The Department of Psychology offers several degree options for graduate students: Master's-level students may pursue an MA in General Psychology. Doctoral-level students may pursue a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology or Social-Personality Psychology.
The University at Buffalo requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. (The average undergraduate GPA for accepted applicants is 3.66.) Applicants need not hold an undergraduate degree or master's degree in psychology, and there are no specific undergraduate course requirements for admission to graduate study. However, courses such as introductory psychology, statistics and experimental psychology and/or research methods are preferred, as are applicants with previous research experience or clinically-related public service/employment.
As the MA and PhD programs are research-based, applicants with clear and focused research interests and goals, along with prior research experience, tend to have stronger applications. However, different program areas may be looking for different qualities in applicants. Applicants may contact the respective area head of the degree program of interest to discuss any additional specific criteria.
All applications are reviewed soon after the deadline. Most applicants will be notified via email of the final outcome of their application. PhD decisions are generally made by March 1 and MA decisions by May 1.
Applicants may apply to only one degree at a time within the same department. Applicants will not be able to apply for both the MA program and a PhD program, nor can they apply to two PhD programs, during the same admissions cycle.
Students who wish to pursue an MA or PhD degree in the Department of Psychology must create an account and submit an online application via our online application system:
All applicants are accepted based on the recommendation of individual faculty. In your application, please list faculty members whose research interests provide the best fit to your own interests.
The following supporting materials must be included as part of the online application. Hard copies of materials should not be sent to our office unless absolutely necessary. Please read the instructions on the online application for further details. Your application will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed until you have submitted:
COVID-19 and GRE Waivers. We are mindful that you are applying to our graduate program during an international crisis around COVID-19 and that circumstances of the pandemic may have prevented you from taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In this case, you may be eligible for a GRE waiver. Applicants who have valid GRE scores but were not able to retake the test to improve their scores are not eligible for a waiver.
Applicants who do not have prior valid GRE scores and who are unable to take the GRE General Test at Home and unable to take the GRE General Test in person at a testing center due to pandemic related issues can request a waiver for the GRE requirement. You must first complete an application and then email your request for a waiver to firstname.lastname@example.org. The request must attest to your not having prior valid GRE scores and provide sufficient evidence that you could not access the test. For example, you might live in an area where testing centers are unable to open and you are unable to take the test at home because of lack of access to internet services or technology that would enable taking the test. In this case, you might provide a URL link that shows testing centers were not open in your area and provide attestation of lack of access to the required technology. Depending on the reason, we may contact you for extra documentation. Waiver requests are forwarded to the Graduate School and we cannot guarantee approval. If the request is denied, we will be unable to refund your application fee. We will do our best to notify you of the decision in a timely manner. For those applying to one of our doctoral programs and requesting a GRE waiver, please submit both your application and waiver request by November 15th. For those applying to our MA program, please submit both your application and waiver request by February 15th. Waiver requests can only be considered after you have submitted your application.
The department will review applications missing certain application materials, such as one letter of recommendation. However, applications missing all letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts or GRE scores will not receive full consideration.
After an application has been submitted for formal review, applicants can view their application along with their supporting documents online by logging back into their application. For questions regarding how to access your online application, please visit the Graduate School.
UB requires international applicants to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. In addition to the above application materials, international applicants must also submit the following:
The TOEFL/IELTS are waived for students who are citizens of, and who claim to be, native speakers of English, and who were educated in the English medium. Citizens of Singapore who completed their education in an English medium environment and who obtained a grade of D or better on the Singapore O-level examination and can provide a copy of their scores can waive the TOEFL/IELTS. TOEFL/IELTS scores are waived for current UB students. Also, students currently attending another U.S. institution with less than a one-year break in study AND who can provide a photocopy of their expired score report may qualify if the original score meets UB’s minimum score requirement.
In order to be eligible for the Schomburg Fellowship, you need to be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above.
If you would like to be considered for a Schomburg Fellowship, please upload a written statement to your online application (maximum of 500 words) describing how you will contribute to the diversity of the student body in your graduate or professional degree program, including by having overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.
Please note that such categorical circumstances may include academic, vocational, social, physical or economic impediments or disadvantaged status that students, as evidenced by their performance as undergraduates, have been able to overcome, or other characteristics that constitute categorical underrepresentation in their particular graduate program such as gender or racial/ethnic status.
The graduate application fee is $75 U.S. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). After you formally submit your application, you will receive an email with additional instructions for submitting your payment. Currently, UB accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
Other fee waivers are only available to students in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program (anywhere in the United States), Educational Opportunity Program in New York State (EOP), Higher Education Opportunity Program in New York State (HEOP), Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program in New York State (SEEK), TRIO, Upward Bound, GRE Fee Waivers, AmeriCorps Program, certain categories of sponsored, university recognized and approved exchange programs applicants, or applicants with that have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on their Fee Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). If you fall into one of these categories, please contact us to request an application fee waiver to be submitted on your behalf. In all cases, you will need to provide official supporting documentation.
Applicants interested in taking graduate level courses without applying to one of our degree-granting programs should contact us directly at email@example.com for instructions on how to access the application. Non-matriculated applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores in the 50th percentile or higher, and written instructor permission to take at least one course on the upcoming course schedule to be eligible for consideration. Accepted non-matriculated students can earn no more than 12.0 credit hours total per University policy.
Please contact us with any questions about the application process.