Admissions Guidelines

We receive many more applications each year than the number of available openings. We have established the following guidelines to help prospective applicants assess their competitiveness. Consult area webpages for additional area-specific considerations.

  • A GPA of 3.0 is a minimum guideline but competitive applicants typically have higher GPAs:  
    • Mean GPA for applicants admitted 2021-2024 = 3.78
    • Median GPA for applicants admitted 2021-2024 = 3.89
  • Competitive applicants are well prepared to participate in research, which is the main emphasis of our program.
  • We view favorably applicants who are well prepared to participate in research, which is the main emphasis of our program.
  • We encourage applications from students who contribute to our mission to enhance inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Learn more about how the Department of Psychology values cultural and individual diversity and the importance of equitable access to educational opportunities.
  • Our seven areas of specialization have varying requirements for the GRE General and Subject tests.  For areas that require or review submitted scores, we recommend aiming for scores in the 70th percentile or higher in both the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections of the GRE General Test. 
  • International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency by meeting one or more of the criteria provided on our International Applicants page. Please note that the Department of Psychology sets higher requirements than the Graduate School.

The Graduate School maintains aggregate admissions statistics for the Psychology PhD. Counseling and CSPR are our most competitive areas of specialization, with 2% to 3% acceptance rates in some recent years.

Application Assessment Criteria

Each area of specialization reviews applications using holistic methods that consider all parts of the applicant’s portfolio. Area reviews take into consideration the following criteria:

  • Academic preparation
  • Potential to be successful in graduate school and beyond (e.g., growth potential, tenacity, overcoming obstacles)
  • Research experiences and preparation
  • Commitments to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA)
  • Alignment with the area’s focus, faculty expertise, and faculty availability to accept advisees