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 or in post-baccalaureate settings. 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
Complete the online application
Application due November 30, 2022 - NOW CLOSED
Our 2023-24 Admissions application is now CLOSED. Please look at this page for next year's 2024-25 application dates and deadlines.
Get your letters of recommendation in
The deadline for letters of recommendation was November 30, 2022. Once an applicant submits the recommenders' information, the recommenders will receive an automated email with instructions for submitting the letter. Late letters should be sent directly to psych-admissions [at] stanford.edu. Staff will add them to the application file if the review process is still underway. Still, the faculty reviewers are under no obligation to re-review files for materials submitted after the deadline.
Next application cycle: Fall 2024
The deadline to apply for the Stanford Psychology Ph.D. program was November 30, 2022. Applicants who are admitted to the program will matriculate in autumn 2023.
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.
The fee to apply for graduate study at Stanford is $125. If this fee is prohibitively expensive, we encourage you to see if you qualify for a fee waiver. Please visit Stanford's graduate application fee waiver page to review eligibility requirements and to submit the application for the waiver if you are eligible.
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. Candidates who progress to the interview round will be informed in January. Interviews are generally conducted in February.
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.
- Diversity and Engagement in Psychology PhD Programs
- Vice Provost for Graduate Education
- Graduate Application Fee Waiver Information
For More Information
Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions and psych-admissions [at] stanford.edu (contact us) should you have additional questions.