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Admissions FAQs

General Information

What Type of Program Are you?

We are a PhD ONLY program.

We do not offer Master's Degrees.

We do not offer online classes or distance learning courses. This program requires teaching and research commitments that will rival any 40hrs+ professional position.

Is your Clinical area program APA-accredited? 

Yes.

Do you offer a Psy D program? 

No.

Can you provide me with information about your MSW program?

The Master's in Social Work is offered through the School of Social Work. You can visit their website here

Do you have a counseling psychology program?

No, we offer a Clinical Ph.D. program. The School of Education does not offer a counseling program either. 

Do you have a program in school psychology?

We do not offer a "School Psychology" program at the University of Michigan. We do have CPEP which trains students to conduct research on schooling/educational issues. Some of Michigan's state universities offer school or counseling programs (see question below about "Are there other universities in Michigan...)

Do you offer online courses?

Our Ph.D. program does not include any online or distance learning courses.


Is it possible to attend your program part time?
No, we expect students to make a full time commitment. 

How long does it take to complete the program?
The program and funding package are structured for students to complete in 5 years. 

Would you mail an application packet for your Ph.D. program in psychology to me?

The best source of information about our Graduate Program is our website. Since everything is now on the web, we no longer print hard copies of application materials. Under the "Program Areas" link, you can see the different areas of our psychology department. If you click on a particular area, you can obtain a description of that program. 

When clicking on the “Faculty” link, you will view the faculty members affiliated with that particular area. If you click on a faculty member’s name, you most often can view their short biography, as well as contact information. 

If you have questions that are specific to a certain area, we recommend that you contact the Area Chair by e-mail. 

Under the “Graduate Program” link, you can obtain the full details about our Ph.D. program in psychology under “Program Description.” At the bottom of that page, there is a link to the “Requirements, Policies and Procedures Manual,” for graduate students. 

The “Prospective Student Info” link has an abundance of information for those interested in applying to our program. The “Application Procedures” information has links to the Rackham Graduate School’s website where you can begin processing your online application. It is now a requirement that applications be submitted online. 

When you have a specific question related to the program/application process contact us at psych.saa@umich.edu. 

Can I get a tour of your campus?

We do not provide campus tours for prospective graduate students. Students who are admitted to our program are invited to our Recruitment Weekend activities at the end of February. 

Are there other universities in Michigan offering psychology graduate programs? 
Yes. Click on the school name to go to their website.
Central Michigan UniversityEastern Michigan UniversityMichigan State University,University of Detroit MercyWayne State UniversityWestern Michigan University

 

I am a junior. What can I do to prepare myself for graduate school in psychology?

We cannot speak for other schools, but we regard a broad undergrad background in the natural, physical, and social sciences as the best preparation for graduate study in psychology. A laboratory course in Experimental Psychology or comparable research methods course and a course in statistical methods are strongly recommended. Bona fide experience in the field or laboratory as a research assistant or an undergraduate project is always an asset. Participation in some sort of research in order to demonstrate a capacity for independent research work to which a faculty member can attest (through letters of recommendation) will greatly enhance your credentials, as would the publication of a research paper.

Application Inquiries

For Questions regarding the Process of Applying:

The Program Requirements, Application Process on the Psychology website are full of information that helps make applying smoother. 

Rackham's Admissions website, in the "Preparing To Apply" section is rich with information about the documents needed, application process, waivers, etc. 

Trick for the Rackham Page: Use the "search box" on the main page. It will often take you directly to the page where you need information. 

Psych.SAA@umich.edu and Rackham Admissions are the appropriate places contact for issues with the process

For Questions about Graduate School in General:

Refer to your current institution's Career Center, they often have plenty of unused resources to assist students who are considering graduate school. 

The Psychology Department does not have a career advisor for applicants or current graduate students. The Graduate Administrators are knowledgeable about the administrative workings of the Psychology Program but are not the best resources for questions regarding "which career field/grad program should I pursue?"

For Questions about UofM Psychology Faculty and their Research areas:

Faculty research areas and some publications are posted online on our website. Do your homework on a faculty member to show you are genuinely interested before you contact them. Reach out to the specific faculty members and/or the Program Area Chair once you have narrowed down your selection for potential faculty mentor.

What is the application deadline?

