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Graduate Program Admission Information

New graduate students are accepted for entrance in fall semesters only. All of our concentration areas train students at the doctoral (PhD) level (our School Psychology concentration additionally offers a terminal Master of Science degree).


Students are selected in terms of their interest in pursuing the doctorate and the probability of their successful completion of that degree. Depending on concentration area, doctoral students will complete either a structured second-year research project or an en route master’s degree as part of their training.  

The application deadline for entry in the fall is Dec. 1 for all concentration areas. All supporting materials, including unofficial transcripts, and letters of recommendation, along with the completed application, should be uploaded by this date. Note that this deadline is earlier than the University deadline. Please do not submit your application before mid-October, to ensure you are viewing the most up to date application information. Candidates for admission should apply to only one concentration area within the department.

Main Application

To apply to the university itself, you must complete the online application. Requests for financial aid can be made at the same time (application fees cannot be waived). NC State does not distribute or accept hard-copy or e-mail applications; all application materials should be submitted via the online platform linked above.

Letters of Recommendation

Three recommendations are required for your application to be considered complete. In completing your online application, you will be asked for the names of three references, and their e-mail addresses. The Apply Yourself system will then generate messages to your references, directing them to a website where they can complete a recommendation form and optionally upload a letter on your behalf.

Selection Process

Criteria for admission include the match between the applicant’s goals and the program training objectives, the quality of the student’s academic background, as indicated by the undergraduate record and letters of recommendation and research experience.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores

  • GRE scores are not required for applications to be considered complete. Applicants to the Industrial-Organizational and Lifespan Developmental Psychology concentration areas may optionally submit scores and they will be considered. No specific minimum scores are required for admission.
  • Applicants to the Industrial-Organizations Psychology concentration who do not have a previous psychology degree are encouraged (but not required) to submit scores from the GRE Psychology Subject Test, to document basic proficiency in general psychology. No specific minimum scores are required for admission.

GRE test scores are not accepted and will not be considered for the following concentration areas: Applied Social Psychology, Human Factors & Applied Cognition, and School Psychology.


Applicants should upload scanned unofficial transcripts as part of their application materials. Official transcripts are needed only when students are recommended for admission. For further information about submission of transcripts, click here.

Additional Information for International Students

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) — most international students will also have to provide evidence of proficiency in the use of the English language. Information on the use of the TOEFL is available through this link.  Applications from international students will be flagged and not considered complete until a score on the TOEFL (or an approved alternative test) is submitted or one of the alternative requirements has been met.

See the Office of International Services’ webpage for information for international applicants. The site includes material on financial aid, visa and immigration, and resources within the NC State community.

Support for Graduate Education

Information about tuition and fees and financial aid is available on the university’s Student Services Center site.

Departmental assistantships, in the form of teaching assistantships (TAs) and research assistantships (RAs) are available on a competitive basis. All applicants are considered for TA and RA positions, and only the application for admission is necessary for consideration for these departmental awards.

Additional Information

The Graduate School’s admissions webpage is a helpful resource. For specific questions about the: