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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 promise for a career in teaching and research. Consideration is based on a variety of factors, including courses taken, grade point average, letters of recommendation,  and statement of purpose. Additionally, the Department of Psychology places considerable emphasis on research training, and students who are admitted have often been involved in independent research as undergraduate students. Although there are no course requirements for admission, all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge and research experience to engage in graduate-level course work and 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

Currently, the application portal for the 2018-2019 year is not open for submissions; the application opens in mid-September. The application deadline for the 2018-2019 academic year is 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Applications to the Stanford Psychology PhD Program must be submitted through the Graduate Admissions application portal.

All official transcripts must be received by December 1, 2017 (we recommend that mailed transcripts are postmarked by November 14th). Letters of recommendation must also be submitted to the online system by December 1, 2017. In addition to the information below, please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. The Department of Psychology admits for the Autumn term only; the department does not have rolling admissions.


  • 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.
  • Transcripts
    • Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended for at least one yearmust be uploaded to the graduate application
    • Official transcripts from each university or college must also be sent to the Psychology Department. Electronic transcripts are only accepted if sent via a secure portal. Applicants must submit a request to the institution's registrar to initiate the secure electronic transcript submission and to send to Alternatively, applicants may instruct the institution to send 2 hard copies to the following address. Note: Hard copy transcripts must be in envelopes sealed by the institution. Please submit hard copy transcripts to:

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

  • 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. 
  • Non-refundable application fee of $125. Fee waivers are available to eligible students. Please explore the fee waiver information.

Application Status

To check the status or activity of your application, please log into your application account. You will also be able to send reminders to 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 should you have additional questions.

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