ls-psychology
Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

An applicant is admitted into the program by an individual faculty member or by an area group (i.e., a group of faculty members associated with a major area of concentration) and not by the department as a whole, nor by an admissions committee. Because these programs tend to be small, they may not admit students in a particular year. Applicants interested in a particular program or working with a particular faculty member should reference graduate program on the psychology website or contact individual faculty members to determine if admissions are likely for that year.

Each faculty member and area group give preference to applicants who have a high potential for success in graduate school and who also share research interests with the prospective faculty sponsor. Applicants should consider carefully the description of faculty research interests, read several of their publications, and consult with faculty and advisors at the undergraduate institution before applying to the program. Whereas most applicants have majored in psychology, the department gives full consideration to applicants with undergraduate majors in other relevant areas.

Given its commitment to students, the Department of Psychology takes seriously its responsibility when admitting an applicant. Every piece of information is considered carefully. Students are selected on the basis of record of academic achievement, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, references, evidence of motivation and ability to do research, and also the fit between faculty and student research interests.

Information regarding applications deadlines is on the program website.  Applicants should have a completed application in by the deadline to ensure full consideration. Most students admitted into the program are supported by either a research or project assistantship, teaching assistantship, or fellowship.

Admission Selection Criteria

Although individual faculty members and area groups decide who will be admitted, the psychology department sets certain minimum standards that must be met by those admitted to the graduate program. These are an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as well as verbal and quantitative scores on the GRE that sum to at least 310.

Consideration for admission is highly competitive. The department receives approximately 400 applications each year and less than 10 percent are admitted to the program. Applicants who fall below the minimum standards set by the department may still be admitted where there is clear justification (e.g., international students or minority group students whose GRE scores may not be an indicator of potential for graduate work, or students who are below the minimum requirement in one respect but well above it in other respects).

Undergraduate research experience is highly valued in applicants to the program and greatly enhances their chances of admission. Such research experience provides an opportunity to discover whether research is of interest and provides evidence of motivation and ability to do research.

Three references are required and are read very carefully. Good letters in favor of the applicant are essential and should be provided by faculty who know the applicant fairly well. The references should provide information that will evaluate potential for graduate work beyond that revealed by GPA and GRE scores. For example, a reference from a professor who writes about a student's unique skills, research abilities, and motivation is more influential than a reference that says the student received an "A" and was "very pleasant." Thus, references from faculty the applicant has worked with on a research project or senior thesis carry more weight in making a decision to admit.

In addition to references, grades, and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, the faculty also consider carefully the personal statement.  Applicants should describe in the personal statement any prior research experience and their role in that research.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Many students also receive NSF or NIH predoctoral fellowships and other awards during their course of study within the program. To support professional development, small grants fund student research and travel to present work at national conferences. The department hosts two training grants from NIH, one focused on Emotion and one focused on Language, that each support several predoctoral students.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 60 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 40 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (30 credits out of 60 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required COURSES

Students are required to take two semesters of statistics/methods (PSYCH 610 and PSYCH 710) and six additional courses. Two of the six additional courses should be outside the student’s area of research expertise. Students must also complete a required First-Year Project. Students must register for and attend a Proseminar meeting each academic year semester (fall/spring) during their first three years. Students are encouraged to continue to register for and attend a proseminar in later years while in residence.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy doctoral degree requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy doctoral degree requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

Applying prior coursework toward the graduate degree is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. In total, only 6 credits maximum may be applied from prior coursework, including any prior coursework from graduate work from other institutions, from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree or from the UW–Madison University Special career. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to the program may not be used to satisfy doctoral degree requirements.

ProbatioN

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies. An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor.

To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.

Other

n/a

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Develop a broad understanding of the field of Psychology.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of the theory and literature combined with critical thinking skills.
  3. Develop a proficiency in experimental design and statistical analyses relevant to psychological research.
  4. Acquire expertise in the oral and written communication of experimental findings.
  5. Clinical students will receive broad training in the theory and practice of clinical psychology.

Faculty: Professors Berridge (chair), Abramson, Alibali, Auger, Bennett, Brauer, Coe, Curtin, Davidson, Devine, Gernsbacher, Goldsmith, Gooding, Harackiewicz, Hyde, MacDonald, Marler, Niedenthal, Pollak, Postle, Rogers, Ryff, Saffran, Seidenberg, Shutts; Associate Professors Green, Lupyan, Saalmann, Walsh; Assistant Professors Austerweil, Li, Schloss. Affiliated Faculty: Bakshi, Bolt,  Dilworth-Bart, Edwards, Ellis-Weismer, Gammie, Hermann, Herringa, Johnson, Kalin, Koenigs, Litovsky, Lutfi, MacLean, Matthews, Nathan, Nitschke, Piper, Plante, Populin, Riters, Sanchez, Schneider

Accreditation for the Clinical Psychology Concentration

American Psychological Association

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2019.

Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2024.