banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of Psychology

Admissions Requirements

Our application Priority Deadline (for funding and consideration) is December 1 for the Fall 2019 application cycle for both domestic and international applicants to the Clinical (CL) concentration, the Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social (CNS) concentration, and the Industrial-Organizational (I-O) concentration. We only process applications for the fall term of entry beginning in August.

  • Applications received by the December 1 Priority Deadline will receive maximum consideration.
  • Applications received after the December 1 Priority Deadline, but by the February 15 Final University Deadline, are considered on a space-available basis.
  • Applications must be complete with all required information by the stated deadline. Any application materials received after the deadline may be reviewed on a space-available basis.

McKnight Fellowship applicants should abide by the deadlines set forth by the scholarship and are required to also apply directly to the department major and it is strongly suggested they abide by our major Priority Deadline.

You will receive via the email address listed on your application notification of receipt of your application packet, and will receive a decision by April 1. Due to the heavy volume of applications, please remain patient and DO NOT CALL THE DEPARTMENT.

Application Check List

All application documents must be uploaded directly to the online graduate application (upload instructions http://www.usf.edu/admissions/documents/how-to-upload-grad-adm-docs.pdf), preferably in Adobe PDF format. Please include your full name at the top of all documents. Do not mail documents to the Psychology Department.

  1. USF Graduate Admissions Application: Complete the online application at http://usfweb2.usf.edu/admissions/apply.html. You may apply to only one Psychology concentration: CL, CNS, or I-O. If you encounter any problems with the online submission, please contact Graduate Admissions by email grad-admissionsmail@usf.edu or call (813) 974-3350. International (Foreign) Applicants are also required to upload or submit to Graduate Admissions: the TOEFL scores, and later if admitted their Financial Statement form, Confirmation of Financial Support form, Visa Transfer form (if applicable), and a copy of your passport. International applicants should refer to the following Graduate Admissions International website for procedures and forms: http://www.usf.edu/admissions/international/index.aspx.

  2. Application Fee: The application fee is $30 for all applicants, and is good for the academic year towards multiple USF majors. However, you may apply to only one Psychology concentration: CL, CNS, or I-O. The fee is required with your online application, even if you previously attended USF. When you apply online you can either pay with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or by E-Check. If you encounter any problems with the online submission, please contact Graduate Admissions by email grad-admissionsmail@usf.edu or call (813) 974-3350. If you meet any of the eligibility criteria listed on the Application Fee Waiver form (available on the Graduate Admissions forms website http://www.usf.edu/admissions/contact-us/forms.aspx), you must complete the student information, then request the major director to fill out the bottom section and email it to grad-admissionsmail@usf.edu. Once the form is approved you may submit the online application.

  3. Residency Classification: All non-resident graduate students must have established residency in Florida for 12 consecutive months prior to initial enrollment in an institution of higher learning to be eligible for in-state tuition rates. Applicants desiring classification as a Florida resident for tuition paying purposes must complete the Florida Residency Classification page of the online Graduate Application. Applicants with incomplete residency sections will be classified as non-Florida residents. Please see the policies and procedures on the Graduate Admissions and Registrar websites at http://www.registrar.usf.edu/Residency/General_Procedures.php.

  4. GPA Worksheet: Please complete the GPA worksheet (http://www.grad.usf.edu/inc/linked-files/gpa.pdf) to calculate your upper-level undergraduate GPA, and upload the GPA worksheet in Adobe PDF format to your online application. International applicants are exempt from this if their institution uses an incalculable grading system. Upper division credits are traditionally taken the last two years of your Bachelor's coursework. Some universities distinguish upper division credits by using the larger numbers in a series. For example: 100-200 level courses may be lower division followed by 300-400 level for upper division. Be sure to check the course numbering system for your respective college or university when determining your upper division coursework.

    Although we have no formal cutoffs for GPA, we have a strong preference for an upper division undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or better. For the 2018 entering class, the average undergraduate GPA was 3.76 for the Department, 3.83 for Clinical, 3.65 for CNS, and 3.77 for I-O. These are not the sole criteria for admission.

  5. Transcripts: (a.) Unofficial transcripts are required to be uploaded to the online application in Adobe PDF format. They are sufficient for departmental application review purposes and expedite the review process.

    (b.) One (1) Official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended is required for Admission purposes. They must be mailed to the USF Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope from the institution's Office of the Registrar. The mailing address to the Office of Admissions is: University of South Florida, Office of Admissions, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036, Tampa, FL 33620. E-transcripts only from Florida state institutions will be accepted (not pdf but translated data).

    Certificates, diplomas and transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified, complete and literal English translation. You do not need to request an official transcript from USF if your bachelor degree was completed at USF (an uploaded unofficial transcript will suffice). If you have one or two semesters before you obtain your bachelor's degree, you may apply as long as your upper-level GPA remains at least 3.0. However, you will need to submit to Graduate Admissions an additional official transcript showing that your bachelor's degree was awarded before being officially accepted by the university.

    Bologna Process - Applications from the European Higher Education Area
    USF accepts applications from prospective graduate students with undergraduate degrees from countries that subscribe to the Bologna Process. Applicants with three-year degrees from universities in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may be considered for admission to graduate programs, at the discretion of the Department (or equivalent) and College that offer the Program and with the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies, under the following condition:

    Official documentation is presented to demonstrate that a three-year degree (at least 180 ECTS) has been awarded prior to USF matriculation by an institution within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), defined by the Bologna Declaration of 1999. Where applicable, diploma supplements should be included with transcripts and other documents required to demonstrate degree completion. An up-to-date, official listing of Bologna signatory countries may be found at www.ehea.info.

