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Frequently Asked Questions About our Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program

Below is a list of Faculty/Labs that hope to recruit for fall 2024:  

Jack Blanchard
Jude Cassidy
Caroline Charpentier
Andrea Chronis-Tuscano
Andres De Los Reyes
Lea Dougherty
Michael Dougherty
Paul Hanges
Jens Herberholz
Anna Li
Ethan Mereish
Luiz Pessoa
Tracy Riggins
Alexander Shackman
Terrill Taylor
Henry Willis
Weizhen “Zane” Xie
Linda Zou

How many specialty areas do you offer and what are they?
The Psychology Department is organized into five Ph.D. programs/Specialty Areas. Each program offers a range of subspecialties and each has its own degree requirements. For more detailed information about our five specialty areas, please click on the links below:

Would you send me information about the Ph.D. program in psychology?
You may view or download our printable brochure.  We no longer send them out as most of the information about our program is online. Please review the website thoroughly and if you still have some questions, feel free to contact our office regarding the Ph.D. program at PsycPhD [at] umd.edu

To whom do I refer my questions regarding your program's accredited status?
Questions related to the Clinical and Counseling Programs’ American Psychological Association (APA) accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

     Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
     American Psychological Association
     750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
     Phone: (202) 336-5979 / Email: apaaccred [at] apa.org
     Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Questions related to the Clinical Program's Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) status should be directed to:

     Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
     Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
     1800 Massachusetts Ave NW · Suite 402 ·
     Washington, DC 20036-1218 USA
     
https://www.pcsas.org/
     Email: AKraut [at] PCSAS.org
     Phone: (301) 455-8046

Does your program provide licensing in clinical and counseling psychology?
The UMD Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program is accredited by APA and PCSAS and meets licensing requirements in the state of Maryland. In compliance with Professional Licensure Disclosure (Information and Disclosures, Title 4, Department of Education, 34 CFR 668.43), see this Table for information about how UMD Clinical Psychology Doctoral program satisfies the educational requirements of each state.

The UMD Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program is accredited by APA and meets licensing requirements in the state of Maryland. In compliance with Professional Licensure Disclosure (Information and Disclosures, Title 4, Department of Education, 34 CFR 668.43), see this Table for information about how UMD Counseling Psychology Doctoral program satisfies the educational requirements of each state.

How many students do you accept each year?
The number of students we accept varies each year. Our average is 10-15 students.

Who amongst the faculty is recruiting this year?
The faculty who hope to recruit this year will be listed on this page by mid-October.  Please check for updates during that time.

Can I enter the program with a Bachelor’s degree?
Yes, we accept students with a Bachelor’s degree earned and noted on the official transcript before the start of the admit semester.

Is there any graduate advisor I can talk to regarding what specialty area I should specialize in?
You may view a listing of our faculty here: /facultystaff/Faculty.  If you find a faculty member with whom you share similar interests, feel free to contact them directly.  If you do not know what specialty area you should apply to, feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies.  If you want to know the admissions process and requirements, please contact the PSYC Graduate Office at PsycPhD [at] umd.edu.   

Are students assigned to a faculty advisor?
Upon admission into the doctoral program, students are assigned a faculty advisor within the specialty area they've applied in.

What is your admissions timeline?
Our doctoral program only accepts applicants for Fall enrollment.  International and domestic student application materials are due November 30th for enrollment in the upcoming Fall class.  From the initial applicant pool, selected applicants will be invited to continue on in the admissions process, which consists of an admissions interview.  Admissions interviews will be completed virtually, via Zoom. Invitations for admissions interviews are usually made from mid-January through early March.  Final notification of acceptances or any decisions will be sent in mid-April.

Do I have to choose my Area of Specialization before I apply? I would rather wait until I have been in the program for a year before I decide.
Yes. You must select an Area of Specialization when you apply so your application can be reviewed by the correct Admissions Committee.

