Application Checklist

The deadline to submit all of your application materials is 11:59 pm EST on December 1st. Late applications or materials (with the exception of official test score results) will not be accepted. 

Please note we only admit for the fall semester. Applications received for other terms will not be considered. 

Questions about the online application should be directed to the University of Minnesota Graduate School:

Contact the Department of Psychology with any other questions:

To apply to the Psychology PhD program, you will create an application, upload all required materials, and pay the application fee in the Graduate School’s online application portal:

  • Select “University of Minnesota – Twin Cities” as the University of Minnesota campus you plan to attend.
  • Select "Psychology - your intended area of specialization - PhD” from the program list. (If you wish to apply to more than one area, you must submit a separate application, and pay the fee, for each.) 
  • Use the online application to upload all required materials for your Graduate School application. We do not accept mailed copies of any admissions materials, including official test scores or transcripts.

After you submit your application and pay the application fee, continue to check the status of your application to ensure all letters of recommendation and other materials have been submitted by the December 1 deadline.

Unofficial transcripts or academic records are required for all post-secondary institutions you attended, even if you did not receive a degree. These must be uploaded directly to the online application. The University only requires official transcripts from admitted applicants. View more information about transcripts and credentials.

Each area of specialization sets its own requirements for the GRE General Test and GRE Psychology Subject Test. Review the GRE Requirements by Area of Specialization table carefully to make sure you understand the submission requirements for the area you are applying to. 

If the area you are applying to requires scores, or if you want to submit scores for an area that has made GRE scores optional, you must test before the application deadline and include the self-reported scores in your application.  

To submit official electronic GRE scores to the University, use Institution code 6874. It is acceptable for official scores to arrive after the December 1st deadline, provided scores are available in the self-reported field by the time of application submission.

International applicants must meet University requirements for English Language Proficiency, typically by taking the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS exam. Review the International Applicants page carefully to understand our proficiency requirements and how to meet them. Please note that the Department sets higher minimum requirements than the Graduate School that must be met to be considered for admission. 

If you take the TOEFL, you must send official electronic scores to the University. Use institution code 6874.

Official IELTS scores can be sent electronically to the Graduate Admissions Office. When prompted, please select University of Minnesota Graduate Admissions All Campuses from the drop-down menu. 

Additional information on ways to submit official TOEFL and IELTS scores is available from the Graduate School.

Self-reported scores should also be entered in the Test Information-Self-Reported field in the online application. It is acceptable for official scores to arrive after the December 1st deadline, provided scores are available in the self-reported field by the time of application submission.

The online application contains a Psychology Program Application form where you will be prompted to:

  • Required: Identify one or two faculty members in your intended area of specialization that you are most interested in working with in an advising/mentoring capacity, and who are considering accepting new advisees. You are encouraged to reach out to these faculty members by email before you apply, but only after you have confirmed they are considering advisees and you have learned about their research and labs to determine if there is a strong alignment with your training goals. 
  • Optional: Identify one or two additional faculty with whom you would also potentially like to work. These faculty members may be in other areas of specialization if your research interests encompass more than one area’s focus.
  • Required: Answer three brief questions about your months of research experience and any publications you may have authored (not required to be considered a strong candidate for admission). These questions are asked to support grant reporting requirements, the information collected is not used in application review.   
  • Required: Enter all psychology courses you have taken and any courses outside psychology that would complement your chosen area of specialization (see the Coursework List section below for details).

Some areas have additional required fields on the Psychology Program Application form:

  • Cognitive and Brain Science (CAB): Applicants will be asked to select an area of emphasis within CAB.
  • Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research (CSPR): Applicants will be asked to briefly describe their research interests within CSPR and upload a supplement to the personal statement:
    • Please provide a one-page, single-spaced essay that describes your understanding of, and commitment to, clinical science-based training using the approaches embraced by our program.

In the Psychology Form in the online application, you will be prompted to enter relevant coursework. List all psychology courses you have taken and any courses outside psychology that would complement your chosen area of specialization. 

For each entry, use the subject dropdown menu to identify whether you are adding a psychology course or a complementary/related course, then fill in the following information: 

  • Course name and number (list in the format PSY 1001: Introduction to Psychology)
  • Institution name
  • Term and year (e.g., Fall 2023)
  • Credits
  • Grade in original grading system

This information should match what appears on the unofficial transcripts you submit with your application. Complementary/related courses may be from any field, provided they have relevance to the specialization you are applying to and/or demonstrate relevant training (e.g., statistics, quantitative analysis, measurement, research methods).

Statements are weighted heavily in faculty review. We encourage applicants to invest time in developing tailored statements that respond to the Department of Psychology’s prompts. All statements are uploaded to the materials section of the online application.

Personal Statement (Required): Make sure your statement directly addresses the information requested in the personal statement prompt

Diversity Statement (Required): Make sure your statement directly addresses the information requested in the diversity statement prompt.

Extenuating Circumstances Statement (Optional): An extenuating circumstances statement will be taken into consideration if submitted. A statement (250 words maximum) is most appropriate if you have experienced any serious medical, personal, or scholarly difficulties that have significantly impacted your academic performance. Details about personal situations, such as of an illness, do not need to be disclosed for the impact of the circumstances to be taken into consideration. 

Upload your resume or CV in the materials section of the application. Review detailed instructions on what we want to see in your resume or CV.

Three letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted by the December 1 deadline. Additional letters will not be accepted, and if submitted will be removed from consideration. 

Letters from faculty are recommended, but not required. Please use your best judgment in selecting three recommenders that can speak to your background and preparation for PhD-level studies.

Recommendation letters can be submitted both while your application is still in progress and after you have submitted it. When you enter a recommender’s information and click the “Submit to Recommender” button in the online application portal, the recommender will immediately receive an email notification containing instructions and a link to upload their letter. During the upload process, each of your three recommenders will also be required to fill out a rating form.

To ensure that your application is complete by the December 1 deadline, we recommend submitting requests early in your application process and communicating the submission deadline directly to your recommenders. The system-generated notification sent to recommenders does not include deadline information.

View more information about recommendations.

Application fees differ for domestic and international applicants. Review the Graduate School’s Application fee page for more information.

The Department of Psychology maintains modest funds to cover the application fees of a limited number of competitive applicants each year:

  • Participants in Diversity Program(s): For McNair Scholars, members of the Next Gen Psych Scholars Program (NPSP), and Diversity in Psychology Program (DPP) participants. Fee waivers are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete our request form by 12:00 noon CST on November 28 to have your eligibility verified.
  • Need-Based Support for Domestic Applicants: For competitive domestic applicants from low-income backgrounds who do not qualify for our Participants in Diversity Program(s) waiver or the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Fee Waiver Program but who are experiencing significant barriers to paying application fees. If you feel that you qualify (e.g., you received a Pell Grant),  complete our request form by 12:00 noon CST on November 1, 2023.
  • Need-Based Support for International Applicants: For international applicants experiencing significant barriers to paying the application fee. Particular consideration is given to applicants in countries experiencing currency failures, sanctions, war, and/or natural disasters. If you feel that you qualify, complete our request form by 12:00 noon CST on November 1, 2023.

All individuals who request a department-paid application fee will be notified of the status of their request. Recipients of department-paid application fees will receive instructions on how to proceed.

All requests must be submitted by the deadlines provided above. Requests must be made and approved prior to submission of an application to our PhD program. The Department must pay the fee directly and is not able to refund applicants for paid fees.