Application Checklist for Psychology PhD programs ​

We invite applications to our PhD program every fall. The Clinical Psychology specialty seeks an incoming class of 8-14 students per year, and the Experimental specialty seeks an incoming class of 8-12 students per year across the Cognitive, Developmental, and Social tracks. Please note that we do not have terminal master’s programs. Students may apply to our PhD program with either the BA/BS or MA/MS.

Applicants are evaluated holistically. Admission is influenced by the overall quality of the applicant’s record, including grades, letters of recommendation, research experience, and clinical experience (clinical track only). We seek applicants who show promise in becoming leading researchers in the field.

The department is committed to recruiting and training students from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the APA’s Center for Workforce Studies to be underrepresented in the psychology workforce, students with disabilities, students with diverse identities related to gender and sexual orientation, and students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including first-generation college students. 

 

You’re eligible to apply if you’ve completed:

  • Undergraduate coursework in general psychology, statistics, and research methods. Other desirable undergraduate courses include developmental psychology, physiological psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, cognition, learning, sensation and perception, history and systems, mathematics, and natural science.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 (successful applicants typically exceed this minimum).

See admission statistics numbers for the past 10 years of clinical admissions.

Questions?

We’re here to help. Get in touch with our graduate programs assistant Nicole Dover via email at nicole.dover@ua.edu or via the graduate school’s online prospect inquiry form.

Application Materials and Steps

Deadline: November 15, 11:59 pm

Before You Begin

Before you begin the online application, gather the following materials:​​
  • Our program uses a mentor model, which means that each graduate student works with a specific faculty member on research, although cross-lab collaboration is also possible. We encourage applicants to review the faculty research topics and choose one to three mentors whose research is of interest. You are also welcome to reach out to them if you so choose. To find out if faculty members are planning to take students, please visit the department directory, and use the Accepting Students filter in the left-hand sidebar.
  • Unofficial transcripts: Submit unofficial transcripts from all previous colleges/universities you attended. Official transcripts are NOT required at the time of application
  • CV: See this page for instructions on preparing a curriculum vitae (CV) including a checklist and example at the end​
  • Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required. These should be written by professors or supervisors who are familiar with your academic ability and career aspirations. Letters should speak to applicants’ writing skills, quantitative skills, ability to handle challenges, and potential to conduct high-quality empirical research. Letters must be received by December 1 to ensure full consideration. ​
  • Personal statement: Please see our Guidance on Statement of Purpose for instructions on preparing a personal statement.​
  • The GRE General Test is NOT required for admission to the Fall 2024 class. If submitted, scores will not be considered.​

Optional Materials

  • We encourage applicants to submit other writing samples and syllabi from statistics or research methods courses that they have taken. These latter documents can be added under the “Portfolio” section of the graduate school application.

Steps to Complete the Online Application​

​Applications should be completed online through the Graduate School’s application center. Be sure to save your password so you can work on the application over time.​
  • For the degree type, select “Doctoral”​
  • For the planned “course of study”, select “Psychology PhD.”​
  • For “area of focus” (i.e., “specialty”), select either the Clinical or Experimental
  • For “sub-area of focus” (i.e., “track”) select one of the subareas​
  • For the proposed entrance date, select Fall 2024.​
  • Submit a personal statement using the “Upload Materials” tab under “Statement of Purpose.”​
  • Optional materials can be added under the “Portfolio” section​
  • Enter the information of those who will write your letters of recommendation​
  • Add your potential mentors as “contacts” by clicking on the “Contacts” field in the application. For “UA Department/Mentor Contacts,” please click “Add New” and add each mentor of interest. For “Relationship,” please enter “UA Department/Mentor Contact.” For “Email Address,” “Phone,” and “Mailing Address,” simply enter “n/a” for these fields. You will receive a message that your address was not able to be validated. Click on “Skip Validation.”​
  • Pay the application fee​
  • Upon completion of the application, you will receive your Campus Wide Identification (CWID) number. It is VERY important that you keep this number somewhere safe.​​

Checking the Status of Your Application​​

  • You may check the status of your application online as long as you remember the PIN you entered when you submitted your application.​
  • Note: The department processes applications only after all materials listed above (with the exception of letters of recommendation) have been received.​
  • If the status of your application is “Grad Review” or “Referred,” then your application is complete, with the possible exception of letters of recommendation, and is being processed and/or reviewed in the department.

How Applications are Reviewed

Each faculty member who plans to accept a student reviews the applications and makes decisions, along with input from other program faculty, about which applicants to interview. These decisions are often made based on how well the applicant’s research interests match those of the faculty member, as well as the applicant’s potential for success in graduate school based on the criteria listed above. After the interview, faculty members consult with other program faculty to make final admissions decisions.

Interviews for all programs will be conducted virtually in January – February.