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Admission Requirements


For official Departmental program requirements for the Ph.D., please visit the program requirements web page for the area to which you intend to apply:

Integrative Neuroscience | Clinical | Cognitive Science (Cognitive Psychology) | Social & Health Psychology

As an overview, to be awarded the Ph.D., students are required to complete relevant coursework, demonstrate competence in teaching, complete a second-year research project, complete a Specialties paper in the third year, and complete a dissertation. Clinical students also are required to complete clinical training in the Psychological Center and a clinical internship.

Please visit the web page for the program area in which you are interested (Integrative Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Social & Health) for information on each area's specific admission requirements. General admission requirements are described below.

Coursework Preparation:

Successful applicants typically have completed coursework consistent with an undergraduate major in psychology. Ideally, applicants will have also completed courses in mathematics and science (biological and physical). Applicants without an undergraduate background in psychology will be considered, provided that they have engaged in coursework that has prepared them for advanced study in their chosen program area.

International applicants: Please consult the Graduate Bulletin for information about coursework preparation ( https://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/graduatebulletin/current/admissions/requirements/requirements.php).

GPA and GRE Scores:

Although there is no department-wide cut-off for GPAs, successful applicants tend to have excelled in their earlier academic work.  Over the last three years, the average GPA was 3.72. However, many factors can influence one’s GPA, including competing commitments (e.g., working part-time while in school), family obligations, and health challenges. Academic achievement is very important, but context is, too. If you believe your GPA does not reflect your potential as a future scientist, please (1) ask one of your recommenders to share more about your circumstances to help me holistically assess your achievements, or (2) provide this information in your personal statement.

The Psychology Department does not require either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test or Psychology Subject Test for admissions to its programs. In fact, to ensure fairness in our application review process, we do not accept general or subject test GRE scores as part of your application. Even if you have taken these exams, please do not include your scores on your CV or supplementary materials. 

Research and Other Experience:

Successful applicants have typically acquired research experience in a field (or fields) related to their intended area of study. Evidence of independent research is not required but is encouraged. For applicants to the clinical area, please see the clinical program Admissions FAQs for details about relevant experience.

Letters of Recommendation:

Letters of recommendation are an important aspect of the application. Ideally, letters should come from individuals with whom you have worked closely and who know you well, such as research mentors, advisors, professors, and clinical supervisors (in the case of clinical applicants).The Graduate School requires three letters of recommendation.