The following items are required for admissions consideration into the doctoral program:
- A bachelor’s degree is required. Although a psychology major at the undergraduate level is preferred, the department has, on occasion, accepted students with undergraduate preparation in other disciplines.
- The GRE General Test is required. The GRE Psychology Subject Test is recommended but not required for 2020 admissions.
- Undergraduate or Graduate Courses in the Core Domains of Psychology. As a condition of admission, the department requires the successful completion as noted on an official transcript with a grade of C+ or better of 2 or more graduate- or undergraduate-level courses, taken at a regionally accredited college or university, in the following core domains of Psychology:
- History and Systems of Psychology, providing coverage of the origins and development of major ideas in the discipline of psychology.
- Affective Aspects of Behavior, including topics such as affect, mood, emotion, and motivation. This component can be covered in a broader course, as long as there is documentation in a provided syllabus and as long as the “affective” component is separately evaluated (paper, examination, etc.).
- Biological Aspects of Behavior: multiple underpinnings of behavior, such as neural, physiological, anatomic, and genetic aspects. A more “narrow” course in neuropsychology or psychopharmacology does not fulfill this requirement.
- Cognitive Aspects of Behavior: topics such as learning, memory, thought processes, language, decision-making. Cognitive testing or cognitive therapy courses do not, by themselves, fulfill this requirement.
- Developmental Aspects of Behavior: including transitions, growth, and development across the lifespan. A course limited to one developmental period (e.g., childhood, old age) does not fulfill this requirement.
- Social Aspects of Behavior: group processes, attributions, discrimination, and attitudes. A course in individual and cultural diversity or a course in group of family therapy do not, by themselves fulfill this requirement.
Recommended Additional Coursework and Preparation:
Our most successful applicants have typically benefited from having the following recommended experience and coursework:
- A minimum of 1-2 semesters as a research assistant in a laboratory conducting psychological research. Ideally, participation in publication or presentation of the laboratory’s research would serve as evidence of the quality of the applicant’s work.
- Some coursework in life-science fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, health science
- A course in statistics or research design
- Additional basic science backgrounds as part of their undergraduate majors.
The admissions committee makes every effort to make contact with all applicants in the final selection pool who are also invited to a recruitment weekend to be held in February. The number of students admitted is typically 12-15 from an applicant pool of about 250-300. The actual size of the class is determined by a number of different factors including available faculty, university and departmental support, program needs, and the goal of attracting and maintaining an excellent and diverse student body. The Department of Clinical and Health Psychology adheres to the Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances adopted by the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology and to Admissions policies established by the Council of Graduate Schools. The CUDCP guidelines can be found here.
The admissions process involves the following steps: (1) After the deadline for completion of application materials has passed, the electronic application package is distributed to members of the admissions committee for review. This typically takes place during December and early January. (2) The admissions committee then meets to review rankings and to select a group of applicants to invite for our yearly Interview Weekend, which typically takes place in February or early March. Students who are invited for interviews but who cannot attend Interview Weekend are offered telephone interviews or, in extenuating circumstances, later on-campus interviews. (3) After the interview process is complete, the admission committee consults program faculty and students for feedback. This data, together with information available in the application packet, is considered during a final admissions committee meeting in which rank order lists are created. (4) The applicants are then either offered admission, placed on an alternate list, or declined admission. Status in the first two categories may change as admissions offers are accepted or denied until all admissions slots are filled.