Graduate Programs

The goal of the Department of Psychology is to develop a scientific community for significant psychological research. With a genuine sense of community, traditional but essentially false distinctions – such as that between scholar and practitioner – can be blurred. The concept of community implies an atmosphere in which people of differing specialized interests and of differing academic levels can provide mutual support rather than competition, communication rather than isolation, stimulation rather than disinterest.  


There are four doctoral program areas, all of which lead to a Ph.D. in Psychology: Clinical , Developmental , Industrial-Organizational (I-O) , and the Neural and Cognitive Sciences (NCS). There is also an Interdisciplinary degree program with the Department of Computer Science and the NCS doctoral program whereby a student can receive an M.S. in Computer Science, an M.A. in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology.

While graduate students normally meet the requirements for the master's degree en route to the Ph.D., we do not generally admit students who seek only the master's degree.


The primary goal of the Ph.D. program is the development of scientists capable of advancing psychological knowledge. The program is characterized by both an emphasis on extensive academic training in general psychology and an early and continuing commitment to research. Although each graduate student will seek an area in which to develop his or her own expertise, students will be expected to be knowledgeable about many areas and will be encouraged to pursue interests that cross conventional specialty lines.

The program is research oriented; students are encouraged to become involved in research early in the first year of graduate training. Each student normally works in close association with a sponsor or chairperson whose special competence matches the student's interests but students are free to pursue research interests with any faculty member and in any area(s) they choose. Both basic and applied research are well represented within the department.

The student-faculty ratio is low, permitting extensive supervision and individual attention to the student's growth and development. One of the major strengths of our program is the extent to which students and faculty share interests with those in other areas. Students frequently work closely with faculty from as many as three areas and/or interests during their tenure here.


  • Undergraduate Psychology courses: Introduction to Psychology, statistics and research design.
  • GRE: Verbal and Quantitative tests are required. Advanced test in Psychology is not required. Although we have no minimum score requirements, median GRE scores of current students are in the 70th-80th percentile range. Median GPA's are 3.70.
  • Importance of nonobjective criteria: previous research activity, high; work experience, high; extracurricular activity, medium; clinically related public service, low; letters of recommendation, high.


The following teaching opportunities are available: teaching assistant to professor, recitation section instructor, and laboratory instructor for one or more courses. A course in the teaching of psychology is offered. Opportunities for selected students to teach independent sections of lower division undergraduate courses are also available.


The department provides for minority students in the following ways: affirmative action/recruitment program; special tutorial programs available; and deferral of admission fee until admitted into program.


Graduate assistantships and fellowships providing stipends and waiver of fees are available to new and continuing students. Teaching assistantships, as well as privately-funded research assistantships, are also available. Virtually all students accepted into our program receive some form of assistantship or fellowship aid. The department commits support to graduate students for four years. Limited opportunities for summer teaching are available for advanced students. Additional funding support for research and participation in scholarly meetings is available through the department.

For further information, direct your inquiry to any individual faculty member or write or email

Ms. Paula Watson, Graduate Secretary
Department of Psychology
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0228
Phone: 419-372-2306

Doctor of Philosophy degrees are awarded in four areas of psychology:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Neural & Cognitive Sciences (Experimental Psychology)

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the doctoral degree, students in Psychology are expected to be able to:

  • Achieve competencies in graduate level statistical methods.
  • Achieve competencies in graduate level psychological research methods.
  • Achieve competencies that reflect the breadth of psychology.
  • Achieve competencies in program specific/core knowledge area.
  • Acquire direct experience in teaching 
  • Acquire direct experience in mentored research  
  • Design, implement, evaluate, and summarize the results of at least two independently conceived research projects 
  • Develop professional relationships and roles outside of the classroom 
  • Acquire skills in dissemination of research findings to the scientific community 

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Developmental Psychology program, Industrial/Organizational Psychology program, and Experimental Psychology (Neural & Cognitive Sciences) program will go through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2020/21.

Our doctoral program in clinical psychology has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1971.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. program requires professional licensure.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Developmental Psychology program, Industrial/Organizational Psychology program and Experimental Psychology (Neural & Cognitive Sciences) program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Psychology program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.