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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

The application deadline for matriculating in autumn 2019 is 11:59 PM on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. 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, 2018. If you are sending physical transcripts, we recommend that you put them in the mail by Nov 13 in order for them to arrive on time. Letters of recommendation must also be submitted to the online system by December 1, 2018. 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, due Nov 13
    • Official transcripts from each university or college must be submitted as well. You should submit a corresponding official transcript for each of the unofficial transcripts that you attached to the graduate application. Electronic transcripts must be via a secure portal. To submit via secure portal, applicants request that the institution's registrar to initiate the secure electronic transcript submission. Instruct your Registrar to send the transcripts to Electronic submission is preferred, if possible. 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.

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


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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