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.
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 the 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 coursework 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 online application for autumn 2021 is now closed. The application deadline was December 1, 2020. There will be no extensions or exceptions to this deadline. The status of submitted applications can be viewed by logging in to the application portal.
The deadline for letters of recommendation was also December 1, 2020. Once an applicant submits the recommenders' information, the recommenders will receive an automated email with instructions for submitting the letter. Late letters should be directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff will add them to the application file if the review process is still underway, but the faculty reviewers are under no obligation to re-review files tfor materials submitted after the deadline.
The next application cycle will open in fall 2021 with a deadline in early December 2021 for matriculation in autumn 2022. We will update this website with more details in or around Sept 2021 with more details.
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.
- Non-refundable application fee of $125. Fee waivers are available to eligible students. Please explore the fee waiver information.
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 requests to confirm the receipt of official transcripts.
Our faculty will interview prospective students before making final admission decisions. Some interviews may be conducted by Skype or phone; a small set of finalists will be invited to campus for in-person interviews. The interview weekend dates for the next application cycle are tentatively set for February 20 - 22, 2020.
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.
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