Department of Psychology/Graduate Programs

Applying for Graduate Admissions

In addition to College of Graduate Studies requirements for admission, the Department of Psychology requires of all applicants:

  1. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Requirements vary by program; see specific program requirements.
  2. A firm foundation in the basic principles of psychology.
  3. A personal statement.

Please note that each of our graduate degree or certificate programs has its own admission criteria and requirements for documents, as well as its own annual deadline for applications; these are presented below for each program and/or specialization. Typically, students are admitted only in the Fall of each academic year, with an application deadline during the preceding Spring term. All programs/specializations require scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); register for the test, which we recommend you take well in advance of the admission application deadline.

When you are ready to apply, (1) submit your Application for Graduate Admission, and pay the application fee; then (2) gather and submit required documents, or arrange to have them submitted to CSU on your behalf. Documents can be submitted by postal mail (Cleveland State University Office of Graduate Admissions, 2121 Euclid Avenue, KB 1400, Cleveland OH 44115), or via document upload by using the link that appears within the online application. Please inform persons who are providing reference letters that they may submit those to: graduate.admissions@csuohio.edu. Please do NOT mail applications and/or documents directly to the Psychology Department.

Review of applications typically begins immediately after the application deadline. Some programs require interviews; for other, they are either not required, or optional (at discretion of Admissions Committee). If you have any questions about the status of your application after the application deadline, you may contact the Director of the degree program/specialization; before the deadline, questions about your application should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Every effort is made to extend offers of admission to successful candidates as early as possible; however, with the exception of the Diversity Management Program, which has an extended admission cycle, we will notify all applicants of admission decisions no later than April 15th. (In some cases, applicants will be placed on a waitlist, and notified if an opening in the program becomes available after April 15th.) Please note that CSU abides by the policy adopted by the American Psychological Association which stipulates that no school may require applicants to accept or reject an admission offer prior to April 15th of each year.

Adult Development and Aging Ph.D.

    Director: Katherine S. Judge, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Admission to the program will be determined by a joint committee consisting of program faculty from both Cleveland State University and The University of Akron. All applications to the Adult Development and Aging program will be evaluated on the following criteria:

    1. Completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in Psychology or a related discipline for admission to the M.A.-Ph.D. program. Admitted students must provide the Department of Psychology at either institution with an official transcript, showing proof of degree conferral from the student’s institution or an official letter of completion from their university Registrar’s office (if an official transcript is not yet available, and will substitute for such transcript for up to one semester of enrollment). Students who do not provide proof of degree conferral before Fall semester begins are not eligible to hold an assistantship/tuition scholarship at the Ph.D. level of funding.
    2. The Psychology major as an undergraduate is strongly recommended. However, applicants may still be considered if they have sufficient background in psychology or a closely related field. (We prefer students to be admitted to this program to have completed 30 semester credits in undergraduate psychology classes including coursework in General/Introductory Psychology, Statistics/Quantitative Methods in Psychology, and Experimental Psychology).
    3. Overall undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or greater is strongly preferred.
    4. Scores at the 50th percentile or better are required for the Verbal and Quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. Students whose first language is not English may substitute a TOEFL score for the verbal score. Applicants with GRE scores well above the minimum for one of these tests, but with one score below the minimum still may be considered, if there is strong compensating evidence. For example, applicants with a GRE Verbal score below the minimum may demonstrate verbal ability by presenting a high GRE Analytic Writing score (5.0 to 6.0) and at least one more indicator of strong verbal ability such as writing samples, letters of reference, and performance in courses with heavy writing components.
    5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
    6. Overall fit with the Adult Development and Aging program. Decisions about fit are based on information gleaned from an applicant’s personal statement (indicating educational and research interests, career goals, and reasons for interest in Cleveland State University or The University of Akron), from letters of reference describing specific applicant skills and experiences, and, if applicable, from any additional contacts (e.g., telephone, email, site visits) with the applicant during the admission process.
    Research and Practical Experience. Evidence of academic research and applied practical experience are important for addressing issues of long-term motivation to develop as a professional. Thus, applicants are encouraged to provide information describing any one or more of the following: (a) participation as an investigator on research projects, (b) conference presentations or published chapters or journal articles, (c) past experience in writing grant and fellowship applications, (d) experience in an applied setting involving adult development and aging related tasks such as long-term care, occupational therapy, etc., and (e) other similar documentation of research and/or practical experience.

    Deadline for Admission Applications: January 15th

    Interview Required? Optional (at discretion of Admissions Committee)

    Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

      Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (general only)

      3 Written References

      Academic Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended

      Personal Statement

        Write a brief autobiographical sketch stressing events or experiences that have contributed to your interest in psychological research in general, and in the area of Adult Development and Aging in particular (e.g., undergraduate courses or background; work experience, especially with development/aging-related tasks or occupations; personal philosophy). What experience, if any, have you had in conducting psychological research? (Please include information about participation as a research investigator, conference presenter, peer-reviewed publication author, or grant-writer.) What are your goals and particular interests as a researcher, and how do you anticipate that the CSU program will help you satisfy them? What topics or areas of research in Adult Development and Aging are you most interested in pursuing? What do you plan to do after receiving your degree?

