I-O Psychology Doctoral Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do students really finish in 4 years?
A. Students are encouraged to make progress toward their degrees in a timely fashion. On average students graduate with their M.A. and Ph.D. after 4.5 years in the program.
Q. What is the program's atmosphere like?
A. Both professors and students have a very open-door policy. The overall spirit is collegial rather than competitive. This is particularly appealing to many students who desire such a dynamic in their graduate education. People at BG certainly work hard and play hard together.
Q. Do I have to work with just one faculty member or will I be able to get involved in serveral projects with different people?
A. At BG, you'll get a chance to work with different faculty members on a variety of projects.
Q. What should I do before either choosing to apply to deciding to attend the BGSU I-O program?
A. You should do several things:
First, go through the BGSU I/O Program website and read over all the information you can. That will give you a nice introduction to what our program is about. This should help you decide whether to apply to the BGSU program.
If the time comes to decide whether to actually attend BGSU for your graduate education, try to talk with a faculty member that you think you might be interested in working with, as well as one or more current students in the program (phone and emails work marvelously). This will give you an opportunity to ask questions that the website and other sources may not have answered for you.
If you are accepted into the BGSU program, you will be invited to attend a very special recruitment weekend event that has that has proved very informative (and fun!) for prospective students, and often serves as the deciding factor for many students. If for some reason you are unable to attend the recruitment weekend, then try to schedule a visit on a weekday at another time (just make sure to inform a faculty member of your visit in advance so they will expect your arrival). Although phone and email communications will be informative, the best way to grasp the program's culture is to visit in person, and the best time to do this is over recruitment weekend when all attention is directed at future students.
This may seem like a lot of work, but choosing a graduate program is a big decision that deserves some careful consideration. You'll find that the time spent is well worth it!
Q. How many students receive funding? What does this cover?
A. All students receive funding through research assistantships and teaching assistantships. This means that the student has a tuition waiver as well as a graduate stipend, that allots for most to all of modest living expenses.
Q. For how many years can I expect funding?
A. As long as a student is making progress towards the Doctorate, they can expect at least four years of support.
Q. When are the assistantship decisions made? Will I be a teaching or research assistant for my first year?
A. The exact assistantship decisions are made during the summer before a student’s first year. Most first year student’s are research assistants (RAs), although there are exceptions. Most second year students are TAs.
Q. What will I be doing as an RA or TA?
A. RAs are assigned to a specific professor for the year and assist him or her with their research programs. This could include: helping design research studies, collecting literature for an article, data entry and analysis, and running sessions of an experiment. TAs are assigned to a specific professor and assist him or her in their teaching duties for a particular class. This can include: attending lectures, holding office hours for several hours a week, grading and proctoring exams, running study sessions, and generating course materials.
Q. What classes will I take my first year?
A. First year students take a year-long statistics sequence. In the first semester, students are also usually enrolled in a first year introductory seminar and a contemporary I/O topics seminar, with one additional class (e.g., research methods, social environment of work, occupational health psychology). In the second semester, students will continue taking courses that will count toward the I/O and psychology department core requirements.
Q. Am I allowed to request a specific professor or class for a teaching/research assistantship?
A. The summer before you come to BGSU you will receive an email asking for your input regarding your assignment; however, the faculty make the final decision.
Q. Are fellowships available?
A. The Graduate College at BGSU offers several fellowships each year. Financial awards are also available through external organizations such as the National Science Foundation or organizations you might have been a part of as an undergraduate, like Golden Key International Honour Society.
Q. Do students usually need to take out loans or seek outside employment?
A. Some students find it necessary to take out small loans during their graduate education, although the stipend can cover the vast majority of living expenses. Outside employment is strongly discouraged given the tremendous commitment required for research, coursework, scholarly development.
Q. Does BGSU have a more applied or research focus?
A. We are strong proponents of the science-practitioner model, meaning that as a student you will receive a wealth of opportunities beneficial to either a career in research or in applied settings (i.e. consulting or business). This can be seen through both the wealth of research generated by the program that is published in refereed journals, as well as the number of internship opportunities and applied projects (through IPRA and other research groups) that are available.
Q. How long will it take me to finish the program?
A. Typically it takes 4-5 years for a student with a Bachelor's degree, and 3-4 years for a student with a Master degree's to complete the requirements for the Doctoral degree. This can vary depending on the student's interests and experiences (e.g., obtaining a year-long internship).
Q. How is BGSU different from other top programs?
A. Students at Bowling Green benefit from a wealth of prominent faculty in the field that cover the breadth of I/O psychology. Furthermore, a tremendous amount of experiences exist for students interested in either a career in academics or applied settings. BGSU also has outstanding programs in other areas of psychology and students benefit from taking classes outside of the I-O discipline.
Q. What is the typical workload for a student in the program during the first year? Does this change as one progresses?
A. Students take the majority of their classes during their first two years. In the first year, the sequence is typically four classes in the first semester and three in the second. In addition to this, research/teaching assistantships on average demand 20 hours of work per week. The amount of coursework tends to lessen after the second year as students usually become more involved in research and work toward completion of degree requirements (e.g., thesis, preliminary examination, and dissertation).
Q. How old are the students in the program?
A. Most students are between the ages of 21 and 35, with the majority being in their early to middle twenties.
Q. How can I get to know more about the current graduate students?
A. Please check out the research interests of our graduate students on our webpage! Many students also have personal webpages (or ePortfolios) for you to get more information about what we are up to!
Q. Do BG students tend to come from any particular area of the United States or is it a fairly even distribution?
A. Students come from all regions of the United States – as far east as Vermont to as far west as California. In addition, BGSU's program includes several international students.
Q. What goes on outside of academics and research within the program?
A. Many opportunities exist for socialization both within the I/O program and larger psychology department. Numerous social gatherings are held throughout the year including events outside of Bowling Green (e.g., the annual Race for the Cure in Toledo, trips to Windsor, Canada and Cincinnati).
Q. Can students take classes in other areas of psychology?
A. Yes, in fact several required courses will combine students in different areas of psychology. The program also will incorporate a variety of courses that fall outside the realm of psychology (e.g., epidemiology, public health, human resource management).
Q. Is an internship required to complete the program?
A. No, but most students do complete one before graduating.
Q. What are some examples of places where students have interned?
A. You can find this answer under the "After BGSU" portion of the site.