Graduate Program

Admissions policies + practices

All graduate applications are reviewed by at least one faculty member.
This initiative helps to reduce potential barriers in the graduate application review process.

Holistic admissions rubric is used for reviewing graduate applications.
Holistic reviews encourage faculty to consider multiple dimensions of an applicant including, leadership, life experiences, and challenges overcome.

The admissions rubric is made available to prospective applicants.
The dimensions that faculty are encouraged to consider when reviewing applications are posted on our graduate admissions webpage. This information is important for applicants preparing to submit an application; it increases transparency and decreases barriers for students from disadvantaged, underrepresented, or minoritized backgrounds.

GREs are not required to apply to our graduate program.
GREs and other standardized tests are well known to be biased towards favoring students from privileged backgrounds.

Departmental admissions fellowships.
We prioritize departmental fellowships for students that have demonstrated resiliency in the face of challenges and barriers in their life experiences. In 2020, we launched the graduate-student focused Sharon Stephens Brehm Fellowship program, providing three full year-long fellowships for meritorious graduate students from underrepresented and minoritized groups. Further, with the generous support of Professor Emeritus Kenneth Heller, we established an endowment to support students from underrepresented groups.

Our faculty are encouraged to state on their bio page whether they will be accepting students that upcoming year.
This reduces the chance of students applying to faculty who are not taking students, and therefore not having their applications reviewed.

We participate in recruitment conferences geared specifically at underrepresented minorities including ABRCMS and SACNAS.

Programs to support + advance diversity

College Bridge Fellowship Program
This college program allows individuals from URM backgrounds to participate in a ‘bridge year’ that allows them to acquire further training prior to the start of their graduate work.

Next-Gen Psychology Scholars Program (NPSP)
This program pairs graduate students with underrepresented undergraduates who are interested in applying to graduate school in psychology. In our first year participating, 13 of our graduate students served as graduate mentors in this program. Our department compensates them for this work. We are only one of three graduate programs in the U.S. that currently participate in this program.

Anonymous feedback

We provide an anonymous feedback form for graduate students that sends input to the Director of Graduate Studies. This caters to students who are less likely to speak up in group meetings and eliminates power differentials for students so they can ask questions about the graduate program and/or mentoring in an anonymous manner.  Students from URM backgrounds often are reticent about speaking candidly among a group in which they are a visible minority. Students that are first generation college feel ‘imposter syndrome’ more frequently and therefore are more sensitive to speaking with faculty in a candid manner.

We conduct surveys of graduate student satisfaction in anonymous manner to gauge satisfaction with our admission procedure as well as the graduate program in general. We will continue to administer the graduate anonymous feedback form twice a year.