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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 contact between students and their faculty advisors. 

General Information

The Department of Psychology reviews each candidate's complete application to assess promise for a career in teaching and research. Courses taken, grade point average, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and Graduate Record Exam scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) are all considered. The Department of Psychology places considerable emphasis on research training. Therefore, students who are admitted have often been involved in independent research as undergraduates. Although there are no course requirements for admission,  all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge and research experience to allow them to go straight into graduate level course work and to conduct research.

We accept students who hold undergraduate degrees as well as those who have both undergraduate and master's degrees. An undergraduate major in psychology is not required; the Department welcomes applicants from other academic backgrounds.

How to Apply

Application and Deadline

Applications to the Stanford Psychology PhD Program for entry in 2018 must be made through Graduate Admissions by approximately the third week of November, 2017 (exact date to be determined). All transcripts and supporting documents must be submitted to the address below by the deadline in order for your application to be considered in the review process. In addition to the information below, please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. Applications are considered for admission in Autumn Quarter only.


  • U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent
  • Graduate application
  • Statement of Purpose (submitted electronically as a part of the graduate application). Please include a list of three Psychology Department faculty members, in order of preference, with whom you would like to work. 
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from faculty at your undergraduate or graduate institution (submitted electronically as a part of the graduate application). A maximum of six letters will be accepted.
  • Transcripts
    • Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended for one year or more must be uploaded to the graduate application
    • Two official transcripts from each university or college must be mailed to the Psychology Department:

Admissions Committee
Department of Psychology
Stanford University
Jordan Hall, Building 420
450 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-2130

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, submitted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) electronically to Stanford. Our university code is 4704. It is not necessary to indicate a department code.
  • TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language scores (required for non-native English speakers), submitted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) electronically to Stanford 
  • Non-refundable application fee of $125

Application Status

To check the status/activity of your application materials, please log into your application account. There you will find the most current status of all your application materials. You will also be able to send reminders to those recommenders who have not yet submitted their letter of recommendation.


We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds to apply to our program. While race and ethnicity are commonly cited in relation to diversity, we recognize that there are many different aspects to identity, including culture, socioeconomic and educational background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, life experiences, hobbies, and interests. Providing this information in the application assists the admissions committee in its goal of creating a diverse class.  Please see the websites below for more information and resources.

For More Information

Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions and contact us with further questions.

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