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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology

Prospective Students

Admission Info

Our program is highly selective. It is difficult to specify all of the factors that go into the admission decision. However, we look for the following combination:

  • match between your research interests (described in your biographical statement) and those of faculty
  • past research experience (since this is the best predictor of a student's enjoyment of and success in research)
  • strong previous academic record and competitive GRE test scores
  • 3 letters of recommendation that particularly emphasize your research potential 

PLEASE NOTE:  Some programs require standardized test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the program's stated deadline. Non-native English speakers are required to provide scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please note: this requirement is independent of citizenship status.

The minimum TOEFL score accepted by DU is 80 (iBT) or 550 (paper-based). The minimum IELTS score accepted by DU is 6.0. Non-native English speakers who hold a post-secondary degree from an institution where English is the only language of instruction and examination or who hold a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree from a U.S. institution are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. There are no exemptions for graduate teaching assistants.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must demonstrate fluency in spoken English by scoring a 26 on the TOEFL speaking section or 8.0 on the IELTS speaking section. Individual graduate programs reserve the right to set higher test score requirements. Please check the list of TOEFL/IELTS requirements.

Final candidates for admission will be invited to campus in February for interviews with faculty and students. It is our general policy not to permit interviews prior to this screening. (Because of the large number of applicants, there is simply not sufficient time to do this in a way that would present the candidate or the program as favorably as in our longer interview.)

Application Requirements

Apply online

•Application deadline: December 1

Important warning regarding letters of recommendation
You must inform the individuals who will be writing your letters of recommendation well in advance of the department's deadline of December 1.

Please ask them (we suggest at least 3 weeks before you apply) to have their letters prepared before December 1 so they can submit them immediately after we send our email request for their submissions.

Your recommender is not sent that email until you apply, so we also suggest you apply as early as you can. Applications cannot be processed until all letters of recommendation are received, and we begin processing on December 1.

Questions: Please contact Paula Houghtaling at or 303-871-3803 with further questions.