Department of Psychology/Graduate Programs

Experimental Research

(Master of Arts Degree)

The Experimental Research specialization of the M.A. degree prepares students for further study in experimental psychology at the doctoral level and for employment in research-related occupations. The knowledge and skills acquired in the program provide a beneficial foundation for further graduate study in such other areas as clinical psychology, law, and business.

The goal of the specialization is for students to develop skills in research design and analysis, broad knowledge of substantive areas of psychological research, 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).


Mission Statement

The objectives of the Experimental Research Program are to train students to use experimental and related methods to explore the underlying psychological processes that guide behavior and govern mental life, and to build skills, knowledge, and abilities in the following areas:

  • basic and applied research
  • research design
  • statistical analysis
  • substantive areas of psychological research

Completion of the Experimental Research Program should help prepare students to:

  • become experts in a given domain
  • make substantive contributions to the field of psychology as well as related disciplines
  • become competitive applicants for careers in basic and applied research settings or for advanced graduate training in Ph.D. programs 

Vision Statement

The Experimental Research Program will be recognized for its high quality training and cutting-edge research in a variety of areas of basic and applied research. Consequently, it will advance knowledge in a number of fields, train researchers, and prepare students for Ph.D. programs.



    Focused program of study
    Research opportunities
    Thesis Aligned with Faculty Research Interests
    Opportunities for Conference Presentations/Publications
    Assistantships (Tuition Grants) Available for Research- and Teaching-Related Activities
    Expert Faculty with Varied Research Interests

Program of Study
Each student’s specific program of study is determined in consultation with a faculty mentor to ensure that educational experiences are well-suited to the student’s goals. In general, the Experimental Research specialization requires 38 semester credit hours of coursework and research experience. Courses (required and elective) include:

    Univariate Statistics and Research Methodology
    Advanced Data Analysis
    Proseminar in Experimental Psychology
    Learning, Memory, & Cognition
    Social Processes
    Lifespan Development: Child/Adolescent or Adulthood/Aging
    Research and Thesis

Faculty Research Interests

    Andrew Slifkin: Control of action
    Conor McLennan: Language perception
    Eric Allard: Emotion processing and regulation
    Albert Smith: Cognitive aspects of survey methodology; word perception.
    Kenneth Vail: Social psychology, existential motivation

Refer to our Applying for Graduate Admissions page for information about admissions criteria and procedures.
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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Dept. of Psychology
2300 Chester Rm 158
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
2300 Chester
Room 158
Phone: 216-687-2544
Fax: 216.687.9294

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