Psychology PhD Application Information

We appreciate your interest in the Department of Psychology's doctoral (PhD) graduate training program and welcome your application for admission.

A candidate for admission to the PhD program should ordinarily have the following preparation: a minimum of 15 hours in psychology coursework, a laboratory course in experimental psychology, and a course in statistics. Students of high ability and students transferring to psychology from disciplines that are highly relevant to an expected area of specialization within psychology may be accepted even though they lack some of these courses.

One’s chance of admission is neither enhanced nor hindered by prior study beyond the undergraduate degree. Students with advanced study and Master’s degrees may be admitted, but many applicants do not have advanced work.  

NOTE:  Changes to the GRE requirement and application deadlines are described below. 

If you have questions, please contact us at or (217) 333-2169. 

Note: If your contact information changes after applying, please notify us immediately.


Fall 2024 Application Deadlines

  • Attention & Perception:  December 1, 2023
  • Behavioral Neuroscience:  December 1, 2023
  • Clinical-Community: November 15, 2023
  • Cognitive Neuroscience:  December 1, 2023
  • Cognitive:  December 1, 2023
  • Developmental:  December 1, 2023
  • Industrial-Organizational:  December 1, 2023
  • Quantitative:  December 1, 2023
  • Social-Personality:  December 1, 2023


Doctoral Application Requirements

University of Illinois Graduate College Application

Before completing the Graduate College Application, please verify that the minimum requirements are satisfied.  As part of the application, you will upload or input the components described below.  

Academic Statement of Purpose

Your academic statement should answer the following questions (1,000 words max):

  • How has your academic background, including any training, research, or other educational experiences, prepared you for graduate study?
  • What are your intellectual interests, and what scholarly questions are you interested in exploring in graduate study?
  • Are there any specific faculty members whose research interests align with your own with whom you would like to work?
  • How will our program help you achieve your academic and professional goals?

Personal Statements

You are asked to submit up to 4 personal statements in the form of short essay questions.  The instructions for statements are below.  (250 words max for each)

  1. Please describe any experiences and/or challenges that may have shaped your intellectual and personal development. (required)
  2. Provide insight into your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively. (required)
  3. Please address any concerns you may have in your application. If, for example, you do not believe that your academic credentials demonstrate your true capabilities, please explain why. Also, describe any gaps in your academic career and work experience or any extenuating circumstances in your profile of which the admissions committee should be made aware. (optional)
  4. If there is something that you would like to highlight that you have yet to discuss in other areas of the application, please do so here. (optional)
Academic History

Academic History from degree granting institutions are uploaded while completing the application form.  Official transcripts are not required at the time of application. 


The CV/Resume is your opportunity to highlight your accomplishments including relevant research experience, publications, awards, volunteer work, and skills. 

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters are required. In your online application, you will need to provide the following information about each recommender: name, address, title, organization, relationship to you (professor, employer, etc), and email address. You can submit additional references, but we ask that you do not exceed 5 letters. 

GRE Scores

The General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required by some program areas. To ease the financial burden of applying for graduate education, we will accept your unofficial GRE scores in your initial application. The Subject test is not required. We do not have a minimum score requirement. Our Institution Code is 1836 (Department code is 2016, but is not necessary).

  • Attention & Perception:  Optional. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores should provide information about their background in quantitative methods in their Academic Statement. Admission decisions are based on a holistic review, so high GRE scores could compensate for other deficits in an applicant's record, just as other accomplishments or experiences can offset lower scores.
  • Behavioral Neuroscience:  Optional
  • Clinical-Community: Optional - scores will be considered if submitted.
  • Cognitive Neuroscience:  Optional
  • Cognitive:  Optional. Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores should provide information about their background in quantitative methods in their Academic Statement.
  • Developmental:  Optional
  • Industrial-Organizational:  Required
  • Quantitative:  Required
  • Social-Personality:  Optional - scores will be considered if submitted.
Application Fee

Domestic applicants will be required to submit a $70 application fee. International applicants will be required to submit a $90 application fee. If you are a University of Illinois employee (Academic Professional, Civil Service, or Faculty), or a fee waiver recipient (I-Promise Scholar, McNair Scholar, Big Ten Academic Alliance Applicant, or SROP Participant), you may select your eligibility for an application fee waiver in the online application. For more information about fee waivers, see here (


Additional Requirements for International Applicants

International applicants must meet minimum requirements based on their country of origin.

English proficiency is typically demonstrated via the TOEFL exam or IELTS.  Please note the Psychology Department requests English proficiency exam scores even if the Graduate College exemption qualifications are met in order to establish teaching eligibility. Because student funding often relies on teaching assistantships, if you choose to submit an application without an English proficiency exam score, the department may request that you take the exam before an offer can be extended. 

International applicants who are requesting F-1 or J-1 visa eligibility documents are required to submit Proof of Funding Documentation. These documents are not required at the time of application, but will be requested later in the review process if needed. 


Application Resources
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