Graduate Admissions

PhD Program Admissions

Application Submission Deadlines
Ph.D. Program Deadlines: Fall
Priority Deadline
(for full consideration for admission and funding)
December 1
Final University Domestic (US Citizen and Permanent Resident) Deadline February 15
Final University International Deadline February 15

For full consideration of your application for admission and for funding, applications must be completed and submitted with all materials by the department Priority Deadline of December 1. Applications received after December 1, but before the University Deadline, will be given consideration on a space available basis. Applications are processed only once each year for entry into the upcoming Fall term (which begins in August).

Applicants may apply to only one of the following program concentrations:

  • Clinical Psychology (CL), or
  • Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social (CNS) Psychology, or
  • Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology.

Students are eligible to apply directly to our Ph.D. program with either a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree. Those entering with a Bachelor's degree can earn a Master of Arts Along the Way as part of the Ph.D. program. Students entering with a Master’s degree in Psychology from a regionally-accredited institution will be given credit for 30 hours toward the Ph.D.

McKnight Fellowship applicants are required to also apply directly to the USF Doctoral Ph.D. Program in Psychology and abide by our Priority Deadline.



Please see the USF Graduate Catalog section for instructions regarding Admissions to find University application requirements.


In addition to the University application requirements, applicants must fill out and then upload the bulleted forms below which are required application materials for the Psychology Department. Please use PDF Adobe format within the USF online application; do not email or mail materials to the Psychology Department. Only complete applications, with all materials received prior to the Priority Deadline, will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. 

  • GPA Worksheet - Please complete the GPA worksheet to calculate your upper-level undergraduate GPA.
  • Unofficial Transcripts - Please upload your unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. They are sufficient for departmental application review purposes and expedite the review process.

  • Research Interests and Faculty Matches Form - Please fill out and submit the Research Interests Form. You may select only one of the three concentrations, and then the respective concentration faculty will populate in the Prospective Mentors drop down menu. In the Specific Research Interests text box, please insert a few brief phrases that list your specific research interests.
  • Statement of Purpose - Please upload a brief statement (2-3 pages) indicating your past and current interests and activities relevant to a doctoral major in Psychology. List the faculty in our department whose research interests you believe match your own. Also, comment on your career goals.
  • Unofficial Student GRE Score Report - The GRE is typically required (verbal, quantitative, and analytic sections), and continues to be preferred for 2021-2022 applications. However, we recognize that the pandemic may present unusual challenges for applicants. The Department is therefore waiving the GRE requirement for this admissions cycle, but applicants may choose to submit GRE scores to provide additional information concerning their potential for graduate study. If you are able to take the GRE, please upload your unofficial Student GRE Score Report that is available on the ETS MyGRE website. It is sufficient for departmental review purposes, and expedites the application review process. Regardless of whether GRE scores are submitted, all applications will receive full consideration (provided the application is complete in all other respects).

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation - At least three (3) letters of recommendation are required with your online application (maximum of 5).
  • Other documents - Applicants may also upload an updated curriculum vita (upload in ‘Resume’) and writing samples. Sample research papers are preferred.

Applicants will receive notification of receipt of application sent to the email address listed on their application. Applicants will receive a decision by April 1. If you have any questions about the Ph.D. application requirements, please contact  Laura Pierce.

On behalf of the University of South Florida and the Department of Psychology, we welcome you to apply to our doctoral Ph.D. program, and encourage your endeavors in the pursuit of an excellent education and future career.