Graduate psychology students performing an experiment

The School of Psychological Science offers a Ph.D. program in Psychology, with new cohorts beginning each fall term. The program has an applied focus, using psychological research to solve practical problems. Graduates of the Psychology Ph.D. program will be qualified to define, assess, analyze, and evaluate problems in both the private and public sector that are behavior based. The program is designed to have a strong research component, ensuring that graduates have the tools to tackle a variety of applied problems. Graduate training in Psychology at OSU does not lead to licensure or train students in any area of clinical or counseling Psychology. 


Ph.D. students will work primarily in one area of concentration: Engineering Psychology, Health Psychology, and/or Applied Cognition. Student course work will be somewhat tailored to reflect the area(s) the student has chosen, but all students will gain strong training in design, methodologies, and statistics.  

Mentorship Model

Our program uses a mentorship model, such that students will be accepted to the program with the understanding that they will work primarily with a particular faculty member throughout their time at OSU. Thus, a strong connection with the research program of at least one faculty member is essential for successful applicants. Specific faculty research interests can be found on the SPS Faculty & Staff Directory.  

Student Support

Ph.D. students who are in good standing and enrolled for at least 12 credits of graduate coursework are eligible to be considered for annual Teaching Assistantships, which generally include tuition waiver, 85% paid health insurance, and stipend. TA duties are typically assigned for 20 hours/week; stipend and working conditions are set by the collective bargaining agreement that the Graduate Student Union, the Coalition of Graduate Employees, has with the University (see the CGE website here: 

Please review our application process and requirements. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate School Learning Outcomes

  1. Produce and defend an original significant contribution to knowledge (PhD); Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work (MS)
  2. Demonstrate mastery of subject material
  3. Conduct scholarly or professional activities in an ethical manner


SPS Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Independent Research: Conduct independent research resulting in an original contribution to knowledge in psychology, including all steps from generating an original question to writing a manuscript describing all aspects of the study.
  2. Core Knowledge: Demonstrate broad knowledge of psychology, advanced knowledge in a specialized area, and knowledge of statistics and methods used in psychology research.
  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World: Articulate principles of ethical and socially responsible behavior by psychologists, including in the context of human diversity; conduct research that is ethical and socially responsible.
  4. Teaching and Mentorship: Demonstrate skill in educating and mentoring individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
  5. Communication Skills: Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills appropriate for the field of psychology.
  6. Professionalism: Acquire knowledge and professional skills necessary for careers in psychology.