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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology


The Experimental Psychology PhD program typically admits 6-8 new graduate students every year, and has approximately 30 students in the doctoral program at any one time. Students are typically fulltime, and matriculate at the WSU campus at which their primary research mentor is located (Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, or Spokane). Faculty review applications and recommend interview/admission to the program director. Factors used to assess applicant qualifications are:

Very Important:

  • Undergraduate GPA (average of admitted students is approximately 3.5)
  • Graduate GPA, if any
  • Research experience and productivity (e.g., co- or first author on campus and conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, grants, etc.)
  • Goodness of fit in terms of research interests, with one or more WSU Psychology faculty*


  • Background in statistics and experimental methods
  • Activities and jobs related to psychology
  • Letters of recommendation


  • Scores on the general GRE test. The psychology GRE is not required. GRE Scores are not required for Fall 2022 admission.
  • Background in math, biological, and computer sciences, or other areas of study related to psychology research interest area
  • Teaching experience, if any

* in their personal statements, applicants are encouraged to discuss with whom they would like to study and why.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact prospective mentor(s) to discuss shared interests and determine whether the prospective mentor intends to recruit a new student for the following year.  Note the location of potential mentors on the Psychology department webpage.  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 all students admitted to the program will complete the Ph.D., rather than admitting a large entering class with the intent to winnow the class at the end of the first or second year. Our goal is to provide the research mentorship, instruction, and financial support needed for every student to become a skilled experimental psychologist and to earn the Ph.D. in a timely manner.

The Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program at Washington State University admits students based on careful assessment of their potential as psychologists, without regard to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, or creed.  Nonetheless, admission of students from under-represented groups is an important goal and special efforts are made to facilitate admission of marginalized students. The program welcomes applications from any student who feels they are qualified, and who has identified one or more faculty whose research interests closely match their own.  In case of financial need, the Graduate School may waive the application fee; additionally, the Psychology department and the Graduate School offer travel support for qualified applicants to attend an in-person interview day, as well as Research Assistantships for Diverse Scholars.  Other local resources include: Women’s Center; GEISORC; assistance for undocumented students.