Clinical Ph.D. Program: Admission Requirements

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Admission Requirements

Degrees are conferred through the Purdue University system, and entering students must meet the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School of Purdue University and departmental requirements.

We are particularly interested in receiving applications from persons with a strong commitment to research, scholarly work, and a scientific perspective. Previous research experience or the completion of an undergraduate research project is seen as particularly positive (but not required). We value a broad liberal arts or science-based undergraduate education as the foundation for graduate study. We take a balanced approach to admission, and relative weaknesses in one area may be balanced by strengths in others. The Clinical Psychology department is committed to creating a diverse learning environment for its students; persons with disabilities and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Click here to view data on past admissions as well as graduation rates and licensure information for our graduates.

Admission to the program is competitive and only under unusual circumstances will students be considered for admission who fail to meet these standards:

All applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (you do not need a Master's degree to apply).

GPA: An undergraduate and graduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale. The mean GPA of students admitted since 2007* is 3.72.

GRE: Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)Scores on the Quantitative and Verbal sections at or above the 50th percentile are recommended to be competitive for admission. The mean GRE scores for students admitted to the program since 2007* were 160 on the GRE Verbal (approximately 85th percentile) and 154 on the GRE Quantitative (approximately 63rd percentile). Only valid GRE scores are accepted; test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). 

Psychology GRE (NOTE: The Psychology GRE istrongly recommended, but not required): A score of 600 or above on the GRE Advanced subtest. The mean GRE score on the Advanced subtest in Psychology for students admitted to the program since 2007* is 704 (approximately 76th percentile).

*Per APA requirements, we provide information on the past 7 years.

Prerequisites: All applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. You do not need to major in Psychology to apply; however, except in unusual circumstances, students admitted to the program are expected to have completed at least 15 credit hours in psychology prior to admission. Graduate courses will assume basic understanding in key areas. Students without preparation in these areas may be asked by their instructors to complete remedial activity prior to enrolling in the graduate course (e.g., reading an undergraduate text or taking an undergraduate course):

  • tests and measurement
  • statistics
  • human physiology or physiological psychology
  • abnormal psychology

International Students English Proficiency RequirementsInternational applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless student has a Bachelor's degree from a predominantly English-speaking country (check here for the official list). International applicants must have a minimum total score of 86 on the internet-based test (subscore minimums must also be met: Writing-18, Listening-14, Speaking-18, Reading-19). Additionally, applicants must meet Purdue eligibility standards for admission detailed here. For more information, visit the International Admissions Website.

Application Deadline: December 1st (Students admitted for fall enrollment only)

To be considered for admissions, all application materials must be recieved by the deadline. Please see the Application Instructions.

Application Review & Selection Process

Completed applications received by the application deadline are reviewed in December or early January by the Admissions Committee, consisting of the core faculty. After the folders are reviewed individually by each faculty member, a meeting is scheduled in which an initial pool of 15 to 20 candidates is selected.  Candidate selections are made using the following criteria:  research experience, GPA, strength of undergraduate education, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.  The compatibility of student interests with those of the faculty and the program emphasis (i.e., severe mental illness and health psychology) is also considered.

Candidates are then interviewed by faculty and staff during a day‑long on­site visit to the campus, usually scheduled in early spring.  Candidates also meet individually and as a group with current graduate students.  Telephone interviews may be conducted if the applicant is unable to attend the interview or alternate day.  The Department Graduate Coordinator, Program Director, and a core group of student volunteers coordinate the Interview Day.

Following the interviews, the Committee meets again to make final selections.  The candidates are then rank‑ordered with primary selections and alternates.  Recommendations by the Admissions Committee are forwarded to the Director of Graduate Programs in the psychology department.  Those approved at this level are then contacted by telephone and/or email, with acceptance letters sent to the applicants.  Simultaneously, the paperwork is forwarded to the Purdue Graduate School at West Lafayette for final approval.  Throughout our history, the Graduate School has concurred with all recommendations made by the IUPUI Department of Psychology.

Each year approximately 5-7 applicants are recommended for admission by the Clinical Committee, with all the faculty committee members participating in the selection process.  The exact number of acceptances is determined by a consideration of (1) qualifications of applicants; (2) capacity to provide quality training to all students; (3) capacity to provide assistantships or other sources of support for all new and current students.  Because more qualified applicants apply to the program than can be admitted, the first criterion has not been the limiting factor. The second criterion assumes a ratio of no more than 6 students to each core faculty.  With 9 current core faculty who mentor research, the maximum capacity is approximately 54 students.  As a practical matter, the financial aid is currently the most salient limiting factor, taking into consideration fellowship, grant, and departmental support, we anticipate 5-7 students can be brought in annually.

The final selection of candidates is made shortly after the Interview Day from a list of rank-order applicants that would be admitted given available slots.  Following American Psychological Association Guidelines, applicants must communicate whether they accept the offer for admission by April 15.  The rank-order list of accepted applicants provides the next individual who will be offered acceptance into the program if an initial offer is rejected.  Finally, the selections are sent to the Graduate School at West Lafayette for final approval.

Offers & Acceptances Policy

The Clinical Psychology Program follows the policy of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP). A summary of the policy can be found here