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Graduate Students

Graduate Programs in Psychology

Thank you for your interest in graduate study in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University. On the web pages in this section of the Department of Psychology’s web site you will find materials describing our five doctoral areas of study (Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Clinical Child Psychology, and Life-Span Developmental Psychology) as well as information and links to the forms needed to complete your application.

Each year approximately 200 people apply to our graduate program, but only four or so are accepted into each of the areas of study noted above.  Area admissions committees thoroughly review each application to determine the best match between each applicant’s qualifications and interests and the training opportunities we offer. In line with our junior colleague training model, admissions decisions are made by faculty members and graduate students based on their review of application materials. 

We value diversity and do not discriminate based on age, color, disability, ethnic origin, marital status, pregnancy, race, religious beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. High-achieving African American, Hispanic, and Native American students from the immediate Appalachian region may wish to apply to the Colloquium for Aspiring Underrepresented Doctoral Candidate. See:

Students admitted into the graduate program in the Department of Psychology are generally expected to have scores on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning components of the Graduate Record Examination that are minimally 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. Admitted students generally have cumulative grade-point averages around 3.5 or higher (where 4.0 = A). They have also had relevant experiences and interests that are compatible with those of program area faculty.

Please carefully read the descriptions of our graduate areas of study. If our program interests you, go to West Virginia University’s Office of Graduate Education and Life at: There you will find the forms that you need to complete to apply for admission. For a checklist of the items needed to complete your application, click here.

Note that the deadline for completing the application, including the submission of GRE scores, is December 1st for all areas except the life-span developmental area which has a deadline of December 11th. Applications received after the respective deadline may be reviewed at the discretion of the admissions committee.

I suggest you begin the application process early. Your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee of the graduate area of study to which you are applying, composed of faculty and graduate student representatives. Applicants who pass an initial screening will be invited to attend the Department’s Interview Weekend. Applicants will be informed of acceptance or wait-listing no later than April 1, and of rejection somewhat later. All applicants to the graduate program are considered automatically for financial aid in the form of graduate assistantships. In the past, all of our doctoral students have received financial aid.

We are pleased that you are interested in our program. On behalf of the faculty and students of our Department, I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of a career in psychology.

JoNell Strough, Ph.D. 

Director of Graduate Training