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College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology


The experimental psychology training program typically admits six new graduate students every year, and has approximately 30 students in the doctoral program at any one time. Faculty review applications and make admissions recommendations to the experimental program director. The factors used to assess qualifications are:

  1. undergraduate GPA (average of admitted students > 3.55)
  2. graduate GPA, if any
  3. scores on the general GRE test. The psychology GRE is not required.
  4. letters of recommendation
  5. research experience
  6. background in statistics and experimental methods
  7. background in math, physical, biological, and computer sciences
  8. activities and jobs related to psychology
  9. teaching experience, if any
  10. goodness of fit in terms of research interests, with one or more WSU Psychology faculty

The extent to which the applicant’s interests match those of the faculty is very important; applicants are encouraged to discuss in their personal statements with whom they would like to study and why. Applicants should also contact prospective mentor(s) to discuss shared interests and determine whether the prospective mentor intends to recruit a new student in the following year. Every effort is made to evaluate each applicant individually; students who have special skills or qualifications that they feel strengthen their application are encouraged to state them. Interested students should apply online.

Faculty are selective in the admissions process because they expect that students admitted to the program will complete their Ph.D. degrees at Washington State University in a timely manner. The department does not admit a large entering class and then drastically reduce the class at the end of the first or second year. Rather, we attempt to provide the instruction and financial support needed for every student to become a skilled experimental psychologist and to earn the Ph.D. degree.

The graduate program in experimental psychology at Washington State University admits students based on a careful assessment of their potential as psychologists, without regard to race, sex, or creed. Nonetheless, admission from under-represented students is valued as an important goal and special efforts are made to facilitate admission of qualified racial/ethnic groups. The experimental psychology program welcomes applications from any student who feels she/he is qualified, and who has identified one or more faculty whose research interests closely match her/his own. In case of financial need, the Graduate School may waive the application fee.

Washington State University