Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Admissions FAQs

PhD Program

What Areas of study are offered in the Deartment of Psychology?

We offer eight areas of study: Behavioral Neuroscience; Clinical; Cognitive Neuroscience; Cognitive Science; Developmental; Individual Differences and Evolutionary Psychology; Social and Personality; Perception, Brain, and Behavior;

Do you offer an online program?

No, we do not offer an online program.

Do you offer a Master’s program?

No, we do not offer a Master's program.

Do you provide funding?

Yes, we provide up to five years of funding to all admitted students. This includes a yearly stipend of $28,000, tuition, and health insurance.

I am interested in a Counseling program. Should I apply to your Clinical program?

No. Our Clinical program is a “clinical scientist” model, focused on research. Our goal is to train academics and researchers. Those interested in the “clinical practitioner” model should look into the programs offered through The Department of Educational Psychology. They offer both the MA and PhD in Counseling.

Can I take courses in Psychology without being a graduate student at UT?

No, our department does not accept non-degree seeking graduate students.

Do you offer a forensic psychology program or degree?

No, we do not offer a forensic psychology specialization.

I don’t have a background in Psychology. Can I still apply to your program?

We do not require that your undergraduate degree be in Psychology. Our graduate students have a variety of majors; however, you should have adequate preparation in psychology (This typically includes upper-division psychology courses, a course in statistics, and a course in experimental methodology) as well as research experience.

If accepted into the program, would any prior courses be transferrable?

We require that all courses and research be taken as part of our program, under supervision of our faculty.

Can you be admitted as part-time status?

No, we do not offer a part-time program. Coursework, research, and teaching duties require that students be full-time.

I need a few more courses to be licensed in Texas. Can you tell me whom I should contact?

Please visit the The Department of Educational Psychology.

Application

What is the deadline for application materials?

November 15, 2021—We do not accept late applications.

What are the requirements to apply to the PhD program?


-A four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college (or equivalent foreign training)
-At least a 3.0 GPA in upper-division (typically junior and senior level classes) and any graduate coursework. (Our typical admitted student has a 3.5 GPA or higher.)
-Adequate academic preparation in psychology (This typically includes upper-division psychology courses, a course in statistics, and a course in experimental methodology.)
-Research experience

Can I apply to more than one Area of Study?

No, you may only apply to one Area of Study.

Can I be accepted into one Area of Study and do research with a faculty member in another area?

Collaborations across Areas are encouraged. Students may have co-advisors from different Areas, however it is expected that you will complete the requirements of the Area into which you are admitted, under the supervision of the faculty member whose lab you were admitted.

Do you require GRE scores (General Exam and Subject)?

No, we do not require the general exam or subject GRE scores.

Do you require a writing sample?

Yes, we do require a writing sample. It should be a 10-20 page, academic writing sample (e.g., senior or master’s thesis, term paper, publication).

What is the average GPA for admissions?

You must have at least a 3.0 upper-division GPA. This typically includes junior and senior level classes and any graduate coursework. Our typical admitted student has a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Are International students required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam?

We require the TOEFL (Please do not submit the IELTS exam). You must have at least a 79 on the internet-based test (iBT). The institution code for UT Austin is 6882. International applicants who are from a qualifying country are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or a qualifying country. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master's—but not a bachelor's—degree from a similar institution.

Do you offer spring admission?

No, we only admit students for fall semesters.

Who should write letters of recommendation?

We require three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are one of the most important pieces of your application. They should come from faculty that know you and can speak to your abilities. Help your recommender’s write a strong letter by giving them plenty of time and providing them with materials about you (CV, personal statement, etc).

How many students are admitted each year?

Our admissions process is highly competitive. We receive over 600 applications each year, with around half applying to the clinical program. We accept less than 5% of the applicant pool. Faculty select students who are highly qualified on all admission criteria and who have expressed an interest in research that is congruent with their research programs.

I don’t have any research experience. Can I still apply to your program?

Prior research experience is necessary to have a competitive application. Since we work using the mentorship system, a good match between faculty and student is based on the fit of the research of the faculty member and the previous experience that the applicant has had. We recommend that you look into acquiring experience through local universities, internships, lab work, etc.

I don’t have a background in Psychology. Can I still apply to your program?

We do not require that your undergraduate degree be in Psychology. Our graduate students have a variety of majors; however, you should have adequate preparation in psychology (This typically includes upper-division psychology courses, a course in statistics, and a course in experimental methodology) as well as research experience.

I am interested in a Counseling program. Should I apply to your Clinical program?

No. Our Clinical program is a “clinical scientist” model, focused on research. Our goal is to train academics and researchers. Those interested in the “clinical practitioner” model should look into the programs offered through The Department of Educational Psychology. They offer both the MA and PhD in Counseling.

Can the application fee be waived?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents pursuing your first graduate degree, may be eligible for a fee waiver.

Can I call or email the Psychology department to inquire about the status of my application?

No, please do not call or email us for an update on your application. You can check the status of your application and materials on the MyStatus page. Decisions will be updated by April 1.

I will be in the UT Austin area and would like to stop by the Psychology department to talk to someone about admissions. Will someone be available?

Faculty prefer to speak with applicants over the phone or via email. Faculty contact information is listed on our faculty page. Please do not drop in for visits. Campus tours can be arranged here.

What are the instructions for the personal statement?

No longer than two pages, single-spaced. This is an important piece of your application and should not repeat your research statement. What experiences with diversity have impacted your personal growth? Include any educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. In addition, please describe any accomplishments, or achievements that will allow the department to evaluate your contributions to our diversity mission.

What are the instructions for the research statement?

No longer than two pages, single-spaced. Faculty select students who are highly qualified on all admission criteria and who have expressed an interest in research that is congruent with their research programs. Your statement should clearly and succinctly address the following questions:
a) Why do you want to pursue a PhD in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin in psychology?
b) What research questions or problems interest you?
c) What book or article exemplifies the kind of research you would like to conduct?
d) How have you prepared yourself for graduate study?
e) What faculty members in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin would you like to conduct mentored research with?


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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157