Undergraduate Psychology Students and Faculty


The Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) offers many services and opportunities for undergraduate students and faculty. Undergraduates may join the Ohio Psychological Association of Graduate Students (OPAGS).

OPA Intern Opportunities for Undergraduates
OPA offers public policy internships for students interested in learning more about nonprofit associations and the state and national policy issues facing psychologists and consumers. These internships are non-stipendiary and vary from year to year, depending on the needs of the OPA.

OPA Student Membership
Full membership is open to any graduate student or post-doctoral fellow who completes an application form and pays the annual fee of $25. Membership includes the right to vote in OPAGS elections and the right to hold office. In addition, membership is open to undergraduate students in psychology, without voting privileges.

Student Posters at the Annual Convention
The Ohio Psychological Association invites undergraduate and graduate students and faculty conducting research on psychology-based topics to present poster summaries at its annual Convention in October. Posters may report on empirical (quantitative or qualitative) studies or non-empirical theoretical/review projects. This year’s poster session will offer special recognition to undergraduate and graduate students who have the most exemplary posters. Four prizes will be awarded: best graduate empirical project, best graduate non-empirical project, best undergraduate poster and people’s choice.

Volunteer Opportunities at OPA’s Convention and Workshops
Psychology undergraduates are encouraged to volunteer at OPA’s Convention, held each fall. Duties include passing out handouts, monitoring workshops and helping staff with various tasks. Contact Karen Hardin, Director of Communications and Education, for more information.

APA Student Membership
Undergraduate psychology students can also check out the American Psychological Association and join as a student affiliate. There are two national honoraries for psychology majors, Psi Chi, and its sister honorary for community and junior college students, Psi Beta.

Graduate Psychology Degrees
Psychology offers wonderful choices for graduate study and careers. As a behavioral science and practice, psychology is on the cutting edge of human biological and social study and scientific discovery. With training in, one can be a scientist, researcher, teacher, clinician, administrator or all of the above. The American Psychological Association has prepared many helpful links and articles to explore. One helpful book about psychology careers is “Career Paths in Psychology” by Robert Sternberg.

Counseling or Clinical Psychology?
Both counseling and clinical psychology doctorate degrees are considered appropriate for psychology practice. The differences are described in the Society of Counseling Psychology’s website.

Graduate Psychology Degrees: Science and Practice Options
For those who want to focus on research and teaching, the APA Science Directorate has helpful information.

For research positions in non-academic sites, see this article.

Practice Options: Basic Requirements
To practice psychology, that is, to assess and treat individual patients or clients, you must have a license issued by the state in which you work as a psychologist. Most states require a doctorate degree from an accredited university before you can apply for a psychology license. Check the State Board of Psychology for Ohio’s licensure rules.

The American Psychological Association Practice Directorate assists and promotes the professional practice of psychology.

The national organization of state psychology licensing boards lists licensing requirements in other states.

Ph.D. or Psy.D.?
In Ohio, a doctorate in psychology can be either a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in counseling or clinical psychology. The Ph.D. degree is the traditional doctorate which includes didactic classes on the biological, chemical, social, and psychological aspects of human behavior; qualitative and quantitative research and statistics; supervised practicum and internships; a master’s thesis and a doctoral dissertation, usually original research by the student. The Psy.D. is a relatively new type of doctorate designed to focus more of the learning on practice and less on research and teaching. As a rule, the Psy.D. is more appropriate for those who want to focus exclusively on practice. However, there are many exceptions to this rule and many Psy.D. graduates teach and do research and many Ph.D. graduates only focus on practicing psychology. View the psychology programs offered in Ohio.


OPA offers many opportunities for learning, service, networking and professional development for Ohio psychology faculty. Special convention programming discounts are provided. Faculty members who refer students to join OPA can receive a free membership and other discounts through Recruitment Rewards.

Faculty who teach psychology at Ohio’s many small colleges and university may join the OPA Small College Roundtable. Undergraduate and graduate faculty at Ohio’s larger universities are invited to participate in one of OPA’s active committees, such as Science, Education, Advocacy, Practice or Public Interest. Ohio graduate faculty who serve as training or internship directors are invited to join OPA’s training and internship directors’ caucus. Contact Michael Ranney for more information.

OPA Convention Poster Judging
Faculty members are needed to be poster judges during OPA’s annual fall convention. The committee has a well-designed process, providing an interesting learning experience for the students and faculty. Contact Jim Sulzer for more information.

Small College Roundtable Award for Academic Innovation
OPA offers an award that recognizes and promotes innovation in the classroom and/or curricular or co-curricular programming at small colleges. This recognition may be at the individual, departmental, or college level. Nominate yourself by visiting OPA’s awards page.

Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship Fund
The Michael Sullivan Diversity Scholarship Fund was created to provide financial assistance to support research and community based projects in honor of Dr. Sullivan’s work with APA, State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Associations and his commitment to multiculturalism. Applications are due January of each year.

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