Psychology: Adult Development and Aging, Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Psychology: Adult Development and Aging

About the Degree

The Psychology departments at The University of Akron and Cleveland State University offer a joint doctoral program in the Psychology of Adult Development and Aging. Our unique program is one of only a handful of Adult Development and Aging doctoral programs in the country, and the only one in the state of Ohio. With 10 full-time faculty, our program is one of the largest Adult Development and Aging programs in the country. The diverse faculty interests allow the program to support a broad range of student interests from developmental neuroscience to applied aging interventions.

Students are trained by experienced, full-time faculty using a mentor model. Each student works with his or her mentor to develop and carry out research projects of mutual interest. The faculty mentor serves as an expert guide, providing frequent, casual, and structured supervision to students as they gain research design and analysis skills.  By the end of doctoral training, our students are well-prepared to work in a number of roles including research, teaching, and applied settings.

Students will study the psychology of adult development and aging including the social, emotional, cognitive, neural, and behavioral aspects of adulthood and aging.

Salary and Career Outlook

The number of older adults is increasing worldwide, with the number of those aged 65 and older expected to double in the U.S. by 2050 (U.S. Census Bureau). The need to understand the aging process has never been greater and continues to grow.

Psychologists trained in the psychology of aging by this program are qualified for careers in:

  • academia (professor teaching and conducting research)
  • public sector (government agency or other human service agency; medical center)
  • research (a research scientist in the public or private sector)

Employment for psychologists who study adulthood and aging is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022 (Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook - 2014-15 Edition.)

In psychology departments with doctoral programs in public U.S. institutions, the median 9-10 month salary in 2012-13 was:

  • Assistant Professor: $66K
  • Associate Professor: $76K
  • Full Professor: $108K

Public Sector (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014.)

The median income for a public sector psychologist is $88K

Research (Source: APA’s 2009 Salary Survey.)

Annual salary ranges from $76K to $116K

Why Akron?

With the Baby-Boomer generation getting older and beginning to retire, as well as experiencing additional, cognitive, medical, and functional changes, this Adult Development and Aging program is well-suited to take advantage of this market opportunity. While doctoral specialties in psychology such as social, cognitive, and industrial-organizational may provide students with some training in key issues associated with adult aging, our program provides a much more comprehensive background for students.

Additional information about our program

  • This program started in 2009; has grown to 18 doctoral students
  • 100% of ADA graduate students were fully funded on assistantships (tuition + stipend) in 2014-2015
  • 100% Job Placement rate of our first graduating class of Ph.D.s in 2014
  • Faculty garnered $1,960,330 in external funding in 2014-2015
  • Faculty published 31 articles and chapters in 2014-15
  • Graduate students obtained $25,273 in award funding for research, travel, and professional development in 2014-15
  • Doctoral students presented at 33 national, regional, and local conferences in 2014-15
  • Graduate students published 8 journal articles and 2 chapters in 2014-15

Contact Information

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Paul Levy

                                     College of Arts and Sciences, Room 315


                                     (330) 972-8369

Graduate School:          Heather Blake

                                     Polsky Building, Room 467


                                     (330) 972-7664