PhD Program Application Requirements

Update for Fall 2021 Admissions - GRE Requirement

We know that some applicants are finding it difficult to arrange to take the GRE in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you have taken the GRE we will accept your unofficial scores and you should provide them as usual. However, if you have not yet taken the GRE, you can still apply. We will fully consider your application and you will not be penalized for not having the GRE as part of your application for the Fall 2021 application cycle.


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.  


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.  

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should address your research interests, identify faculty members with whom you'd like to work, and discuss your career goals or plans for the future.  Use this statement to tell the admission committee relevant details about yourself and your application.  It should not exceed 3 double-spaced pages in length.

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.  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 recommended, but not required.  We do not have a requirement for minimum scores.  Our Institution Code is 1836 (Department code is 2016, but is not necessary).

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:

Additional Degree Information

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

Evidence of English Proficiency

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 determine teaching eligibility.

Funding Documentation

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:

Fall 2021 Application Deadline: December 1, 2020

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

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

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