Graduate Admissions

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

Application Deadlines

  • December 1: All PhD applications
  • March 1: All MA applications

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.

Admissions Requirements and Process

The Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo uses a holistic admissions process in our consideration of applications.  This means that we evaluate the entire application, rather than any single indicator or a few indicators. Thus, applicants are viewed as a whole person, the sum of their experiences, accomplishments, and aspirations. Consistent with this, we do not rely on or use “cut offs” for numerical indices of an academic record such as grade point average or Graduate Record Examination. A holistic approach also means that a candidate who may be less strong in some areas, can still have a highly competitive application by having greater strength in other areas. All elements of an application are taken into consideration, to maximize a good fit of the applicant with our training program and potential mentors, to reduce bias that can result from reliance on a limited number of components, and to reduce inequities in access to opportunities for graduate training.  

Over the years, we have learned that a holistic admissions process helps us identify applicants who are likely to succeed in our graduate programs, brings a diversity of experience and ideas into our academic community, and supports a fair review of all applicants.   Our goal is to recruit the next generation of academic psychologists who are passionate about making new discoveries and generating new knowledge in their chosen discipline.  We expect students to bring hard work, professional ambition, resilience, grit, intellectual acumen, and enthusiasm to our graduate programs.

Although we value quantitative criteria like GRE scores and GPA, we take a broad view of academic excellence and recognize that indices of success in our graduate programs and professional achievement cannot be reduced to numbers alone. In short, we endeavor to balance quantitative and qualitative indices of success. Because we want to give students the greatest opportunity to thrive in our program, we place a strong emphasis on fit with our programs and potential faculty mentors. A highly qualified applicant may not be strongly considered if their interests and goals do not provide a good fit with the orientation of our training program or with faculty research interests. Accordingly, we consider the following components in our admissions decisions: personal statement, undergraduate transcript and GPA (and prior graduate record if applicable), GRE verbal, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing subtest scores, letters of recommendation, and resume/research experience. These components are weighted equally. After initial review of applications, the Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, and Social-Personality programs invite a small pool of applicants for interviews. Interviews are not part of the admissions process for the Cognitive Psychology program. Schomburg statements are optional for students interested in being considered for a Schomburg Fellowship. These statements are not used for admissions decisions. 


Components of the application and how they are used in our admissions decisions

Personal Statement (required)

Transcript and GPA (required)

GRE (required):

Letters of recommendation (3 required):

Resume and research experience (required):

Interview (Required for selected applicants to the Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, and Social-Personality Programs)

Schomburg Statement (optional Applications to our doctoral program):

Application Instructions

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. 

Instructions for International Applicants

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: 

  • TOEFL Scores. Request an official copy from ETS and use Institution Code: 2925. Official electronic scores will be automatically linked to your online application. 
  • Passport Bio-Page.
  • International Applicant Financial Form (IAFF) 
  • Financial Documentation (Per the IAFF instructions). 

Application Fees

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.

Non- Matriculated Applications

Applicants interested in taking graduate level courses without applying to one of our degree-granting programs should contact us directly at 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.