FAQs for Doctoral Admission

IMPORTANT: To be considered for PhD program, you must complete the application through ASU's online portal AND submit your material through Slideroom.

Frequently asked questions



Do I need a master’s degree to before applying to the PhD program?

No, a master’s is not required in order to apply to our PhD programs. 

However, students who have a 3-year bachelor’s degree instead of a 4-year degree may need an additional degree. See the International Student Questions section on this page for more details

Can I do the PhD online or part-time?

No, our PhD programs are 100% in-person and full-time programs. Students also work 20 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant, which leaves little or no time for additional work outside of the university.

How do I get information about other psychology programs at ASU?

Use the ASU Degree Search page and do a keyword search for “psychology”. Click on the title of the program to see an overview and direct contact information (bottom of the page) for the program selected

Does ASU have a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) program?

ASU does not have a PsyD program, only PhD programs for psychology.

Can I get a master’s degree?

A master’s in passing is obtained during the course of studies for the PhD program. We do not offer students a terminal master’s degree in Psychology. However, the department has a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis degree program with applications opening September 1 of each year and a rolling deadline. Applications are reviewed starting February 1 to fill limited openings with monthly reviews until the class is filled.

How long does the program typically take to complete?

  • 6 years for Clinical students (5 years of courses and 1 year of an APA required internship at the end)
  • 5 years for Clinical students entering with an approved master’s that will count toward the program of study (4 years of courses and 1 year of an APA required internship at the end)
  • 5 years for non-Clinical students entering without a master’s (or whose previous master’s is not approved to count toward the program of study)
  • 3 years for anyone any non-Clinical students entering with an approved master’s that will count toward the program of study
  • Any student can work at an accelerated rate to complete their degree faster than the typical 5-6 year timeline listed above

What is the required Program of Study?

Across all of the doctoral training areas, a minimum of 30 semester hours is required for the master’s in passing including a master’s thesis and oral defense. A total of 84 semesters hours are required for the PhD. The 84 hours includes the 30 hours for the masters. There is no foreign language requirement. A doctoral dissertation is required which includes a final oral defense. Visit each training area's webpage for more detailed information about the area's specific requirements.

Would completing the PhD in Psychology program certify me as a licensed psychologist?

No, it will not. In order to become a licensed psychologist, you have to undergo at least 4 years of doctoral training and one year of internship (just like our clinical training area is designed). After all that, you have to take a national licensing exam. This will need to be followed by 1 year of supervision after obtaining the doctorate. Once all of that is complete, you take a written and oral examination at the state-level board (each states have their own requirements and exams). Once the state exams are passed, you will be a licensed psychologist. Of all our PhD training areas, only the clinical area can lead to licensure.

What undergrad classes do I need to have to be eligible if I don’t have a degree in psychology?

The extent to formal coursework in psychology is needed varies across training areas. In general, applicants should have an undergrad course background that is similar to a psych major. A typical psych major would include an intro class, stats, research methods, and a variety of courses sampling from diverse areas of psychology (developmental, abnormal, cognitive, social, neuroscience/physiological).

Most important is research experience---doing an honors thesis and/or working in a faculty lab.

In clinical it is becoming a bit more important because APA requires demonstration of competency in multiple areas of psychology and these requirements can be satisfied by taking undergrad classes. If a student has not taken those classes, they will have to take them at the grad level.

Can I get information sent to me?

We do not have hardcopy brochures or flyers but information can be obtained by visiting the doctoral program section of the departmental website. Specific information can be obtained by sending an email to psychgrad@asu.edu.

How many people apply vs. get admitted (the acceptance rate)? How competitive is the program?

For these statistics, please view our recruitment data from the last few years, which lists data for each training area separately.

Whom can I contact for more information before I apply?

Contact faculty you are interested in working with or the area head for your area of interest. The current area head information is on our doctoral admission requirements page. For general questions about how to apply or application materials, contact psychgrad@asu.edu.

What type of jobs can I get with the PhD in Psychology?

Click here for a list of example jobs and employers for some of our alumni.


How do I apply and what are the requirements?

Visit our PhD Admission Requirements page for complete details. The page is updated annually around August.

What are the application deadlines?

See the bottom of the PhD Admission Requirements page for the exact deadline for each training area. Exact dates may vary slightly each year but are typically at the very beginning of December.

Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required?

See the list of requirements on the PhD Admission Requirements page, which is updated around August annually.

Some training areas require it, some waive it, and some make it optional. This is decided each year by each area’s faculty; the answer can vary from year to year.

If required to take the GRE, take the GRE General test. Only our Clinical area accepts both the GRE General and Psychology subject specific tests.

What are the minimum GPA and GRE scores? Do I need to take the GRE Psychology subject test?

The department does not have minimum GPA or GRE score requirements. Here is a list of average GPAs and GRE test scores over the last few years for those who were offered admission to our PhD programs. The department prefers applicants take the GRE General Exam instead of the Psychology subject-specific test. See the question above related to which training areas are requiring the GRE for fall applicants. 

