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PhD Admissions

The PhD program in Psychology trains students for careers in research and teaching. In addition to a wide range of courses, the PhD program is characterized by close collaboration between students and their faculty advisors. 

General Information

The Department of Psychology holistically reviews each candidate's complete application to assess the promise of a career in teaching and research. Consideration is based on various factors, including courses taken, grade point average, letters of recommendation, and the statement of purpose. Additionally, the Department of Psychology places considerable emphasis on research training, and admitted students have often been involved in independent research as undergraduate students or post-baccalaureate settings. Although there are no course requirements for admission, all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge and research experience to engage in graduate-level coursework and research.

We accept students with undergraduate degrees and those with both undergraduate and master's degrees. An undergraduate psychology major is not required; the Department welcomes applicants from other academic backgrounds.

Our application portal is now closed for the AY24-25 admissions cycle. Please consider applying during next year's AY25-26 admissions cycle, which opens on September 15, 2024.

How to Apply

Application and Deadline


Complete the online application
Applications due November 30, 2023 - NOW CLOSED

Our 2025-26 Admissions application will open on September 15, 2024.

Applications will be due on November 30, 2024

Get your letters of recommendation in

The deadline for letters of recommendation will be November 30, 2024

Once an applicant submits the recommenders' information, the recommenders will receive an automated email with instructions for submitting the letter. Late letters should be sent directly to psych-admissions [at] (psych-admissions[at]stanford[dot]edu). Staff will add them to the application file if the review process is still underway. Still, the faculty reviewers are not obligated to re-review files for materials submitted after the deadline.

Check status

The status of submitted applications can be viewed by logging in to the application portal

Next application cycle: Fall 2024

The deadline to apply for the Stanford Psychology Ph.D. program is November 30, 2024

Applicants who are admitted to the program will matriculate in autumn 2025. 

In addition to the information below, please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. The Department of Psychology does not have rolling admissions. We admit for the Autumn term only.


  • U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent
  • Statement of Purpose (submitted electronically as part of the graduate application). You will be able to specify three Psychology Department faculty members, in order of preference, with whom you would like to work. 
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted electronically). A maximum of six letters will be accepted.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended for at least one year must be uploaded to the graduate application. Applicants who reach the interview stage will be asked to provide official transcripts as well; Department staff will reach out to these applicants with instructions for submitting official transcripts. Please do not submit official transcripts with your initial application.
  • Required for non-native English speakers: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores, submitted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) electronically to Stanford. 

Application Fee

The fee to apply for graduate study at Stanford is $125. Fee waivers are available for some applicants. Please visit Graduate Admissions for information on applying for an Application Fee Waiver.

Application Review & Status Check

The Department of Psychology welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. The review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

To check the status or activity of your application, please log into your application account. You can also send reminders to recommenders who have not yet submitted their letter of recommendation.

Due to limited bandwidth, the Department of Psychology staff will not answer any phone or email queries about application status, including requests to confirm the receipt of official transcripts.


Our faculty will interview prospective students before making final admission decisions. Candidates who progress to the interview round will be informed in January. Interviews are generally conducted in February.


The Department of Psychology recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

For More Information

Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions and psych-admissions [at] (contact us) should you have additional questions.

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