Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Questions About the Program 

How many specialty areas do you offer and what are they?
Psychology Department is organized into five Ph.D. programs/Specialty Areas. Each program offers a range of subspecialities 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 the Graduate Studies Office.

To whom do I refer my questions regarding your program's accredited status?
Questions related to the program’s 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@apa.org
     Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

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

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

I want to go to graduate school in psychology, but I don’t know which area I would like to specialize in. Can I set up an appointment with an advisor?
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. 

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, 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.

Are your programs APA accredited?
Our Clinical and Counseling programs are APA 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 mailto:schlpsyc@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 also the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science Program  or the MPS in Industrial Organizational Science 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)
  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)

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Supplementary Application (Counseling Psychology only) (You may attach additional sheets.)
  • Supplementary Application (Social, Decision, and Organizational Sciences only) (You may attach additional sheets.)
  • Writing Sample (optional) (uploaded to the Upload Requirements section of the application)

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 tuition remission of up to 10 credits per semester.

When can I submit my application?
Our online admissions system (Hobsons/ApplyYourself) accepts applications from mid-August until December 1st. 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-August you can apply through the Graduate School at https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantConnectLogin.asp?id=umdgrad

What is the application deadline?
Our deadline is December 1st. We only admit students for the Fall Semester. All application materials must be submitted by the December 1st deadline in order to receive full consideration. 

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.

I have already earned my Master’s Degree at another institution. Can I be waived from taking the GRE?
No. All applicants to the Department of Psychology are required to take the GRE. GRE exams must have been taken within the past five years in order to be considered valid by the Graduate School. 

Is the GRE subject test in Psychology mandatory?
The subject test is recommended, but it is not required.

Can GRE scores be sent in after the application deadline?
No. The online application is due on December 1st, this includes GRE scores. When registering with ETS for the GREs (https://www.ets.org/) please make sure you take the test early enough so that your electronic scores reach us by December 1st. If you've taken the GRE and your scores do not appear on your online application, please follow up with ETS and/or the Graduate School to confirm that your scores have been received .

What are the minimum scores for being accepted into the program?
There are no specific cutoff points for GREs. The specific criteria for admission to the Department of Psychology vary across specialty area. The admissions committee reviews all applications and supporting materials, including your Letters of Recommendation and Statements of Goals & Research Experiences, as well as your GPA and GRE scores.

What is the minimum GPA?
The Graduate School requires as 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 on 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 a 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 (COUN) 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 (Hobsons ApplyYourself Graduate Admissions System) allows recommenders to easily upload Letters of Recommendation onto your online application. 

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.

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/admissions/admissions-requirements

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

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 on-line 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: https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/admissions-requirements

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 should go directly to www.international.umd.edu/ies/ 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: www.international.umd.edu/ies/