and Brain Sciences
Thank you for your interest in our department. We strive to promote interdisciplinary learning through the application of cutting-edge discoveries and train the next generation of scientists. We offer admission to a research-oriented Ph.D. program in Psychology. (We do not offer a degree in counseling, nor do we admit students to a master's degree program. If you are interested in counseling or educational psychology, please contact the School of Education.)
December 1 for both domestic and international students
Application Review and Notification
Faculty review the applications and make decisions January through March. The department may invite competitive applicants to visit the campus to meet with the faculty (the department-wide visit is scheduled for February 9-11, 2017; these dates are preferred, but other dates can be arranged if necessary). Decision letters are mailed February through March. If you are offered admission, you will have until April 15 to notify us of your decision.
All admitted Ph.D. students are guaranteed support for five contiguous years. Support may be in the form of a teaching assistantship, fellowship or grant. Students receive a stipend (a minimum of $23,000), fee remission (tuition waiver) and health insurance. In 2014 the value of the fee remission was $28,784 for non-residents.
Test Scores GRE (Graduate Record Examination): We recommend that applicants have scores on the Quantitative and Verbal sections at or above the 50th percentile. We do not require the subject test. The Institution Code is 1324 and the Department Code is 2016.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Our minimum score requirements are 550 for the paper-based test; 213 for the computer-based test; and 80 for the Internet-based test.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): The minimum score is 6.5.
Recommended Undergraduate Coursework
General psychology, laboratory work, and one course in statistics. In exceptional cases, these requirements may be reduced by the Graduate Admissions Committee, particularly if the student has a good background in biological science, physics or mathematics.
Application to Graduate School
You will complete the University Graduate School Application online. Within that system will be a supplemental Departmental Application, referred to as "Departmental Questions." Both applications are required.
Application Requirements and Instructions
- Visit the list of faculty who are eligible to advise incoming graduate students, and review faculty research descriptions to determine with which faculty you have an interest in working. Next, contact those faculty members and inquire if they will be accepting students for your application year. In the "Department Questions" section of the online application, you will be required to list, in order of preference, three faculty members with whom you'd like to work. Importantly, only the faculty members listed here may be marked as potential advisors for graduate applicants. Please do not select non-tenure-track faculty (lecturers, research staff, etc.) and/or visiting and emeriti faculty.
- A completed application with paid application fee ($55 Domestic; $65 International)
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Even if you attended only one semester, a transcript is required.
- Three letters of recommendation from former instructors or supervisors. The online system will send your recommenders an e-mail request so that they may submit their recommendations electronically.
- Official test scores on the Graduate Record Examination. (The general test is required. The subject test is not required, but strongly recommended.) Be sure to take the exam early so that your scores arrive on time.
- Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This is required for international students whose native language is not English. For the TOEFL, a minimum of 550 is required on the paper test, 213 on the computer-based test, 80 on the Internet test. A minimum score of 6.5 is required on the IELTS.
- Personal Statement. This should be approximately 500 words and should address your rationale for attempting advanced study. You will upload your statement as part of the "Department Information" section of the electronic IU application (not to be confused with the "Department Questions" page). Be sure to include previous research experience and how you became interested in pursuing advanced training and how you feel the program at IU will guide you in that pursuit.
All completed application materials, except the online application, electronic letters of recommendation, and, if applicable, the official electronic transcripts should be mailed to one of the following addresses, allowing plenty of time to arrive by the deadline.
Incomplete applications and/or items received after the deadline will not be reviewed.
US Citizens and Permanent Residents:Indiana University
Psychological and Brain Sciences
1101 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405-7007
International Students:Indiana University
400 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
Applying to more than one department?
If you are applying to the Cognitive Science Program or the Program in Neuroscience in addition to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, these programs are within the College of Arts and Sciences, therefore you only need to pay the application fee once. You must complete a separate application to each program.
- When you complete your online application, you will be asked if you are applying to more than one department.
- The system will only charge you for 1 application (if you have indicated your intent to apply to more than one program).
- The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the Cognitive Science Program and the Program in Neuroscience will share your supporting materials when necessary. International students must submit two original sets of supporting documentation to the Office of International Admissions.
Note: If you are applying to the Program in Neuroscience and plan to work with a faculty member affiliated with the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, you MUST also apply for the Ph.D. program in Psychology. Continued support is contingent on making satisfactory progress towards the degree in Psychology.
Requirements for Completing the PhD in Psychology
The PhD requires a minimum of 90 graduate-level credit hours. In addition to the requirements listed below, Students must pass an oral and written qualifying examination, write a dissertation, defend the dissertation, and submit a copy of their dissertation to the University. Typically, students complete the program in five to seven years.
An average of at least a B+ (3.3) must be maintained in all course work. No grades below B- (2.7) may be counted toward degree requirements. Students receiving more than one grade below B- (2.7) are not in good standing and are subject to dismissal.
To remain in good standing, students must be involved in productive research. Evaluation of students is based on two research projects and on research potential, as well as on course work. All students are expected to develop research skills appropriate to their programs through a combination of course work, individual study and experience.
Students are required to complete a course, "The Teaching of Psychology," and to teach one section of the undergraduate methods course.
Complete information regarding the degree requirements is listed in the University Graduate School Bulletin available at the University Graduate School website
If you have additional specific questions not answered within these pages, please contact the Graduate Admissions Assistant by the following methods:
1101 E 10th St., Psychological and Brain Sciences
Bloomington, IN 47405-7007
Phone: (812) 856-2409
E-mail: psychgrd (at) indiana (dot) edu
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens after I submit my application?
Once you submit the electronic IU application you will receive an email confirmation. Within the IU application you will complete a Department Questions section. You will receive a separate email confirming the receipt of that section. Complete applications that arrive by the December 1 deadline will be reviewed by the appropriate faculty as well as the department's Graduate Admissions Committee.
How can I check the status of my application and/or recommendation letters?
You may log back into the IU application system. The system will indicate "submitted" as your status if the application has been received successfully. The status of electronic recommendation letters will also be reflected. The status does not indicate the admission decision.
When will I learn the outcome of my application?
Admission decisions are typically sent mid-February through March. The department staff cannot release admission decisions over the phone. They will not release admission decisions via email until after the official notifications are sent.
Do you accept the IELTS in place of the TOEFL?
Yes. If you take the IELTS you need to receive a minimum score of 6.5.
English is not my native language but I completed my undergraduate degree in the U.S. Do I still have to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
No. Our admissions committee will automatically note the undergraduate degree during the review process.
I want to apply to Psychology and Neuroscience or Psychology and Cognitive Science. What do I have to do?
Review the information under "Applying to More Than One Department" on this graduate admissions site. Once you complete and submit an application to the first department, you can copy that application and change the department to reflect the department chosen for the second application. When you are completing the second application, be certain to check YES to the question "Have you previously paid a GRADUATE application fee to IU Bloomington?" Because Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Psychology are all in the College of Arts and Sciences, you will only be charged one application fee. You do not need to send additional transcripts, test scores, and/or letters of recommendation. Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Neuroscience will share these materials.