Each year the Department is pleased to welcome a small, highly select group of outstanding students. We know that you are the next generation of psychological scientists and neuroscientists, and that we are privileged to have the opportunity to work with you. You begin as students, and we all remain students throughout our careers, but we look forward to your quickly becoming our collaborators and then our leaders as you become independent researchers. Our hope is that in fulfilling the formal rules to which we now introduce you, you will acquire the professional skills and knowledge needed to pursue your intellectual interests and make your contributions to psychology.
Welcome and Overview
Requirements and Timeline
Frequently Asked Questions
Applying to Our Program
For application materials or further information about admission into our program, please direct inquiries to the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.
- Regular Decision
- December 15
Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for review purposes during the application process. If you are accepted and decide to matriculate, official copies of all transcripts will then be required. Should you submit official transcripts during the application process, these will be added to your file and reviewed, and will fulfill the latter application requirement.
letters of recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required.
Applicants in the fall of 2020 are not required to take the GRE.
A personal statement is required. Indicate your motivation for pursuing graduate study in psychology. Describe your background, including any relevant research experience, and indicate the kinds of research topics you wish to explore in graduate school. We encourage students to visit our website, read about our faculty and their research areas, and indicate which faculty they would like to work with, if admitted to our program.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, our department does not offer a Master's Degree.
Our department does not offer programs in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. A graduate program in Counseling is offered by Boston College's Lynch School of Education. To find out more, visit the Lynch School's Website.
Any professor, associate professor, or assistant professor may recruit graduate students in a given year. Lecturers and part-time faculty do not have graduate students. Whether a faculty member is accepting new graduate students varies year to year. It is recommended that, prior to applying, you contact the faculty member or members with whom you are interested in working to ask whether they are looking for students.
We receive an average of 175 Ph.D. applications each year. In 2019, we accepted 12 Ph.D. applications, and five of those applicants matriculated. In 2020, we received 215 applications and accepted five. Three matriculated.
The Psychology department does not accept students for entry in the spring semester. Applications are due December 15 for the following fall semester. Students may, however, apply for non-degree seeking Special Student status any time.
Applicants in the fall of 2021 are not required to take the GRE.
There is no "required score" or "minimum score" on either GRE test for applicants to be eligible for admission. Simply do your best.
2016: Verbal 161, Quantitative 153, Writing 4.61
2017: Verbal 161, Quantitative 159, Writing 4.91
2018: Verbal 161, Quantitative 160, Writing 4.75
2019: Verbal 158, Quantitative 161, Writing 4.42
2020: Verbal 163, Quantitative 160, Writing 4.95
You may upload additional files even after you submit your application.
Once admission decisions have been made, you will receive notification via email.
Students who are not seeking a degree but who are interested in pursuing coursework at the graduate level may apply for admission as Special Students. Those admitted as a Special Student may take courses only in the department that has recommended their admission. Permission to continue to take courses as a Special Student beyond the semester for which admission was originally gained must be obtained from the admitting department's Graduate Program Director. Special Student applicants are not eligible for University sponsored sources of financial aid or any financial aid that requires matriculation in a degree program.
Admission as a Special Student does not guarantee subsequent admission for degree candidacy. Individuals admitted as Special Students who subsequently wish to apply for degree study must file additional application documents and be accepted for degree study. The number of credits one has earned as a Special Student that may be applied toward the requirements of a degree is determined by the department to which one applies, in concert with the Graduate School regulations.
Special Student applicants should submit the following:
- application form
- application fee
- statement of purpose
- official transcript(s)
For information about the application fee, please see the application information page of the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.
When students complete the Ph.D., they should be able to:
- Conduct original, publishable research
- Demonstrate a broad knowledge of theory and research in their area
- Understand statistical theory and application in their area
- Follow ethical guidelines for work in their area
- Provide effective undergraduate level instruction
- Write and speak effectively to professional and lay audiences
- Be proficient in the grant application process