level, licensed psychologist. Psychology assistants work in hospital, forensic, or clinical settings and engage in assessment, treatment and research activities.

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

  1. Doctoral preparation track, which requires the completion of a research (typically, data-based) thesis; and
  2. Practitioner track, which allows students more flexibility in elective coursework.

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 skills in the first year, and practical experience and professional skills in the second year. The curriculum emphasizes human development and its deviations, as well as the methods and techniques of assessing and influencing this development in clinical contexts.

Faculty Research and Publications

The faculty members of the Clinical Psychology specialization have diverse interests, which are reflected in the course content of the classes they teach and in articles written for national and international publications. These interests include child, adolescent and adult psychopathology; legal and ethical issues in psychology; multicultural issues; cognitive behavior therapy; abnormal psychology; gerontology (normal and pathological aging, health psychology); personality tests and assessment; and neuropsychological assessment.

Current faculty information can be located on the Department of Psychology website and on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page, which is also accessible from the Faculty Expertise Database.

Career Information

Graduates of the Clinical Psychology specialization typically are employed as psychology assistants in such work settings as hospitals, mental health centers or clinics, private practice, human service agencies, industrial settings, and geriatric facilities. Primary functions include assessment, consultation, and administration. Approximately half of the graduates of this specialization continue on to pursue doctoral degrees in clinical psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), counseling psychology, or related fields.

Admission Information

The Clinical specialization requires of all applicants:

  1. Satisfactory Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test (preference given to scores at the 50th percentile or better);
  2. A strong undergraduate record (minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA) with a firm foundation in the basic principles of psychology (those without a major in psychology must provide evidence of successful completion of the following coursework: Introductory Psychology, Personality or Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Memory and Cognition, Basic Statistics, and Psychology Laboratory and/or Research Design);
  3. A personal statement that describes the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology and this program in particular;
  4. Official transcripts for all colleges and universities attended;
  5. Two letters of recommendation;
  6. A curiculum vitae (CV) and;
  7. An interview, by invitation, with faculty members of the Clinical Psychology specialization committee.

Preparation beyond the minimum suggested above (including research and clinically-relevant experience) will likely strengthen applications.

Apply Now: https://sciences.csuohio.edu/psychology/applying-for-graduate-admission
Application Deadline:  February 1st.

Degree Requirements

(Clinical Psychology Specialization)

Fieldwork Placement

All students in the Clinical Psychology specialization who perform satisfactorily during the first year are assigned half-time (15 hours per week) field placements in their second year (PSY 690  and PSY 691 ). Four hours of academic credit are earned each semester for satisfactory completion of fieldwork; grades of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) are given upon completion of each semester over the full year’s experience. Fieldwork supervisors make periodic, comprehensive evaluations of the students’ work. Students may, on occasion, be required to continue their fieldwork placements into the summer, if necessary, to demonstrate satisfactory performance.

Exit Requirements

A thesis is required of students in the doctoral preparation track.  For students in the practioner track, graduation is based on the successful completion of the required courses and fieldwork experience.

Industrial-Organizational Research Specialization


The Industrial-Organizational Research specialization prepares students to conduct applied research in business and organizational settings. Students acquire conceptual tools, knowledge of research methods, and skill in data analysis to understand recruiting, person-job fit, employee selection, job analysis, performance management and related processes.

A second emphasis of the Industrial-Organizational Research specialization is the application of research methods and data analysis skills within an organization. Students are trained to design, administer, and interpret job satisfaction surveys, organizational climate surveys, and other important measures. Students are also taught how to conduct program evaluations and complete job analysis projects.

Competence in applied research is based on the ability to design applied research, gather and analyze data, and determine the meaning and significance of results.  Therefore, coursework emphasizes statistical analysis techniques and research methods.  Content courses in industrial-organizational psychology build on these courses in terms of specific applications of research methods and statistical analysis.  Electives may be used to augment both research skills and content areas.

This specialization is designed to be completed in one and one-half to two years and culminates with a thesis or research project.  While it is expected that all students will have the opportunity to participate in the solution of actual problems under the guidance of faculty, selected students also have the opportunity for field placements in business settings.

The first year of the Industrial-Organizational Research specialization typically consists of the program core, quantitative methods, research design, field research methods, and substantive courses in industrial-organizational psychology and consumer behavior. During the second year, the student typically enrolls in elective courses while working on the thesis or research project.

Faculty Research and Publications

Faculty members have published books, book chapters, journal articles, technical reports, and convention papers.  Faculty also serve as reviewers for over a dozen professional journals. Illustrative studies focus on occupational stress, personality aspects of occupational choices, development of performance appraisal systems, job applicant attitudes and behavior, team training, team coordination, work motivation, workforce diversity and cross-cultural issues in the workplace.

Current faculty information can be located on the Department of Psychology website and on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page, which is also accessible from the Faculty Expertise Database.

Career Information

The program prepares students to work in organizations that need “people” information. Students completing this program are capable of designing and executing research to answer questions in a manner that will contribute to the functioning of the organization. They are prepared for employee surveys, training-effectiveness evaluation, job analysis, developing selection systems, and related research.

Admission Information

Applicants for admission to the Industrial-Organizational Research specialization must submit the following by February 10th of each year:

  1. An application for graduate admission;
  2. Scores on the General Aptitude test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);
  3. A personal statement;
  4. Official transcripts for all colleges and universities attended; and
  5. Two letters of recommendation.

