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Experimental Psychology Ph.D.

Contact the Director of Experimental Training

Dr. Peggy Zoccola

Program Overview

The experimental psychology program focuses on a scientific investigation of normal psychological processes. The purpose of the five-year program of study is to prepare students for scholarly work as well as basic and applied research in these processes.

Program requirements include coursework in a broad array of content areas, although students work closely with their faculty advisers to plan programs of study that reflect their own professional interests and goals. As part of their training, students are expected to complete extensive coursework in statistics and research methodology, reflecting the belief that students who develop skills in these areas will be better prepared to tackle both basic and applied research problems in psychology.

Throughout their graduate study, students are expected to be actively involved in research. This includes completing a master?s thesis and doctoral dissertation. With faculty in the experimental psychology program committed to collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, students often engage in research partnerships with faculty and students outside of their own areas of specialization.

Time to Degree: The Ph.D. program typically requires five years to complete.

Career & Research Opportunities

The great majority of Ohio University's Psychology graduates take positions in academic settings, ranging from universities to two-year colleges, and in research settings, both public and industrial. Most graduates in recent years have found that their teaching experience in the Psychology Department benefited them substantially.


Students who are admitted to the experimental psychology program may elect to complete any of the following specializations.

Optional Concentrations

Students may also pursue an optional concentration in addition to their primary specialization.

Program Mission

The mission of the doctoral program in experimental psychology is to offer an outstanding and distinctive graduate education that prepares students for careers in academic and other professional settings and that produces graduates who have a comprehensive understanding of a substantive area of experimental psychology, who have the quantitative and methodological expertise to conduct rigorous, cutting-edge research, and who are equipped with the skills to provide competent psychological services to their clients, in the case of graduates in industrial/organizational psychology.

Program Learning Objectives

Knowledge Base in Content Area: Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in one of the substantive areas of psychology.

Research Methods in Psychology: Students will develop strong research skills that will enable them to contribute original and independent insights to the existing psychological literature.

Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: Students will develop the ability to critically analyze the body of scholarship comprising psychological science.

Values in Psychology: Students will behave in a manner that reflects appropriate professional values and ethical standards.

Communication Skills: Students will develop excellent written and oral communication skills.

Teaching Skills: Students will develop strong teaching skills that will enable them

  1. to effectively convey the content knowledge of psychology to audiences with diverse backgrounds, such as undergraduates and community members,
  2. to showcase the value and necessity of critical thinking for advancing psychological theory and for finding viable solutions to complex real-world problems of a psychological nature and otherwise
  3. to showcase the value and necessity of integrative thinking (i.e., finding the commonalities in seemingly disparate ideas) for advancing psychological theory and for finding viable solutions to complex real-world problems of a psychological nature and otherwise