  6. GRE Scores: Only the General GRE test (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical writing) is required. The subject exam is optional. GRE test scores must be earned within five (5) years of the desired term of entry. Allow no less than 6 weeks before the program deadlines to complete the electronic exams. Allow 10-12 weeks before the program deadlines for the written exams. Enter your GRE scores on the online application. The Psychology Department does not waive the GRE for applicants.

    1. GRE Score Report: An unofficial Student GRE Score Report is required to be uploaded to the online application in Adobe PDF format. It is sufficient for departmental review purposes, and expedites the application review process. It is available on the ETS MyGRE website https://www.ets.org/mygre. This is needed in case of delay from ETS, and to know exams' percentiles and the optional subject scores, which are not downloaded into the USF system.

    2. Electronic ETS Scores: Request that Educational Testing Services http://www.ets.org/gre send your scores electronically to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828. Although we have no formal cutoffs for GRE scores, we have a strong preference for both GRE Verbal (V) and Quantitative (Q) scores to be above the respective 50th percentiles. For the 2018 entering class, the average GRE scores were: Department V=160 (83rd pctile) and Q=158 (67th pctile), Clinical V=162 (88th pctile) and Q=158 (65th pctile), CNS V=162 (87th pctile) and Q=157 (65th pctile), and I-O V=157 (75th pctile) and Q=160 (74th pctile). These are not the sole criteria for admission.

  7. (a.) English Proficiency for general Admission purposes: Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting acceptable scores on one of the English proficiency tests listed below. The scores must have been earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. Applications submitted with English proficiency scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied.

    • Has scored a 79 or higher on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 550 on the paper-based TOEFL
    • Has scored a 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) http://www.ielts.org/
      (Note: Although the IELTS score may be used to demonstrate English Proficiency for the purpose of admissions, the IELTS score is not acceptable to demonstrate English Proficiency for Teaching Assistant [TA] positions. See Policy on Spoken English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates/Graduate Instructional Assistants (http://www.grad.usf.edu/International_Teaching_Assistants_Handbook.php).
    • Has scored a 53 or higher on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A)

    The English proficiency requirement may be waived for admission if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:

    • The applicant's native language is English, or
    • has scored the equivalent of 153 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test, or
    • has earned a college bachelor's or graduate degree at a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning, or
    • has earned a college bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English (must be noted on the transcript or on an official certificate stating that English is the of Medium of Instruction for the institution). However, other related factors (including test scores) will also be considered; or

    (b.) English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistantship purposes (which is a separate condition than the above conditions for admission purposes), the Office of Graduate Studies requires all prospective TA's whose native language is not English to earn a minimum score of 26 on the speaking subsection of the TOEFL (iBT-S), or 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC test administered by ETS. Permanent Residents are not exempt. The IELTS score is not acceptable to demonstrate English Proficiency for Teaching Assistant [TA] positions. See Policy on Spoken English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates/Graduate Instructional Assistants (http://www.grad.usf.edu/International_Teaching_Assistants_Handbook.php).

  8. (a.) Research Interests and Faculty Matches Form: Please fill out and submit the Research Interests web form at this link http://psychology.usf.edu/forms/ResearchInterest.aspx. You may select only one of the three concentrations, and then the respective concentration faculty will populate in the Prospective Mentors drop down menu. In the Specific Research Interests text box, please insert a few brief phrases that list your specific research interests.

    (b.) Statement of Purpose: Please upload to the online application in Adobe PDF format, a brief statement (2-3 pages) indicating your past and current interests and activities relevant to a doctoral major in Psychology. List the faculty in our department whose research interests you believe match your own. Also, comment on your career goals. Remember to include your full name at the top of the document.
    (CNS applicants: Please describe your research experiences, explaining the purpose of the studies in which you were involved, your contributions to this research, and the skills you gained. Connect these and other experiences to your current research interests and to your future career goals. In your statement, explicitly state the concentration to which you are applying (Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Social Psychology, or Interdisciplinary Program in Speech/Language/Hearing) and the CNS faculty member(s) with whom you wish to work.)

  9. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: At least three (3) letters of recommendation are required with your online application (maximum of 5). After you submit and pay for the online application, then the system will automatically send an email to the recommenders. The email message provides a link through which the recommenders can upload electronic letters in Adobe PDF format to the online application. Therefore, we suggest that you pay and submit your application well before the December 1 deadline for receipt. On occasion, recommenders may have trouble receiving the initial email because of firewall restrictions or because the applicant typed the wrong email address. If you encounter any problems, please contact Graduate Admissions by email grad-admissionsmail@usf.edu or call (813) 974-3350.

  10. Other documents: You may also upload in Adobe PDF format an updated curriculum vita (upload in Resume) and writing samples. An Essay is not preferred.

    You will receive via the email address listed on your application notification of receipt of your application, and will receive a decision by April 1. Due to the heavy volume of applications, please remain patient and do not call the department.

Late Receipt: Applications submitted with fee that are received after the February 15 Final University Deadline will NOT be considered for the current year's term of entry. You may choose to notify the Graduate Admissions Office at grad-admissionsmail@usf.edu to request they change your application's term of entry to the following year.

Previous Applicants: If you applied but were not admitted into the major and want to be considered for the next year's admissions process, you must submit another online application and fee before the next year's application deadline. Note, however, that your GRE scores must be sufficiently recent.

On behalf of the University of South Florida and the Department of Psychology, we welcome you to apply to one of our doctoral majors, and encourage your endeavors in the pursuit of an excellent education and future career.