For Prospective Students

Mentorship Model

Students are admitted to the program, not specifically to an advisor. Decisions about admission offers to the IDD psychology program are made jointly by all of the IDD psychology faculty based upon the student’s application package and interview. Because of the specialized nature of the IDD psychology program, it is common for incoming students to be a good fit with more than one advisor.

That being said, once in the program, students work closely, one-on-one with a single mentor to develop and implement their program of research and study. While it is possible for students to change mentors during the program, this is not common. Therefore, fit with one or more mentors in the program is taken into account when evaluating a student’s application for admission. Students are asked to identify one or more potential mentors in their application package, and this information will be considered when arranging interview schedules for students who are invited for an interview. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with IDD faculty research and take advantage of opportunities to discuss common interests during the interview.

IDD Faculty available to mentor graduate students include:

  • Andrea Witwer, PhD
    Director of Training for the Nisonger Center, LEND Co-Associate Director, IDD Psychology Faculty
    Developmental Clinics, IDD Psychology, LEND
  • Katherine M. Walton, PhD
    Program Director, Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
    Early Learning Program
  • Luc Lecavalier, Ph.D.
    IDD Psychology
  • Marc J. Tassé, PhD Marc J. Tassé, PhD
    Director, Nisonger Center Professor, Department of Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
  • Susan Havercamp, Ph.D. , FAAIDD, NADD-CC
    Program Director
    Health Promotion - Healthcare Parity Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Psychology, and Genetic Counseling Ohio Disability and Health Program, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, LEND, Nisonger Behavior Support Services
  • Application and Interviews

    The most up-to-date information about applications and deadlines, including information about fee waivers, due dates, and application requirements, can be found at here.

    Applications are typically due in early December, and interviews are usually held in early January. Applicants can expect to hear about whether they will be invited for an interview by mid- to late December.

    After interviews, applicants are informed of their admission status within approximately 1 month of the interview. Information about fellowship and other funding sources is finalized in February and March, and students are required to make a final admissions decision by April 15 (the “common” date used by graduate programs in psychology across the country). The IDD psychology program does not hold “wait list” slots; all students who have been invited for an interview will be informed of their final admissions status at approximately the same time.

    Admissions Standards and Guidelines

    Student applications are evaluated holistically, with consideration of a variety of factors. Students who meet eligibility criteria for one or more fellowships are likely to be especially competitive (see Section 5.1.2 of University Fellowship guidelines). However, students with lower scores but with exceptional records in other areas (e.g., research experience, clinical experience, letters of recommendation) may still gain admission. Factors that are taken into account in the application review process include:

    • Research experience, including both paid and unpaid (e.g., student) experiences.
    • Demonstrated interest and commitment to working with IDD populations.
    • Strong numerical indicators of aptitude, including GPA and GRE scores.
    • Strong letters of recommendation from people who know the applicant well, especially in the area of research aptitude.
    • Clinical or volunteer experiences with IDD populations or related populations.
    • Fit of the student’s background and interests with the goals of the program, evaluated from a variety of materials including the student’s personal statement.