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Paths to PhD

Interested in pursuing a PhD in Psychology?

Join Stanford Psychology graduate students, research assistants, postdocs, and faculty for Paths to PhD: a FREE one-day information session and workshop for those considering applying to psychology research positions and PhD programs.

Paths to PhD is an annual event that typically takes place all day on a Saturday in October or November. 

Stanford's Department of Psychology is committed to improving diversity in the larger field of psychology. Paths to PhD is primarily intended for individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area from groups underrepresented in psychology, including but not limited to: women, people of color, first-generation college students, and those from low-income backgrounds. Individuals from such backgrounds who are interested in psychology research positions and PhD programs are invited to apply to attend Paths to PhD!

Paths to PhD sessions and panels include:

  • Why a PhD in psychology?
  • How to choose a program
  • Navigating the admissions process
  • Crafting a compelling application


Applications to attend Paths to PhD 2020 will open in early fall 2020. Please check back then for the application link. 


  • Applications due: TBD
  • The event will be held on: TBD
  • We will send Paths to PhD admissions decisoins on: TBD

Eligibility Requirements

  • At least 18 years old
  • Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Please note that this event is NOT associated with admissions to or employment at Stanford University.


All attendees will receive an equivalent travel reimbursemnt of $20.00. This amount will be disbursed at the event.

All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) will be provided on the day of the event.

This is a one-day event, participants are responsibile for their own transprotation and no overnight accommodations will be provided.


Please refer to the FAQ below. If you have further questions about the event or the application, please email


Why are only San Francisco Bay Area residents eligible?

We do not have the resources to determine or provide travel reimbursement on an individual basis. Instead, we are providing $20 of travel reimbursement to all attendees equally. Therefore, attendees must be able to travel to Stanford University at a low cost.

What do you mean by “Bay Area”?

 We are referring to the towns and cities surrounding the San Francisco Bay. If you can drive to Stanford University within 2 hours in normal traffic, consider yourself a Bay Area resident for this application.

Is this a recruitment event for the Stanford Psychology Department?

No. Although the organizers will draw on their personal experiences when providing information, this event will not provide any specific information about applying to the Stanford Psychology Department. Instead, you will learn about Psychology PhD programs in general. This event is NOT associated with Stanford admissions.

How many people are accepted?

30-40 people will be invited to attend the event. Given limited resources, only those officially accepted can attend the event. For those who apply and are not accepted, we will send electronic versions of the materials following the event.

Testimonials from Prior Participants

The panels were extremely well planned, informative, and thoughtful. I was amazed by how supportive and honest everyone was in sharing their personal experiences in applying to grad school, as well as sharing invaluable pieces of advice. It was so cool hearing about other people's research passions and inspiring to see the limitless potential in the field... I arrived feeling apprehensive about everything to do with grad school, but after a day of talking with/learning from other grad students, I left feeling excited and motivated about pursuing my passions. I only wish that everyone wanting to pursue aPhDbut deterred by the confusing process could attend this kind of an event."

My favorite part of the event was getting to hear everyone's perspectives on pursuing graduate school as well as the one-on-one time crafting our applications. The ability to ask questions and get feedback was really beneficial. Thank you to all of the kind and welcoming faces!

I honestly cannot say I can think of any way I would have done a better job running the event. The event exceeded all of my expectations, which were high to begin with. I found the event to be extremely helpful and informative and I feel that my understanding of the PhD application process has been enhanced tremendously.