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Application Procedures

Application Deadline: December 1, 2022

The Department of Psychology admits students in the Fall term only. For matriculation in Fall 2023, the deadline for submission of your application is December 1, 2022. For fullest consideration of your application, letters of recommendation and English language proficiency scores (if applicable) should arrive by the December 1st deadline.

Please refer to the Psychology Department Graduate Application Checklist below and the details for each item for more information about what should be included in your application.

Application Procedures

We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2023 in September 2022. All applications are submitted online through Rackham Graduate School's website. When completing the online application, you will be instructed in how to upload your Personal Statement, Statement of Purpose and transcripts. You will also be asked to "Register your Recommenders" so that they will be able to submit their letters of recommendation online. You do not need to complete the entire application in one session.

Everything you need to know to apply to the program can be found on our website. We strongly recommend that serious applicants thoroughly review each section. This will give you a complete understanding of the application process and our program.

As you are preparing to apply, it will be important to identify faculty who are carrying out research that matches your interests. You can identify faculty research interests on the Research page. When contacting faculty it is important to be concise, and to be knowledgeable about their research. Provide some information about yourself and why you want to work with them.

Applicants who are being considered for admission will be contacted by mid-February. All applicants are notified of admission decisions by April 1.

If you have any questions about the application process, please feel free to contact the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office by email ( or phone (734.764.2580).

Application Checklist

Applications for admission to the Psychology Doctoral Program (Ph.D.) are accepted for the Fall term only. The Psychology Department does not offer a Master's program. Completed applications and supporting credentials should be received no later than December 1st to be given the fullest consideration for admission. Applicants will be notified of the department's admission decision no later than April 1. 

Prospective applicants are required to submit an application online through the Rackham Graduate School website. All applications and supporting credentials become the property of the University of Michigan. Please do not send a hard copy of your application materials to the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office. In addition, Rackham Graduate School offers many resources for preparing your application: Rackham Admissions Resources

The Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and official transcripts, as described below, should be uploaded with your application file. Letters of Recommendations and Test Score guidelines are also highlighted below. 

Please refer to the various components of the application checklist in their respective sections here - 

Academic Statement of Purpose

  • This should be a concise, well-written essay about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan’s graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. 
  • In the Statement of Purpose you will want to demonstrate how your interests and experiences are aligned with our program's offerings. 
  • As mentioned in the Application Procedures above, it is important to identify faculty who are carrying out research that matches your interests. 

You will upload your Statement of Purpose online with your application. If you experience trouble uploading your Statement of Purpose, please contact There is not a strict limit on the length of this statement, but two double-spaced pages is usually adequate and appropriate.

Personal Statement

This should be a statement about how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. This is not an Academic Statement of Purpose, but a discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. There is a 500-word limit for this statement.


  • All applicants must upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their official transcript/academic record issued by the Registrar or Records Office, to the online application for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. 
  • The scanned copy of the official transcript is used for initial review by our admissions committees. A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
  • We will only require you to send an official transcript to Rackham if you are offered admission.
  • Do not send transcripts from a community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework.

For detailed information about submitting transcripts, visit the Rackham Graduate School's transcript site here.


Three Letters of Recommendation

These must be submitted electronically by your recommenders. As you are completing the online application, you will be given instructions for how to "Register Your Recommenders." Recommenders will then receive an email that will guide them in uploading their letters.

English Proficiency Requirement: Tests

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. One way to do so is to meet one of the criteria for an exemption listed here.

If an applicant does not meet one of the criteria listed, they may be required by the graduate program to submit scores from tests, like TOEFL, ECPE, IELTS, or MET.  The official scores must be received from the testing agency no later than the graduate program application deadline. Test scores are sent electronically from ETS directly to the University of Michigan using Institution Code 1839

Language test scores are valid two years from the test date. If an application is submitted after the score expiration date, those scores are no longer acceptable. If the applicant sends the scores and submits the application prior to the score expiration date while remaining within our application window, those scores are considered valid and this is acceptable.

For more information on the English Proficiency requirement, exemptions, and accepted tests and minimum scores, please see Rackham's website.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Not Required

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required for application to the Psychology PhD program. The Department of Psychology does not review Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores as part of the admissions process.