How to Apply

Before completing your application, we ask that you first review information about each of our programs.


Application Requirements

The department uses a self-managed application procedure. Applications are submitted through the Liaison website. Official reports of GRE and TOEFL exams (when required), are sent to us electronically by the testing services. Your recommenders must also submit their letters of recommendation through Liaison. Copies of transcripts are accepted and will be uploaded through Liaison. Upon admission to the program you will be required to submit official transcripts from all prior institutions. Your application can be evaluated only when it is complete. Please use this Check List to be sure you have completed all requirements. All credentials must be received by December 1st.


We require the following application materials:


1. Application for Admission to Graduate Study

Applications must be submitted online through Liaison. The link will become available in October 2021. Note that the online application system is disabled after the December 1 deadline. The application form serves as an application for both admission and financial aid (fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships) in the Department of Psychology. You do not need to apply separately for financial aid.


You can apply to more than one program if you feel they meet your interests. Your chances of admission are not increased by applying to multiple programs. You should also indicate one or more faculty with whom you would most like to work. Faculty profiles provide details about individual faculty members' research (under People on this website). The Core Programs of Study link on the menu to your right provides additional information about research areas represented in the department.


2. Application Fee

An application fee of $75.00 may be paid online through the Liasion application. If the application fee represents a financial hardship for an applicant they may qualify for a fee waiver. Our admissions system provides further guidance.


We are pleased to offer application fee waivers on the basis of participation in the following programs, fellowships, and events:

  • American Geophysical Union Bridge Program (AGU Bridge)
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) 
  • AmeriCorps (current participant or recent alum, within the last two years)
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) 
  • BTAA 
  • Cientifico Latino Graduate School Mentorship Program (GSMI)
  • Ecological Society of America Diversity Forum
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • HIS Pathways to the Professoriate
  • Hot Metal Bridge Program, University of Pittsburgh (HMB)
  • Institute of for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Laureates & Leaders Program
  • Leadership Alliance
  • Lewis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-AMP) 
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) 
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) 
  • Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP)
  • National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM) 
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)
  • National Science Foundation - Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) 
  • National Society for Hispanic Physicists (NSHP)
  • National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) 
  • Peace Corps (current participant or recent alum, within the last two years)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP/NIH) 
  • Project 1000 
  • Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) 
  • Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE/NIH) 
  • Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • Teach for America (current participant or recent alum, within the last two years)

Also, we are pleased to offer application fee waivers to the following applicants: 

  • Applicants who have earned or are in the process of earning an undergraduate or graduate degree from a Minority Serving Institution (MSI)
  • Honorably Discharged Veterans and Active Duty members of the U.S. Armed Services
  • Applicants who currently have DACA status
  • Current University of Pittsburgh staff

For International applicants: students applying through certain outside fellowship organizations may be eligible for a fee waiver.


Applicants who do not meet the criteria for one of the types of waiver outlined above but who feel that their current circumstances warrant a fee waiver can request a waiver via the fee waiver application. 


The Department of Psychology and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences might reach out to applicants for further information.


Please use this link to apply:


3. Statement of Goals

All of our programs use a holistic review procedure that looks for a good fit of interest with the research conducted in our department and considers a wide range of factors associated with success in graduate school. A required Statement of Goals is an essential component of this holistic review as it provides a personal perspective on each applicant. This statement should be approximately 1,000 - 1,500 words and explain your plans and preparation for graduate study and a professional career. Please be as specific as possible about (a) the development of your academic interest in psychology and reasons for pursuing the PhD, (b) past research experience and mentorship, and its relationship to your current research interests, (c) clinical experience (if applicable), (d) other skills, abilities, and experiences that have helped to prepare you for graduate study (e.g., data management and analysis skills; experience with advanced methods such as neuroimaging or psychological assessment; leadership or outreach efforts in your school or community; employment that you have balanced with academic demands; learning that you have undertaken outside of the classroom; challenges that you have overcome in persevering towards your goals; and if you wish, any issues relevant to diversity, broadly considered), and (e) why you have chosen to apply to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology and how your interests fit with the research program of the faculty member(s) whom you indicated on the application form.


4. Transcripts of All Credits

Transcripts are required from each undergraduate (and graduate) school attended. A notarized English translation is required if transcripts are in a language other than English. Please submit your transcripts through the Apply Yourself website by uploading copies of all transcripts. Please only upload UNOFFICIAL COPIES for the application. Official transcripts will be required upon matriculation into the graduate studies program.


5. Three Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be written by professors with whom you have studied or worked. The method of receipt is through the online system.


6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores

*Please see below for GRE score requirement for your program of interest for the 2022 applications*

  • Clinical: GRE optional
  • Developmental:GRE optional
  • Biological and Health: GRE optional
  • Joint Clinical-Developmental: GRE optional
  • Joint Clinical-Health: GRE optional
  • Cognitive: GRE not considered/accepted
  • Social: GRE not considered/accepted

If you choose to submit a score please have scores sent to the University of Pittsburgh using code 2927. Do NOT enter a department or program code. You may send a copy with your materials for informational purposes, but only official score reports submitted by ETS will be accepted for admission consideration.

The Psychology Subject Test - For the clinical program and joint clinical programs, this exam is not required, but recommended, especially for non-psychology majors. Please note: the GRE psychology subject test is usually given only once in the fall, and again in the late spring. You may still apply even if you missed the fall test. In this case your psychology GPA will be more heavily weighted in the application review process. It is optional for other psychology programs.

For information concerning the GRE, contact the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, or the testing center of the school you are attending.


7. Additional Materials

You may submit additional materials online (e.g., papers, reprints) that you think might assist the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application. If you are not able to upload your additional materials please send them to the psychology graduate studies office at the address below.


8. English Language Testing Scores (TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo)

These scores are required for all applicants whose native language is not English. Exceptions are made for students who have received a degree from an English-speaking university. The minimum requirements for each exam are listed below: 


TOEFL: score of 90, with a score of at least 22 in each of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing

IELTS: score of 7.0, with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections

Duolingo English Test: score of 110

If you are completing the Duolingo English Test: The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken on demand in one hour (requires computer with camera, microphone, speakers, internet connection). It involves an adaptive test via a graded section that evaluates applicants’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills (45 mins) and a video interview recording answers to open-ended questions (10 mins). Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session. For more information, please visit Duolingo’s website. Applicants must share their Duolingo test results either by uploading them as a PDF under ‘Additional Information’ in their online application (preferable) or by sending the test results in PDF format to the Graduate Administrator for the admitting program.

If there is a need to mail any materials please use the contact information below:


Psychology Graduate Office

University of Pittsburgh

3129 Sennott Square

210 South Bouquet Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Please note: All materials must be submitted by December 1st. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.