Admissions and Funding

Students are admitted only in the Fall semester of each academic year and are expected to attend full-time. Applicants with either Bachelors or more advanced degrees are welcome. All admissions are for the doctoral program leading to the PhD. We do not offer a terminal MS program, although students earn an MS en route to the Ph.D.

Admission to the program is competitive and based on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Research interests and experience
  • Quality of the applicant's academic record
  • Three letters of recommendation from former professors or supervisors
  • Commitment to Departmental and University values of service, inclusion, and diversity
  • GRE Policy for Fall 2022 Admissions:
    1. For applicants to the Biological Psychology, Clinical Science, & Developmental Science training programs, GRE scores will be neither required nor accepted.
    2. For applicants to the Industrial/Organizational Psychology training program, GRE scores will be required.  Report them directly to Virginia Tech; the ETS Institution Code is 5859.
  • All applicants, regardless of training area, are evaluated holistically.

There are no strict cutoffs for acceptable grade point averages (GPAs). Rather, we review the entire application to gain a holistic picture of applicants’ verbal and quantitative skills and research experience and interests. More competitive applicants typically have GPAs above 3.0. However, if verbal and quantitative skills are well-demonstrated through coursework, research experiences, recommendation letters, and the personal statement, then a GPA below this typical level would not stand in the way of the application.

By far the most important factor in the application is research experience and research interests described in the personal statement. We look for a tight and clearly articulated fit between applicants’ research experience and research interests and those of one or more faculty in our department. Our most competitive applicants typically have at least 1 to 3 years of prior research experience, including conference presentations reflecting their conceptual skills at crafting, testing, and interpreting hypotheses with regard to pertinent psychological literature.

All students in good standing are offered funding in the form of teaching or research assistantships or fellowships. Offers vary but typically carry a monthly stipend and a waiver of all or a portion of tuition. As such, most students do not pay tuition and are able to live comfortably in the university town; however, students are responsible for fees. More specific information is not available until offers of admission are made each Spring because new grants are always being received and financial conditions change.