Can I specialize in two areas?
No. At the time of application, you are only permitted to select one area of specialization. However, research collaborations across areas are common and we encourage students to consider training across areas as well once admitted.  Therefore, feel free to indicate up to 3 faculty advisors you would want to work with when applying,

Do you offer online courses?
No. All of our graduate courses meet face to face. 

Do you have classes at night or on weekends? Can I attend your program part-time?
Our program is full-time. Classes are held during the day Monday through Friday.

My undergraduate degree is not in psychology. Could I still be accepted into the program?
Yes, we accept students who did not major in Psychology, but in most specialty areas, students are expected to have a thorough background in psychology. Some specialty areas, however, prefer a thorough background in mathematics, biological and/or physical sciences, (see Specialty Areas for more information). Students are expected to have appropriate background experiences that prepare them to begin graduate work when they enter our graduate program.

Is GRE Subject Test required?
The GRE Psychology Subject Test is NOT required and will not be used to determine admissions.  It is, however, optional for Clinical applicants.  One benefit of the PSYC GRE or UG courses in social and/or cognitive psychology is that it can allow you to have more options for meeting APA breadth classes when admitted to the Clinical or Counseling program.  Our suggestion would be to not take it unless you were planning to take GRE Subject Test anyway.

Are your programs accredited?
Our Clinical and Counseling programs are APA accredited. Our Clinical Program is also PCSAS accredited.

Do you have a PsyD program?
No.

Do you have a program in school psychology?
The School Psychology program is housed in the College of Education. Questions about the School Psychology program can be addressed to schlpsyc [at] umd.edu.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Most students complete our program within five to six years.

Do you offer a Master’s degree in psychology?
No. We do not offer a terminal Master’s program.  Admitted students, however, have the option to earn a master’s degree on the way to their Ph.D. If you are interested in a master’s program, you can visit the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science Program and contact them at PSYCmasters [at] umd.edu or the MPS in Industrial Organizational Science  at iomps [at] umd.edu for more information.  

General Admissions and Application Questions
Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the Dean of the Graduate School. Academic department and program offices review admissions applications and credentials and make admissions recommendations to the Graduate Dean. In cases where credentials were earned abroad, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services must be consulted. 

What are your program requirements?

General Requirements:

  1. Statement of Purpose
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - for more information: http://www.ets.org/gre
    NOTE: For the Fall 2024 admission cycle, GRE is not accepted and scores will NOT be considered if submitted.  The GRE Psychology Subject Test is optional for Clinical applicants.  
  3. Transcript(s)
  4. Letters of Recommendation (3)
  5. Resume/CV (Please do not indicate GPA or GRE scores on your CV)
  6. TOEFL/IELTS/PTE (international graduate students or those with international academic credentials)

Program-Specific Requirements:

Of the students, you accept, how many get financial assistance?
Every student accepted into our program is given assistance in the form of a fellowship or graduate assistantship for the first five years. This includes a stipend, tuition remission of up to 10 credits per semester, and the option to purchase health insurance at a UMD employee rate.

When can I submit my application?
Our online admissions system accepts applications from mid-July until November 30th. If you are working on your application before the system opens, we suggest that you start gathering all required items listed: https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/admissions-requirements. After mid-July, you can apply through the Graduate School at gradapply.umd.edu.

What is the application deadline?
Our deadline is November 30th. We only admit students for the Fall Semester. All application materials must be submitted by the November 30th deadline in order to receive full consideration. 

How can I have my application fee waived?
The department does not waive application fees. However, the Graduate School waives the application fee for applicants who may have attended organizations and/or preparatory programs.  For more information and to view the listing of such preparatory programs, please visit this link: https://gradschool.umd.edu/feewaiverinformation.

What is the institution code for the University of Maryland?
The University of Maryland, College Park institution code is 5814.

What is the Program Code for Psychology?
The Program code is PSYC.

What is the CIP code?
Effective Fall 2023, the CIP Code for our M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology has changed from 42.0101 (Psychology, General) to 42.2799 (Research and Experimental Psychology, Other).

