Applying for Admission

New graduate students are accepted for entrance in Fall semesters only. All of our graduate programs train students at the doctoral level. Students are selected in terms of their interest in pursuing the doctorate and the probability of their successful completion of that degree. We do not offer separate masters-level programs. Students admitted after 2015 will complete a structured second-year research project rather than a formal master’s degree, although the MS may be awarded in some special circumstances upon the advice of the student’s committee.  

The application deadline for entry in the Fall is December 1st for all programs in the Psychology Department.  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. Candidates for admission should apply to only one program within the Department (please note that the Industrial-Organizational Psychology concentration is TBD accepting new students for 2023).

Main Application

To apply to the University itself, you must complete the on-line application. Requests for financial aid can be made at the same time. NC State does not distribute or accept hard-copy applications.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters are customary and expected. In completing your on-line application, you will be asked for the names of three references. For each reference, you will be asked to indicate an email address. The Apply Yourself system will then generate messages to each reference, directing that person to a web site where he/she can complete a recommendation form and input a letter on your behalf. The message will include a sign-in code unique to your application. This is the preferred method for submitting recommendations.

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 test scores are not accepted for the following programs: Applied Social Psychology, Human Factors & Applied Cognition, and School Psychology, except as noted below:

  • Applicants to the Lifespan Developmental Psychology and Industrial-Organizational Psychology concentration areas may optionally submit scores if they wish and the scores will be reviewed, but scores are not required for the application to be considered complete. The presence or absence of Gre scores will not itself be considered in the evaluation of applications.
  • 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.


Applicants should upload scanned unofficial transcripts before submitting their applications. 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

For information about tuition and fees, see; for University financial aid, see 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...