The Psychology Graduate Program

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The Department of Psychology confers a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, along with a Masters of Science (M.S.) degree. Importantly, we do not offer a stand-alone Master degree. Most students enter the program with Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree.


All students participate in scientific research and the discovery process. Each graduate student works with a primary mentor in one of the four areas within the department, as listed below. Our faculty members have a strong and consistent record of producing original research and discovery along with federal and private grant support. Many faculty have established collaborations with other institutions and units within Rutgers University, including the Brain Health Institute, Center for Cognitive Science, Institute for Health, Center for Addiction and Alcohol Studies, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, among others.


Once admitted into our program, students conduct original research alongside the faculty while taking required and elective courses. Candidacy for the doctorate is granted following successful completion of course requirements, a master's thesis, and the qualifying examination. The graduate program is designed as a 5-year program. Only those individuals willing to work full-time toward the doctorate are encouraged to apply.

 

Areas of Study

Students enter the program by identifying one of four areas of specialty, as follows:

  • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
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  • Clinical Psychology
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  • Cognitive Psychology
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  • Social Psychology
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Even though students specialize in one of the four areas as listed above, they interact across areas. In addition to some coursework, interaction is facilitated through our biannual Data Blitz, the Annual RU Psych’d Symposium, and a department-side seminar series. For those interested in bridging areas, we offer a concentration in Intradisciplinary Health Psychology (Coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

How To Apply

Applications are submitted on-line to the School of Graduate Studies

Application Instructions

Required components of the applications include:

  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Graduate transcripts, for applicants with prior graduate work
  • GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing. The psychology subject test is not required.) (At this time, the Psychology program still requires GRE scores)
  • TOEFL scores for applicants with a native language other than English
  • Personal statement describing research interests. It is essential to include the names of faculty members with whom the applicant would like to work.
  • Three letters of recommendation

Contacting faculty you are interested in working with prior to submitting your application is highly encouraged.

Dates

  • Applications for admission in September are due December 15 of the previous year. In some cases, late applications can be considered.  Interviews are by invitation only
  • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Interview Day - TBD
  • Social Psychology Interview Day - TBD
  • Clinical Psychology Interview Day - TBD
  • Cognitive Psychology Open House - TBD

The Rutgers University PhD Psychology program seeks a diverse applicant pool. We welcome applications from under-represented ethnic minorities, women, applicants with disabilities, first-generation college graduates, and non-traditional students. We regularly admit students who were not psychology majors as undergraduates, who are not applying to graduate school straight out of college, and/or are pursuing psychology as a second career. Fellowships are available to under-represented minorities and students with economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Financial Aid

Once admitted, students in the doctoral program are guaranteed five years of funding, provided that they maintain good status in the program. Those entering with a Masters degree are guaranteed four years of funding. Financial aid includes tuition, a 10-month stipend or salary and health benefits. Additional summer funding is available through teaching or grant funding. Financial support can come from a variety of sources, including the following:

Internal graduate fellowship: Fellow has student status, is eligible for student health care, and is responsible for student fees.

Teaching assistantship: TA spends 15 hours/week assisting with courses (see teaching), has employee status and is eligible for employee health benefits.

Graduate assistantship: GA spends 15 hours/week assisting with faculty research, has employee status and is eligible for employee health benefits.

Students are encouraged to apply for external fellowships through the NSF and NIH.

Teaching Opportunities

Graduate students have the opportunity to teach and/or assist in undergraduate courses Our program provides teaching opportunities, either as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and as a lecturer. Students can also teach summer school classes for experience and supplemental income.