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Program Requirements

Since competition for admission is keen and facilities for training are limited, it is only the student of exceptional promise who can be reasonably confident of securing admission. Moreover, since the Department of Psychology does not have master's degree programs, all applicants are evaluated in terms of their potential for completing the doctorate.

Admission Requirements of the School of Graduate Studies

Regular admission to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies is granted to those applicants who: 

  1. Have earned a 4-year bachelor's degree in a college or university of recognized standing
  2. Are recommended for admission by the department in which they intend to study

The Rackham Graduate School Online Application can be found here.

Breadth and Quality of Undergraduate Preparation

The department regards a broad undergraduate background in the natural, physical, and social sciences as the best preparation for graduate study in psychology. 

A laboratory course in experimental psychology and a course in statistical methods are strongly recommended, but particular deficiencies in undergraduate preparation in psychology may not disqualify an otherwise acceptable applicant. Since each area sets its own criteria for admission, undergraduate interests deemed unsuitable by one faculty committee may be acceptable to another. At the same time, it is virtually impossible for an applicant to be accepted provisionally with the aim of making up serious deficiencies in undergraduate preparation. The number of fully acceptable applicants always greatly exceeds the number admitted.

Admission Requirements of the Department of Psychology

Acceptance of an applicant by the department is based on a review of all available evidence predictive of probable academic success and eventual professional achievement of a high order. However, since there are many highly qualified applicants for each available position, it is necessary to turn away some students who undoubtedly could succeed in a doctoral program.

General Qualifications for Graduate Work

Most students with an undergraduate grade-point average between "A" and "B" probably could perform satisfactorily in a graduate program. However, competition for admission is so intense that applicants actually invited to enter training are likely to have an "A-" average or better. An applicant with no better than a "B" average, to be seriously considered, would probably have to offer strong evidence that they are in fact capable of a higher level of achievement. 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants. The advanced test in psychology (or in another field if ones background in psychology is limited) is not required. Registration forms for the GRE may be obtained from the Education Testing Service, CN 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541–6000 or at the GRE website. It is strongly recommended that applicants take the tests required at the earliest possible date in their senior year. If test scores have not reached the department by the time a folder is reviewed, the applicant may be disadvantaged.

Rackham Required Tests Information

For more information about the graduate program, please email psych.saa@umich.edu