Description of Program
The Psychology Department offers doctoral training in the following areas: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, and Social/Personality Psychology.
A student in the Psychology doctoral program typically requires five years of study to complete all Ph.D. requirements. An exception is the APA-accredited Clinical Area program which requires an additional sixth year for clinical internship training. Students interested in the Clinical Area should visit the Practicum Training (https://psychology.yale.edu/graduate/training/practicum-training) and Clinical Psychology (https://psychology.yale.edu/research/clinical-psychology) links for more information.
The Psychology Department does not offer a terminal Master’s degree program in any area (for example, we do not have a Master’s degree program in counseling psychology). However, Psychology Ph.D. graduate students may receive a Master’s degree after completion of their second-year requirements towards their Ph.D.
Our program is structured around the close mentoring of each graduate student by a faculty advisor (or a small group of faculty advisors). In the typical situation, an entering graduate student will join the research lab of their faculty advisor. It is thus recommended that prospective students consult our online faculty pages and lab websites to determine the best fit of their research interests to faculty interests.
The online application provides an opportunity for prospective students to indicate which faculty current members might serve as their advisor or advisors. Prospective students should consider choosing two or more faculty members as potential advisors when completing this section of the application.
The Yale Psychology Department includes many associated faculty members who hold primary appointments in other Yale departments. This makes for a greatly enriched advising environment for our graduate students. However, a student’s primary advisor must be a regular primary faculty member of the Department of Psychology.
All entering students must have earned a bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent prior to enrolling at the Graduate School. You may apply before receiving your degree, or while your degree is still in progress, so long as the degree will be completed prior to matriculation.
A BA or BS in the field of Psychology is not required to apply to the Psychology graduate program.
International Undergraduate Degrees
Some countries grant an undergraduate or bachelor’s-equivalent degree in three years. If your three-year degree is equivalent to the U.S. Bachelor of Science or Arts degree, it meets the requirement to apply for a Doctoral degree at Yale University. Please visit Graduate Admissions Office – Guidance for International Students (https://gsas.yale.edu/admissions/phdmasters-application-process/guidance-international-students )for more information.
GRE scores are not required to apply to the Yale Psychology Graduate Program.
Students have the option, however, to submit GRE scores. If you do opt to submit GRE scores, the GRE institution code for Yale University is 3987. Your scores do not need to be available at the time you submit your application, but please submit them as soon as you possible after submitting your application.
Please refer to the links below for additional information regarding the required tests and documents for admission.
The TOEFL or IELTS is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants who have received or will receive an undergraduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction are exempt from the English Language Test requirement and are not required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS. Applicants must have studied in residence at the undergraduate institution for at least three years to qualify. No exemptions are made based on an advanced degree (e.g. M.A./M.S. or Ph.D.) from any institution.
TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years. If ETS has the scores, the applicant should have them sent to us before they expire. The review page in the application system will alert you if a TOEFL score is required.
The Graduate School requires incoming doctoral students who received a score of 25 or below on the TOEFL Speaking section or a 7.5 or below on IELTS Speaking section to participate in a Summer English Language program at Yale in August prior to matriculation. These students are required to demonstrate English proficiency before they are permitted to teach.
For information about fee waivers, and an application form to apply for a fee waiver, please visit https://gsas.yale.edu/admissions/application-fees
Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required for your application to be considered complete. You may submit more than three letters. All letters should be submitted by December 1st.
Prospective applicants can track submissions of letters of recommendation and scores by accessing the Slate dashboard. A “Green” check mark will appear next to the information received and verified by the Graduate Admissions Officers at Yale University.
For Faculty recommenders who prefer to use Interfolio, please input the Interfolio-specific email address for that faculty member in lieu of their institutional email address. Please note, there are a few optional questions on the reference form that Interfolio users will not fill out.
If you have trouble with the Slate Application System, or for questions on using previously submitted letters of recommendation, please contact the Office of Admissions directly.
Letters of Recommendation Process
Per the Graduate Admissions Office, during the application process you must upload your academic record/transcript, which may take the form of an electronic transcript. However, please ensure no additional authentication is required to view the transcript, as this will cause problems with your upload.
Following admission and acceptance of an offer of admission, you may request that your institution send your official electronic transcript to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Please Note: Transcripts sent to this address from applicants who have not accepted an offer of admission will be discarded.)
All academic records uploaded to your application must be in English or accompanied by a translation to English. For additional information, please visit:
A personal statement is required. In addition, we encourage applicants to include a writing sample of their research or scholarly work. This may include an undergraduate research or review paper, or work conducted after graduation from your undergraduate institution.
For additional questions regarding the application, tests, and admission process, please visit or contact the Yale Graduate School Admissions: