Doctoral Program in Psychology (Ph.D.)

**Please address all general Graduate Application questions to Ash Mohan, Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, at (336) 334-5014.**

The Psychology Department offers a Ph.D. with a specialization in clinical, cognitive, developmental or social psychology. (We also offer a terminal M.A. in general experimental psychology; see the M.A. page for details on that program.)

Ph.D. Application Deadline:   December 1 

Please see here for information about our Next Generation Research Scholar Program (Next Gen), an award designed to recruit and retain talented students from underrepresented groups and to support the next generation of diverse scholars in research and academic pursuits. 

Areas of Specialization:

The Department has identified four main areas of graduate training to which it will commit the majority of its resources and recruitment efforts:  Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social. The clinical program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. Full approval is the highest level of accreditation possible and reflects: (a) that training in clinical psychology received at UNCG is compatible with other APA approved programs both in terms of training models and curriculum; and (b) that the institutional setting, faculty (both clinical and experimental), and facilities are adequate to meet and support the student’s academic needs. In terms of a student’s career development, graduation from an APA approved clinical program is often a prerequisite for certain block-time internship placements and/or job opportunities. This credential also eases the licensure process and entry into some professional organization.

Students admitted into the Ph.D. track are initially admitted into one of the four area of graduate specialization (clinical, cognitive, developmental and social) with a specific faculty advisor. All students are encouraged to become familiar with research being carried on throughout the Department by attending colloquia and lab meetings, and by participating in research opportunities in any lab in which facilities can be made available.

Students specializing in clinical psychology typically engage in applied research and learn how to effectively apply the methods and principles of psychology to the treatment of clients having psychological disorders. Students specializing in cognitive, developmental or social psychology engage in basic and/or applied research activities and acquire the specific tools, techniques, and content knowledge that foster the development of an independent program of research in their chosen domains.

How do I apply to a Psychology Ph.D. program?

To apply to the Ph.D. program, you must submit all your application materials by December 1:  Please go to the Applying page for details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I begin my training in the spring semester?

No. We only admit students once per year. Entering classes begin their studies in the fall semester.

Can I work part-time toward my PhD?

No. The Department considers graduate training to be a full-time commitment and only accepts students who are able to work full-time toward their degree.

What are the minimum requirements for admission?

There are no specific minimum requirements. Submission of GRE scores is not required/not accepted for the Clinical program; submission of GRE scores is required for the Cognitive, Developmental, and Social programs. Transcripts of all previous college and university work (graduate and undergraduate). We take a holistic approach to admissions, considering and weighing many factors, such as GRE scores (for the Cognitive, Developmental, and Social programs), undergraduate GPA (and graduate GPA, if applicable), rigor of coursework, research experience and accomplishments, recommendation letters, pre-clinical experience, professional and diversity statements, and fit with faculty research interests. For the clinical psychology program, additional statistics about the program can be found on the clinical area page.

Will prior research experience help my chances of admission?

Very much so. The faculty look for evidence that you have a serious commitment to a research career in psychology, and previous research experience both demonstrates that commitment and allows us to evaluate your capabilities in a research setting.

Will prior work experience (in a mental health center, day care, or other human services setting) help my chances of admission to a Ph.D. program?

No. The research focus of the PhD program means that the faculty are more interested in your research experience than in your work experience.

How long does it take to complete the PhD?

The nominal length of the program is five years in non-clinical areas and six years (including a required one-year internship) in the clinical area for students entering with a bachelor’s degree. A previous Master’s degree may reduce this by one to two years, depending on the relevance of prior course work and other experience. However, the actual time to complete a degree will depend on a number of factors.

Our Director of Graduate Studies is Dr. Ethan Zell.