December 1st 2016 is the deadline date for Fall 2017 admission. This deadline applies to the receipt of the application and all supporting documents, including 

  • GRE scores, 
  • official transcripts
  • and letters of recommendation 

You should start the application early and register your recommenders on the application so they have ample time to submit their letters by the deadline. 

It is highly recommended that you submit your application at LEAST a few days before the actual deadline, to account for any unforeseen problems that could occur with your electronic submission.

Following is a list of Area Chairs for the Psychology Department:

What is the average overall GPA?

For students admitted in 2014, the average GPA is 3.72 on a 4-point scale.

How many applicants do you admit?

The number varies by year and area, but usually we admit less than 7% of the applicants.

Can you send me an application for financial aid?

Our program provides students with a 5-year, fully funded package, which combines research assistantships and teaching appointments. More information is available at Financial Information. When a student is admitted, the funding package is explained in detail in the award letter.

What information goes to Rackham and what information goes to Psychology Student Academic Affairs?

Information is uploaded into the online application found on the Rackham Website.

Mailed-in Transcripts also go to Rackham.

It is now required that all applications be submitted online. This includes not only the application but also: letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE scores, Personal Statement, and Academic Statement of Purpose. 

Please don't send a paper application with the fee as it will be returned to you. Official transcripts need to be sent to Rackham. 

International applicants also need to provide TOEFL scores to Rackham.

I would like to apply to two different areas of Psychology. How should I do this?

Note: On the application, an Area is referred to as a Subplan. If you are interested in two Areas of Psychology, you should list both Areas under the Subplan section of the application. 

We then provide each Area with your application file. Think about which Area you are best suited for, and list that Area as your top choice. On page 11 of the application, you'll be given the opportunity to indicate a second Subplan, but this is entirely optional.  Most applicants will only be applying to one Area.

When are applicants notified of acceptance/rejection?

Most often by the end of February or the beginning of March but no later than April 1st.

I applied to the University in the past and would like to re-apply. Do you still have the information from my previous application?

Yes, you would need to complete a new application for admission. However, you would not need to resubmit your GRE scores. You would need to submit new transcripts if you have had a degree conferred since you last submitted a transcript.

What are my chances of being admitted if I re-apply?

It is rare for students who re-apply to be accepted. However, if an applicant's credentials are markedly different due to experience gained in the intervening year, the student may wish to re-apply. Such experiences may include the student's participation in a research project which demonstrates a capacity for independent research work, to which faculty can attest through letters of recommendation, the publication of a research paper or other experiences.

Do I need a Master's degree to apply to the program?

No, a student can apply to our program with either a Master's or a Bachelor's degree. Those with Master's are reviewed in the same applicant pool as those with a Bachelor's degree.

Is it necessary to have an undergraduate degree in psychology in order to apply?

No. However, you should have some background in psychology. We regard a broad undergrad background in the natural, physical, and social sciences as the best preparation for graduate study in psychology. A laboratory course in Experimental Psychology or comparable research methods course and a course in statistical methods are strongly recommended. Bona fide experience in the field or laboratory as a research assistant or an undergraduate project is always an asset. Participation in some sort of research in order to demonstrate a capacity for independent research work to which a faculty member can attest (through letters of recommendation) will greatly enhance your credentials, as would the publication of a research paper.

I am in a graduate program at another school. What is the process for applying as a transfer student?

Students currently in a graduate program would have to complete the same application as regular applicants as we do not accept transfer credits.

I would like to meet with an admissions counselor.

We do not offer admissions counselling at the graduate level. We recommend that you meet with a counselor or mentor at your undergrad institution to obtain guidance. You are welcome to e-mail one of our Area Chairs for questions that are specific to a particular Program Area.

Which of your programs lead to being a licensed psychologist?

The only area that could lead to licensure as a practicing psychologist who sees clients is the Clinical area. Even then, the student must apply to the state board of licensure wherever they would like to practice.

What are the criteria for being admitted into your program?

There are no specific criteria. There are no cutoff points for GPA or GRE scores. The admissions committees (different in each area) look at all of an applicant's qualifications, including GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, personal statement, previous research experience, professional experience, volunteer experience, and other criteria. The way in which this information is weighted varies from area-to-area, from year-to-year, and from admissions committee to admissions committee. There are always applicants who, undoubtedly, could perform well in a graduate program who may be turned away because we have too many applicants for too few spots.

Transcripts

Transcripts: What do I need to Provide? 

Official ones must be uploaded into the application. 

