How to Apply

What You'll Need to Apply

Applications for admission in Fall of 2021 have closed.

The next application cycle will open on September 15th, 2021.



  • 500-word personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (optional for Fall 2021 cohort due to COVID-19)
  • CV
  • Writing sample (optional)


Review Admissions Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted on the basis of evidence of preparedness to undertake advanced work and the probability of successful completion of the degree.  

Admitted students must have:

  • B.A. or B.S. degree from a regionally accredited institution (may be in progress at the time of application, but must be completed before admission can be finalized)
  • Preparation in research methods, statistics, and experimental psychology or equivalent
  • At least a 3.25* undergraduate GPA, with a mean of approximately 3.80 (*This is a typical GPA and not a requirement)
  • Completed the GRE and scored in the 70-80th percentile (or above) in Verbal, 60-70th percentile (or above) in Quantitative, and 4.5 or above on the Analytical Writing section. (This is a typical GRE range and not a requirement)

Explore Areas of Emphasis

We offer fives areas of emphasis:

When applying to the program you will need to choose one of these areas as your primary interest. Although admitted students often work with more than one faculty member, prospective students are selected and recruited to work with one primary advisor. Thus, the match between the applicant’s professional/research interests and those of the primary advisor are strongly weighted in the application process.

Review the research conducted by our faculty members

Start Your Application

If you are ready to start your graduate application, login or create a new account in the application portal. Use this same link to access an existing application and to check your admission status.

Submit Transcripts

  • Uploaded scans of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. You must scan an official transcript with a watermark or seal.
  • Please note that the Graduate School will need a scan of the back of the transcript as well as the front; they want to see the 'key' of abbreviations and methods for calculating GPA.  
  • We must see uploads for all schools attended, even if the credits earned were transferred to another school at a later date.

Submit GRE Scores

  • Submit via testing agency using PSU's School Code:
    • Portland State Code: 4610
    • Psychology Department Code; 2016
  • You will be asked to enter your scores into your application and upload your score report at the time you complete your application.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GRE test scores will be optional for applications submitted for admission to the Fall 2021 cohort.

Submit TOEFL or IELTS Scores (if applicable)

Proof of English proficiency is required by submitting minimum required official scores on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System-Academic (IELTS) exam, or the Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE) less than two years old at time of matriculation.

Write Personal Statement

  • A 500-word statement of academic and professional goals, with a focus on your background, research interests, as well as your interest in working with particular faculty in the Psychology Department.
  • Please explain your reasons for choosing to undertake graduate work in Psychology, your areas of interest, and why you have chosen to apply to Portland State. You will be asked to upload your personal statement in one of the following supported file types: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF.

Solicit Letters of Recommendation

  • A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation, as well as rating forms, is required. These should come from individuals knowledgeable about the applicant’s abilities (preferably faculty members at colleges or universities attended).
  • Upon entering the name and email address of each recommender you choose, that person will be sent instructions for providing a letter of recommendation and rating form.
  • Please make sure that all recommendations are submitted before midnight December 15; however, do not delay submitting your application until all recommendations have been received.

Wait for Decision


  • In January or early February, the Graduate Committee meets to review and discuss applications. Beginning March 1, graduate advisors may be in contact with applicants.
  • All applicants will be notified of application status by April 15.

Reapplying to Program

  • Unsuccessful applicants can reapply to the program, but be advised that an application that is not successful in one year is not likely to be successful during the next application cycle without some changes. 
  • In general, we do not provide formal feedback to unsuccessful applicants.