School Psychology

    Director: Colleen M. McMahon, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    M.A. Degree Phase (must be completed prior to Psy.S. Degree admission)

      Deadline for Admission Applications: January 10th

      Interview Required? Optional (at discretion of Admissions Committee)

      Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

        Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (general only)

        2 Written References

        Academic Transcripts

        Personal Statement

          Write a brief biographical sketch describing factors or events that have contributed to your interest in School Psychology. What do you already know about this profession, and how does that knowledge relate to your interest in the CSU program? How do you plan to use your graduate education in School Psychology after graduation? Describe your interests in working in particular settings; with particular populations; or with an emphasis on specific skills or professional interests.

    Psy.S. Degree Phase (admission only after completion of M.A. degree phase)

      Deadline for Admission Applications: N/A

      Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

        CSU transcript showing completion of M.A. degree phase.

Clinical Psychology M.A.

    Director: Amir Poreh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    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 curriculum 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.

    Deadline for Admission Applications: February 1st

    Interview Required? Yes, by invitation only

    Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

      Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Score (general only)

      2 Written References

      Academic Transcripts

      Curriculum Vita (CV)

      Personal Statement

        Prepare a brief (200 words) typewritten autobiographical sketch stressing (a) events or experiences that provide evidence that you will be an effective mental health professional (e.g., work experience; most important learning in Psychology; breadth of background; personal philosophy), and (b) a description of your goals and interests as a future mental health professional in Psychology, and how you anticipate that the CSU program will help you satisfy them.

Industrial-Organizational Research M.A.

    Director: Chieh-Chen Bowen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Applicants for admission to the Consumer/Industrial Research specialization must submit the following:

    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.

    Deadline for Admission Applications: February 10th

    Interview Required? No

    Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

      Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (general only)

      2 Written References

      Academic Transcripts

      Personal Statement

        Write a brief sketch describing your main areas of interest and relevant experience related to Consumer and Industrial research. What are your career objectives, and how do you believe that the CSU program will help you attain them?

Diversity Management

    Director: Lisa P. Gaynier, M.A.

    This program is geared to mid-career adults interested in enhancing their leadership skills. In addition to all materials required for an application to the College of Graduate Studies (i.e., application form, transcripts from all institutions attended), an application to the Diversity Management specialization must include:

    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General Aptitude Test;
    2. A personal statement;
    3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional abilities;
    4. A professional resume;
    5. A one-page professional biography which includes the applicant’s goals for the program.

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis for admission into each August (Fall) cohort.

    M.A. Degree Program in Diversity Management

      Deadline for Fall Admission Applications: May 15th

      Interview Required? Yes, by invitation only

      Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

        Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (general only). While the program does not adhere to strict cutoff scores for admittance, GRE scores are one of many factors considered for admission. GMAT or the MAT are also acceptable. All tests should have been taken with the last five years.

        2 Written References

        Academic Transcripts

        Personal Resume or Curriculum Vita (CV)

        Personal Statement

          Write an essay (between 500 to 600 words) about your reasons for pursuing Master’s level studies in Diversity Management at Cleveland State University. Include in your statement the strengths you would bring to the program as well as personal, educational, and professional gains you anticipate as a result of completing the program. Specifically, address two aspects of diversity management and their relevance to your pursuit of this degree. Your personal statement is where you relate your professional experience to this field of study.

    Certificate Program in Diversity Management

      Deadline for Admission Applications: None (rolling admission)

      Interview Required? Optional (at discretion of Admissions Committee)

      Required Documents (DO NOT SUBMIT THESE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!)

        Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (general only). While the program does not adhere to strict cutoff scores for admittance, GRE scores are one of many factors considered for admission. GMAT or the MAT are also acceptable. All tests should have been taken with the last five years.

        2 Written References

        Academic Transcripts

        Personal Resume or Curriculum Vita (CV)

        Personal Statement

          Write an essay (between 500 to 600 words) about your reasons for pursuing graduate level study in Diversity Management at Cleveland State University. Include in your statement the strengths you would bring to the program as well as personal, educational, and professional gains you anticipate as a result of completing the program. Specifically, address two aspects of diversity management and their relevance to your pursuit of this degree. Your personal statement is where you relate your professional experience to this field of study.

Experimental Research M.A.

    Director: Andrew Slifkin, Ph.D., Associate Professor

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

      1. Application for Graduate Admission
      2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General Aptitude Test;
      3. Academic transcripts.
      4. A personal statement.
        • Write a brief autobiographical sketch stressing events or experiences that have contributed to your interest in Psychological research (e.g., undergraduate courses or background; work experience; personal philosophy). What experience, if any, have you had in conducting Psychological research? What are your goals and particular interests as a researcher in Psychology, and how do you anticipate that the CSU program will help you satisfy them? What area or areas of research are you most interested in pursuing?
      5. 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 a background is encouraged to consult with the program director about his or her preparation for the program.

    Application deadline for Fall Admission:  February 10th.

    Interview Required? No

    Required Documents: DO NOT SUBMIT THE ABOVE DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT; SUBMIT TO THE GRADUATE ADMISSIONS OFFICE!

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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Department of Psychology
2300 Chester Avenue, Room 158
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
2300 Chester Avenue
Chester Building, Room 158
Phone: 216-687-2544
Fax: 216.687.9294
psychology@csuohio.edu


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