*There is a 2 minute instructional video at that part of the application and on the Rackham Website

Official ones must ALSO be sent directly to Rackham Graduate School

Students who want to verify if their Transcripts, GRE, or Rec letters have been received:

Application Status

I will not have a "Complete" Transcript by the Deadline

Those who are currently enrolled in a Bachelors program and will not receive final grades until the end of December or the end of May will need to provide a current official transcript. It is acceptable and assumed that you are enrolled and finishing your studies.

If you are offered a position in the program it will be contingent on completion of your degree and providing a transcript with all grades and your degree conferred.

It's the Deadline and My Official Transcript Hasn't been Received

The official transcript is used to “verify” what you uploaded. As long as it has been sent in enough time to be received by December 1st it is probably already at Rackham just not processed and uploaded. It takes time to process it will probably show up in the application soon. 

It is not recommended that you wait that long to send your materials. A few days is acceptable, if it is a week or more this may impact your application.

GRE Inquiries

What is the institution code for the University of Michigan? 

Please use the Institution Code of 1839 when requesting your scores be sent to us. 

You should not use a Department Code.

Can GRE scores be sent in after the application deadline?

Official GRE scores can be received after the deadline but it is not advisable. For fullest consideration of your application, all materials should be submitted by the December 1st deadline. 

The Online test takes 10-15 days to process your scores. The written test takes six to eight weeks, so plan your test date accordingly.

Which areas of psychology require the advanced GRE subject test in Psychology?

Taking the psychology subject GRE test is optional for all areas. 

What code do I use for sending my GRE scores to the University of Michigan?

Use the University of Michigan institution code, which is 1839. Please do not use the Psychology department code.

***If you did put a department code by accident, it is OK, the score will still reach the correct location, it will just take a little longer.

What are the average GRE scores of admitted students?

The average GRE scores of students admitted in 2014 were: 

  • Writing, 4.53
  • Verbal, 159
  • Quantitative, 155

Letters of Recommendation

Where should the letters of recommendation be sent?

Your letters of recommendation need to be submitted online by your recommenders. Instructions on how to do this will be available to you as you are completing the online application.

There are a couple more options for letters, although they are not recommended due to additional processing time. If you choose options C-D it limits your ability to track their arrival. 

Letters of Recommendation

Is it acceptable to mail letters of recommendation to the Psychology Department?

We prefer that your recommenders submit their letters online. Once you "register your recommenders" through the online application, they will receive an automated email with instructions about how to submit their letters electronically. This streamlines the application process and ensures that your letters will be linked to your application. 

We understand, though, that some recommenders either will not or cannot submit letters electronically; in those cases, we do accept hardcopy letters. All letters received through the mail will be scanned and then uploaded to your application. There is no advantage to submitting hardcopy letters, as reviewers will only see scanned copies.

You MUST use the Recommendation for Admission form for Option D.

One of my recommenders recently informed me that he would not be able to finish his letter by the Dec. 1st deadline. Will this have a negative impact on my application?

The application and the fee payment are the two things that absolutely have to be in by the December 1st deadline. While we understand that is somewhat out of your control, it is highly recommended that your credentials arrive as close to the deadline date as possible. 

Admissions committees will begin the review process shortly after December 1st so you will want your application to be as complete as possible by that date. It is best to apply early and give your recommenders enough time to meet the December 1st deadline. 

Is it acceptable to submit letters of recommendation through my university's Graduate Letter Service?

We prefer that your recommenders submit their letters as instructed in the online application. However, you can submit your letters of recommendation through your university's Graduate Letter Service. Refer to Option D.

I'm having Technical Issues with the Online Recommender system:

This is what it looks like when a recommender receives an rec request email. 

If a recommender or the applicant runs into any technical difficulties, they need to email:

help@applyweb.com


From:   University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School  <help@applyweb.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Subject: Please submit your Letter of Recommendation
To: email of the recommender


Dear Recommender, I'm sending a request,

Applicant has requested that you submit a letter of recommendation form. This applicant has waived the right to view their recommendation.

Please go to the following web address to access the recommendation system. Returning users will be greeted by their name and asked to log in to their account. New users will be prompted to create an account by choosing a password before proceeding to the recommendation form.

If you experience technical difficulty with the recommendation form, please follow this link to check the frequently asked questions or contact CollegeNET support.

Should you experience any technical difficulties or require assistance, click Report a problem or request help  button.

