Requirements for Admission

The Department of Psychology has several Ph.D. programs (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Clinical, Developmental, and Social). A student is ultimately accepted into a specific program. However, all Ph.D. applicants must meet the requirements for admission listed below.

  1. Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants to the doctoral program must hold a B.A. or B.S. degree and must have completed at least four 3-credit courses in Psychology, including one laboratory course in Psychology or a research methods course in Psychology. In addition, a Natural Sciences laboratory course is recommended and a Statistics course is required.
  2. The GRE: We require verbal and quantitative GRE scores. On the new GRE, the minimum scores are 153 verbal, 151 quantitative, and 305 total.  On the old GRE, the minimum scores are 500 verbal, 650 quantitative, and 1150 total GRE.  The GRE Subject Exam in Psychology is optional. Please have your GRE scores sent to Temple University electronically by ETS; our code is 2906. Applicants with GRE scores below these minima, but who can provide other evidence of strong academic credentials, will be seriously considered. We accept GRE scores up to five years after the test was taken. Applicants with GRE scores older than 5 years should re-take the test.
  3. Undergraduate GPA: A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25; or a minimum undergraduate GPA during the last two years of undergraduate education of 3.5; or a minimum graduate GPA of 3.25 with at least 9 credits of graduate coursework. In extenuating circumstances, we may consider applicants with slightly lower GPAs.
  4. Letters of recommendation: Arrange for three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your abilities and scholarly potential, including, if possible, two from professors in your major subject.  The instructions for how those letters should be submitted by the letter writers are given later, as you work through the application process.
  5. Proficiency in English:  A test demonstrating proficiency in English is required of all applicants who are not native speakers of English, except applicants with an undergraduate or graduate degree conferred by an American university, who are exempt from the English proficiency requirements. Students who have received their undergraduate degrees from non-English-speaking institutions must demonstrate proficiency in English.  Proficiency in English can be demonstrated by performance on the TOEFL, International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic),or the Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic).  Test scores should be electronically sent to the institutional code 2906.  The minimum TOEFL score needed for acceptance is as follows: 620 paper-based, 260 computer-based, or 105 internet-based. Individuals for whom English is not a first language must achieve a minimum score of 28 on the internet-based TOEFL speaking section or a minimum score of 55 on the Test of Spoken English.  The minimum test score for the IELTS Academic is 7.5.  The minimum score required for the Pearson Test of Academic English is 53.
  6. International applicants should consult the page at to make sure that they meet the requirements for degree equivalency listed there.

All completed applications are reviewed. If you do not meet one or more of the admission requirements (e.g., lacking a lab course; a GRE score below the minimum) your application, if complete, will be reviewed.