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Admissions Information

Students are admitted only at the beginning of the fall semester. Applications must be completed by December 1.

Acceptance is based on the following:

  • Adequate academic aptitude at the graduate level as measured by the Graduate Record Examination
    • Students admitted into graduate study are expected to have scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning components of the Graduate Record Examination that minimally are at or above the 50th percentile. Across all students admitted recently, the median percentile score on the verbal reasoning component has been 78 and on the quantitative reasoning, 70.
  • Achievement in undergraduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0
    • The Department of Psychology requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Most students accepted in the program have cumulative GPAs of at least 3.5. Particular emphasis is placed on grades in psychology and performance in the last two undergraduate years. Thus, an upward trend in grades is considered favorably by the department. Students recently accepted have averaged about 3.7 in their psychology coursework. 
    • In evaluating the student’s general achievement, the selection committees consider the content and perceived difficulty levels of a student’s general undergraduate curriculum. Also, courses that reflect a breadth of experience in (e.g. courses in disciplines other than psychology, study abroad, special topics involving the student in laboratory or applied experiences in or outside psychology, or expertise in working with special populations or methods) receive consideration.
  • Personal qualities that predict success in graduate study and as a professional after graduation
    • Personal qualities predict success in graduate students and satisfactory professional placement after graduation. One means of evaluating applicants’ personal qualities are the three required letters of recommendation. These letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can address the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study. In addition, a personal interview, conducted either in person or via electronic media, is part of the evaluation process for students who pass an initial screening.
  • Adequate preparation in psychology and related fields
    • Students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than psychology are considered for admission. Such students must have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of undergraduate psychology courses. Recommended courses include introductory psychology, statistics, research methods and research-oriented courses. Individual graduate program areas within the Department of Psychology may have specific course requirements. 
  • Fit between the applicant’s interests and the offerings of a graduate program area of emphasis
    • Applicants communicate their interests in their personal statements. The Department of Psychology can provide the best training for students who share research and/or clinical interests with its faculty.

Background Checks

Graduate students in psychology are involved in research, teaching and/or practicum work that impacts other people and/or research animals. As a result, all offers of admission are conditional upon passing a background check. The background check screens for a history of conviction of any crimes that might adversely affect a student’s ability to engage in activities expected of graduate students. These background checks are only made with the permission of the applicant. Permission will be sought only for those applicants who are invited to complete a personal interview for admission.

Residential Status

The Department of Psychology considers both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals for admission. Students who are West Virginia natives or who have attended West Virginia colleges or universities are encouraged to apply.