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FAQs for Doctoral Admission

General Program Questions

General Program Questions

In what areas do you offer a doctoral degree

We offer six different doctoral degrees. Click this link for more information.

Is the ASU Psychology Department recruiting for fall 2021? I heard a lot of universities aren’t due to COVID-19 issues.

We are recruiting for fall 2021 for all six of our PhD in Psychology training areas.

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 non-Clinical students
  • 3 years for anyone 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 timeline listed above

What is the required Program of Study?

Across all of the doctoral program 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 program area's webpage for more detailed information about the area's specific requirements.

Would completing the clinical psychology program certify me as a 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 program 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.

What undergrad classes to 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.

Specific Application Questions

Specific Application Questions

How do I apply and what are the requirements?

Click the links above.

What are the application deadlines?

December 1 – Behavioral Neuroscience & Comparative Psychology; Clinical
December 5 – Cognitive Science; Developmental; Quantitative; and Social

Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required?

Revised information for fall 2021 applicants

The GRE will be waived (and not accepted) for the following training areas:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

The GRE will be optional for the following training area:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology
  • Cognitive Science

If you take the GRE, you can list scores and upload the score report into your SlideRoom application. You do not have to take the test and if you do, you do not have to report your scores.

The GRE will be required for the following areas:

  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Social Psychology

Many applicants are able to take the GRE General at home if unable to take it at a testing center. Please check the Educational Testing Services website for more information. If you still have questions, contact the department at psychgrad@asu.edu.

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 2021 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?

ASU already allows a fee waiver for special populations, such as McNair Scholars. Please work with Graduate Admission Services first to see if you qualify for a fee waiver for the ASU application. If so, they will provide guidance on what you need to submit to them. Once they have waived the ASU application fee, send documentation of that waiver to the department at psychgrad@asu.edu and include which training area you are applying to (example: Clinical). Department staff will then waive your SlideRoom application fee before you submit the application. It is much easier and faster for us to waive the SlideRoom fee before you apply than to send you a reimbursement check later.

If Graduate Admission Services determines you do not qualify for the ASU application fee waiver (not part of the special populations), then refer to our department Admission Requirements page for more details on requesting a waiver directly from the department.

Faculty and Research Questions

Faculty and Research Questions

Which faculty are recruiting for next year?

On our faculty bios page, there is a left sidebar in which you can filter the list by training area. Click on a specific area and you will see a link at the top of the page related to “Admission Recruitment” (in maroon letters). Click the list for specific details.

If the list is from the last recruitment cycle, then we are in the process of updating (check back soon). In the meantime, you can directly contact the specific faculty you are interested in working with to see if they are accepting new applicants for the next cycle. In some cases, they might only accept a new student under certain circumstances. In other cases, they may be looking actively at accepting new students.[KU1] 

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.

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

Click the link above. 

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.

Funding and Tuition Questions

Funding and Tuition Questions

How much is tuition?

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

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 rates for 2020-2021 are $18,564 (pre-masters) and $19,064 (post-masters). 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?

Click the above link. 

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

Click the above link. 

International Student Questions

International Student Questions

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?

Click the above link.

I don’t have English proficiency test scores/ I don’t want to take the test. Can I meet the English requirement in another way?

Click the above link.


Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

 Application Deadlines

PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology9/15/202012/1/2020
PhD in Clinical Psychology9/15/202012/1/2020
PhD in Cognitive Science9/15/202012/5/2020
PhD in Developmental Psychology9/15/202012/5/2020
PhD in Quantitative Psychology9/15/202012/5/2020
PhD in Social Psychology9/15/202012/5/2020
MS Applied Behavior Analysis program9/1/20198/3/2020