Is a master’s degree required to apply?

No, a master’s is not required for eligibility. However, a master’s degree may help some applicants develop stronger research goals and experience prior to applying to PhD programs.

How long does it take to process an application and how do I check on the status of an application?

  • September 1 – December 1 or 5: applications accepted for starting the following August
  • December – January: applications reviewed by faculty
  • By the end of January: the department emails applicants selected for an interview
  • February – March: interviews conducted
  • By April 15: admission offers finalized
  • March – early May: applicants notified of final decisions

Applicants can request a status update by contacting the area head for the training area to which they applied.

What should I do to put together the best application possible?

  • Review all application requirements well in advance
  • Prepare for and take required exams well in advance of application deadlines
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from people who know you and can speak on your ability to do academic work and your research abilities
  • Connect with potential faculty mentors before applying (strongly recommended)

Can I get the application fees waived?

McNair Scholars are eligible for a fee waiver. 
For the ASU application fee waiver, see instructions on the Graduate College’s website. 

For the department SlideRoom application fee waiver, send a copy of the McNair award letter or McNair verification form to psychgrad@asu.edu and indicate which training area you are applying to (Clinical, Social, Developmental, etc.) and begin (but do not submit) the SlideRoom application. A department staff member will notify you when you can submit the SlideRoom application. 


Which faculty are recruiting for next year?

See the list of recruiting faculty on the PhD Admission Requirements page, which is updated around August annually.

How do I know which faculty to choose?

Review our faculty bios and info on our research labs. Both pages have a sidebar where information can be filtered by training area. Reach out to faculty who are doing research that most closely align with your interests.

We recommend also looking at who is actively recruiting on our PhD Admission Requirements page.

How do I learn about research being done in the department?

Review information on our research labs and filter by training area if desired.

Do I have to talk to faculty before applying or listing them on my application?

No, but it is best to talk with faculty first to ensure they are accepting new students for next year. Also, you can obtain useful information by talking with potential faculty mentors, including referrals to other faculty who may be recruiting but not listed on the website.


How much is tuition?

Tuition and fee information can be found on the ASU’s general tuition page.  

Will I be charged in-state tuition rates?

The Registrar’s Office determines residency status. Visit the residency for tuition purposes page for more details.

Note that our PhD students funded with a 20-hr TA or RA have their tuition waived (paid for by the department), so the residency status does not matter unless the student enrolls for classes in a semester where they do not have a funding source that covers tuition for that semester.

Do you have assistantships (TA/RA) available? How do I apply?

Yes, the department may fund all of its admitted doctoral students with a teaching or research assistantship. The assistantships typically are for 20 hours per week, which include the student’s health care premium, tuition waiver (not fee waiver), and compensation.

The 9-month academic year compensation rate for 2023-2024 is $24,586. The Department of Psychology strives to provide summer support for all doctoral students in addition to academic year support.

No application needed. New PhD admits are automatically considered for an available position after current students’ funding sources are determined.

What financial aid is available?

Please visit our doctorial financial support page for more information.

Can I use the GI Bill or other Veteran benefits to pay for school?

Contact the Pat Tillman Veterans Center directly.

Are there special funding requirements for international students?

See the International Student Questions section.


I have a 3-year bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply to grad school?

Visit the Graduate Admission Services webpage for international applicants for details on specific requirements by country or territory.

Do I have to do an English proficiency exam?

Visit Admission Services’ page on English proficiency to learn who is required to do this and how to fulfill the requirement. 

I don’t want to take the IELTS or TOEFL. Can I meet the English requirement in another way?

Visit Admission Services’ page on English proficiency to learn all options available.

I have a degree from a U.S. institution (or will soon graduate from a U.S. institution). Do I have to do the English proficiency?

Visit Admission Services’ page on English proficiency and view the “other ways to demonstrate English proficiency” at the bottom of the page.

Note that the TOEFL and IELTS scores are good for two years. If admitted, the scores must still be valid in August the year you start the program or you will have to supply new, valid English proficiency scores from one of the options listed on Admission Services’ page.

Are there special funding requirements for international students?

Yes, if hired as a teaching assistant (TA) and you had to take an exam to be admitted to ASU, your speaking section score must be at least 8 (IELTS) or 26 (TOEFL iBT) to be a TA without issue.

If your speaking section was below the minimum requirement or if you took one of the other exams, you will likely need to take the ASU SPEAK test and score at least 55 to work as a TA without issue. Contact the department at psychgrad@asu.edu upon admission to the program to discuss your situation and if you need to do additional steps, even if you are hired as a research assistant (RA) for the first year.

You can also visit the International Teaching Assistant page for more details.


Application Deadlines

See the bottom of the PhD Admission Requirements page for the deadline for each training area. The page is updated annually around August. 

Typically, applications open on September 1st and are due at the very beginning of December.