Applications and Admissions
Psychological Sciences at Vanderbilt provides a context for graduate training that is intense, collegial, and cooperative. Graduate students can apply for admission through any one of the major specialty programs:
- Clinical Science
- Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Developmental Science
- Quantitative Methods and Evaluation
Admission to the graduate program in Psychological Sciences is highly selective. Several hundred students apply each year. In a typical year, we admit approximately 15-20 students. Applicants who are admitted have very strong qualifications (e.g. over the past five years, applicants who took the GRE test and received offers of admission had combined GRE-Verbal and GRE-Quantitative scores of 324). That said, we use a holistic approach to review applications and a variety of factors are taken into account in admissions including undergraduate GPA, GRE scores (if required/submitted), letters of recommendation, prior research experience, and degree of fit with the research interests of potential faculty mentors. Overall, we admit students whose record indicates the potential and commitment to make significant scientific contributions.
Applicants' three letters of recommendation are strong and point to specific evidence of research potential. In their personal statements, applicants describe experiences, accomplishments, and goals that indicate their fit with our program and their fit with particular faculty members. They also emphasize their potential for succeeding in our program, pointing out research experience, work experience, and educational experience.
Because faculty in Psychological Sciences come from two different departments (Department of Psychology and Department of Psychology and Human Development), prospective doctoral students apply to Psychological Sciences in general, not to a particular department. If accepted, students will be admitted to the college in which their major professor has his or her primary appointment.
Only full-time students are admitted to the Ph.D. program. The deadline for submitting an application is December 1st of each year, and new students are admitted at the beginning of the fall semester.