What is the minimum GPA?
The Graduate School requires a minimum standard an average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university. Adequate performance in prerequisite courses is required. Applicants with international credentials must submit in the original language those academic records that are not written in English. Such credentials must be accompanied by a literal English translation. Both must be submitted at least six months prior to the first day of classes of the semester for which the applicant seeks admission.

What is the word limit and what do I include in the personal statement?
The Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose (1,000-2,000 words) should address the following questions:

  1. What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject.
  2. What life experiences you have had that you feel have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large, diverse institution such as the University of Maryland? Among the items you might care to include would be your financial, community, and family background, whether you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education or any other factors that you feel would contribute to the diversity of our academic community. You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to pursue your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and /or your capacity for working through problems independently.

I am completing the Supplementary Application and there isn't enough room for all my coursework. Can I include more information on a separate sheet(s)?
Yes. Please upload your responses (coursework, experience, etc.) to the Uploads Requirement section on the online application. 

How do I apply for fellowships or graduate assistantships?
You do not have to apply separately for a fellowship or assistantship. If accepted into our program, your application will automatically be reviewed for funding.

Where should I have my letters of recommendation sent?
Please do not send Letters of Recommendation to the Department of Psychology. The online application allows recommenders to easily upload Letters of Recommendation onto your online application. 

When will interviews be extended?
Selected applicants will be contacted via email by the end of January through mid-March. 

When are acceptance letters mailed out?
All acceptance letters will be mailed out beginning in mid-February through March.

How can I check to see if my application is complete?
When you apply using the online application system, you will receive an e-mail confirming that your application has been received. The e-mail will also contain a password and directions on how to log back into the system to check and update your application status.

I applied to your program in the past.  Do you still have the information I sent in for that application?
Yes. However, in order to be considered for admission, you will need to complete a new application, pay the application fee, as well as submit all required materials to the Graduate School/Admissions with the following requirements listed here: https://gradschool.umd.edu/behavioralsocial-sciences/psyc

Do I have to send official transcripts and degree certificates for graduate admission?
Yes. The online application requires applicants to upload a scanned copy of their official transcripts/diplomas in English.

Applicants who do not have an official copy of their transcripts may have their official (paper) transcripts sent to the 

University of Maryland
Enrollment Service Operations
Application for Graduate Admission
Room 0130 Mitchell Building
College Park, Maryland 20742

For the expedited submission of official transcripts, students should bring official/sealed envelopes in person to the Graduate front desk which is located in:

University of Maryland
The Graduate School
2123 Lee Building
College Park, Maryland 20742

International Applicants

I am an international student. Do I have to take TOEFL?
Yes, unless you received your undergraduate degree in a country where English is the predominant language.  Per the International Office, students who will be awarded a degree from the U.S., United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean prior to enrolling in the University of Maryland are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS.

International applicants or those with international academic credentials should go directly to https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/international-admissions for more information regarding requirements on the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, visa, Certification of Finances, etc.

What requirements must be met in order for a foreign student to be a TA?
Students applying for TA positions need to be academically qualified to be admitted to the Graduate Program; enrolled as a full-time student; have taken the TOEFL exam and met the general Graduate School requirements; and taken and passed the TA Evaluation administered by Maryland English Institute. More information can be found on the International Office website: https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/international-admissions.

Aside from mandatory fees, what other fees am I responsible for?
Effective Fall 2017, the University of Maryland (UMD) will charge a fee of $125 per semester for all newly enrolled, full-time students who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents. (Part-time students will be assessed $62.50 per semester.)  UMD will use the revenue from this fee to enhance support for our international students to include improved academic support, expanded assistance for students transitioning to the U.S., and international student-focused cultural events to foster an engaged, supportive community.
 

Other classes taken outside of Psychology may have differential tuition rates that differ from the standard UMD tuition rates, which are not fully covered by the given assistantship's tuition remission.  It is therefore very important to look into this prior to registering for those courses so you're not stuck paying out-of-pocket.  Other departments have fee waivers.  If applicable, they usually require a letter of confirmation from the department, which you may request a letter from the PSYC Graduate Office.