Applications are reviewed as they are submitted until the cohort is filled. Among the criteria used by the committee for selection are the standard indicators of academic promise–prior grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation– plus indications of particular promise based on skills, personal characteristics, and experiences relevant to work in the Industrial-Organizational Research specialization. Additionally, the committee expects candidates to have completed at least six credit hours of coursework in psychology and to have a command of basic statistical analysis. Preferred candidates will have a strong statistical background, prior experience, and a record of high achievement.

Application Deadline:  February 10th
Apply Now: https://sciences.csuohio.edu/psychology/applying-for-graduate-admission

Degree Requirements

Industrial-Organizational Research Specialization

The program requires satisfactory completion of a 39-credit-hour sequence.

Core B Methodological Requirements (11 credits)


  1. There may be no double-counting of courses.  A course must be applied toward one, and only one, of the areas listed above.
  2. The only sections of PSY 593  that may be counted toward the degree are those specifically targeted toward Industrial-Organizational psychology.  The Director of the Industrial-Organizational Program faculty will communicate the relevant sections to students.
  3. Other courses in Marketing, Operations Management and Business Statistics, Management, Communication, and Psychology may be taken for elective credit, subject to approval by the Industrial-Organizational Specialization Committee.

Exit Requirements

Students may have two options in completing the Industrial-Organizational Research Specialization requirements:  (1) thesis option, or (2) non-thesis option.

Students who choose the thesis option submit a thesis proposal to a committee of faculty selected by the student and faculty advisor.  With committee approval, the student carries out his or her research and completes the thesis under the direction of the advisor.

Students who choose the non-thesis option complete a research project while enrolled in PSY 596  under the direction of the course instructor.

Psychological Science Program


The goal of the Psychological Science specialization in Psychology is for students to develop skills in research design and analysis, broad knowledge of substantive research areas in psychological science, and expertise in one research area. The program consists of both required and elective courses and an individual research experience that culminates in completing a master’s thesis.

Every student is expected to become involved in research when he or she begins the program and to continue this involvement during his or her course of study. Ideally, each student participates in a faculty member’s research program; after developing appropriate knowledge and skills about this domain, the student demonstrates expertise by completing a thesis (with the advice and supervision of that faculty member).

Faculty Research and Publications

Areas of faculty expertise include memory processes, decision-making, perception (including speech, vision, and haptic perception), language processes, human performances, motor control, and research methodology.

Current faculty information can be located on the Department of Psychology website and on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page, which is also accessible from the Faculty Expertise Database.

Research Facilities

Research facilities include testing rooms equipped with microcomputers and software for experimental data collection. The University holds licenses for major statistical software packages; these are available in University computer laboratories. Most scholarly materials, if not available in the University Library, are readily accessible through Ohio Link, a statewide consortium of libraries that subscribes electronically to many journals, or through inter-library loan.

Career Information

Graduates of the Psychological Science program will be prepared for further graduate work in psychology or seek employment in research-related occupations. The skills and knowledge acquired in the Psychological Science specialization may provide a beneficial foundation for further graduate study in other professional fields (e.g., clinical psychology, law, business).

Admission Information

In addition to all materials required for an application to the Graduate College (i.e., application form, transcripts), an application to the Psychological Science specialization in Psychology must include:

  1. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General Aptitude Test.
  2. A personal statement; and
  3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities.

An applicant should have some academic preparation in psychology. A prospective applicant without such preparation is encouraged to consult with the program director about his or her preparation for the program.

In order to receive full consideration, all application materials should be completed and received by no later than February 10. However, application review will continue until the program for Fall admission is filled or until May 1, whichever occurs first.

Application Deadline: February 10th
Apply Now: https://sciences.csuohio.edu/psychology/applying-for-graduate-admission

Degree Requirements

(Psychological Science Specialization)

Thirty-six (36) credit hours are required for graduation with the M.A. in Psychology, Psychological Science specialization. The course requirements are listed below. A student is expected to involve his or her mentor/advisor and/or the program director in the course selection process so that coursework is well suited to the student’s objectives. The Psychological Science specialization committee must approve departures from the specified curriculum, as well as acceptance of transfer credit.

Core Courses (30 credits)

Electives (6 credits)

Any graduate courses (including non-psychology courses) approved by the student’s faculty advisor and the course instructor.

Exit Requirements

To be awarded the M. A. degree in Psychology, a student in the Psychological Science specialization must complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a thesis. Courses should be selected in consultation with a faculty advisor, and the program of study must be approved by the Psychologial Science specialization committee. For the thesis project, it is the student’s responsibility to identify a suitable advisor; students are encouraged to consult with the specialization director for assistance. In consultation with the advisor, the student identifies two or three other faculty members to serve on the thesis committee. After the committee approves a thesis prospectus, the project may be carried out. To complete the thesis project requires both that the written thesis be accepted by the committee and that the student orally present his or her findings. Students should consult policies and requirements of the College of Graduate Studies regarding theses (appearing elsewhere in this Catalog).

School Psychology Program

The School Psychology Program consists of two degree phases: the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology (School Psychology specialization), followed by the Psychology Specialist (PsyS) degree phase. Program features and admission requirements for both phases are described in this catalog under the heading, Psychology Specialist , School Psychology Program.

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