Thank you!

Rackham Graduate School Admissions

International Inquiries

I am an international student and wonder if I have to take any other tests besides the GRE?

International students are required to take the TOEFL. However, if you obtained your undergraduate degree at an English-speaking university, you do not have to take the TOEFL.

Required tests for non native English speakers

I am an international applicant. Do I have to complete the University of Michigan Affidavit of Financial Support for International Students?

You only need to submit this form if you are admitted into the program. Rackham will send this form to admitted international students at the time admission is finalized. The letter of financial support you receive from the Department can be used as documentation. Since our Ph.D. program is for 5 years and fully funded, you only need to submit additional documentation if you are bringing dependents with you. Please see this website for more information.  

What sort of financial assistance is available for international students?

The international students that are admitted into our program are eligible for the same financial package that domestic students receive. No extra forms need to be completed.

 

TOEFL

Is TOEFL required for Non-Native English Speakers?

Yes.

Scores are Valid for 2 Years

Must be received by the Program Deadline

TOEFL information

Is it possible for my TOEFL to be waived?

Yes.

Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from submitting an official English proficiency score if:

  • The degree was earned from an institution where the language of instruction is English, exclusively. This exception does not apply if some classes completed were taught in a language other than English. Verification from the school may be required.
  • The degree was earned from a country where the official language is English (United States of America, Australia, England).

Being a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking an English proficiency exam; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit English proficiency exam.

Have My Transcripts, GRE, or Recommendation Letters Been Received?

Special Note: Rackham evaluates required academic records ONLY after applicants submit applications and required fees or fee waivers.

Often we receive messages from applicants who want to verify that their materials are received. Due to the amount of applicants we cannot individually verify if your materials are received.

Here is some useful information to help you monitor when your application is complete:

Follow the directions on this link to set up an account where you can check as often as you like.

Check Application Status

Please give 48 hours after you have set up the account for your items to "populate". It is not instant.

Please also remember that once your transcripts are received they need to be processed by Rackham and then uploaded into the system. This could take up to a week (business hours) during September, October, and early November. 

The closer to the deadline, the more applications are received and there should be expected an additional wait-time for materials to appear online.

Those who are submitting close-to or exactly on December 1st:

Multiple Rackham programs have a December 1st deadline. Rackham Admissions will do the best they can to get items online as quickly as possible. However, items being received between November 28th and December 1st may take additional time to be verified and uploaded into the friend account system.

It is December 2nd-3rd and I still do not see my Transcripts in my friend account, what should I do?

Keep an eye on it but do not worry. The committees have the copy that was uploaded into your online application to review. 

If the Rackham-verified physical transcript comes later that is OK.

It is December 2nd-3rd and I still do not see a GRE or TOEFL score in my friend account, what should I do?

This make take additional time to process like the transcripts.  Reach out to ITS on Rackham website. If they have no errors to report, then try to be patient, all the data will take time to process.

It is December 2nd-3rd and I still do not see a Letter of Recommendation in my friend account, what should I do?

This depends on how the Letter was submitted:

  • If you sent the recommender a link, they can still upload and should do that immediately
  • If you used interfolio, log into that platform and make sure that you have followed all the steps. If so, it may take some additional time.
  • If you used Option D, physical letter form, this may take a few more days for it to show up in the friend account, but may already be at the Rackham. Since there is a holiday close to December 1st, it may take a few days for them to upload it.

We are having Technical Difficulties with the Online Recommender Prompt:

Below is what the email the recommender receives looks like. 

If they or the applicant runs into any issues, they need to email:

Help@applyweb.com

This is exampled of the email prompt your recommender would see:

From: University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School <help@applyweb.com>

Date: 10/01/2016

Subject: Please submit your Letter of Recommendation

To: Recommender Email

Dear Recommender, I'm sending a request,

Applicant has requested that you submit a letter of recommendation form. This applicant has waived(or not waived) the right to view their recommendation.

Please go to the following web address to access the recommendation system. Returning users will be greeted by their name and asked to log into their account. New users will be prompted to create an account by choosing a password before proceeding to the recommendation form.

link to the recommendation system (this link is customized to each recommender)

If you experience technical difficulty with the recommendation form, please follow this link to check the frequently asked questions or contact CollegeNET support:

should you experience any technical difficulties or require assistance, click "Report a problem or request help" button.

Thank you!

Rackham Graduate School Admissions