Admission applications are made to the OSU Graduate School ( and those meeting minimum Graduate School Requirements are forwarded on to the SPS. A committee evaluates the applications and makes final admission decisions. Applicants are admitted to begin ONLY in Fall terms. The Ph.D. is not offered in an online version.  The program is not designed to offer a terminal Master's degree; only applicants who intend to earn a Ph.D. should apply.

Deadline: First Friday in December; the application deadline for enrollment in Fall 2022 is December 3, 2021. 

Applicant Qualifications: Applicants should have a strong undergraduate background in experimental design and analysis, including coursework in Research Methods and Statistics. SPS requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and cumulative grade-point averages of 3.4 or higher are preferred. Particular emphasis is placed on grades in psychology courses and statistics as well as overall performance in the last two undergraduate years. Submitting GRE test scores is optional.

Other factors, including the content and difficulty level of students’ prior curriculum, breadth of experience (e.g., study abroad, courses outside psychology), and research experience (lab or applied settings, special populations, knowledge of particular research methods) receive additional consideration. 

Application Material Guidance

1. Include a Statement of Objectives, addressing:

  • Your proposed focus of study, research interests, career goals, and how the PhD program and specific program faculty with whom you hope to work would help you meet those goals.
  • Personal strengths, skills, perspectives, and experiences that will contribute to values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the discipline.

2. Include a Resume/Curriculum Vitae

3. Include contact information for at least one, but no more than three people who will provide a letter of reference.

    • References should be able to speak to your research and/or professional skills, or your preparation for graduate training.
    • References from personal relationships (e.g., a family friend) will not be considered.
    • Contact information for reference writers can be submitted before the final application is submitted, thus allowing as much time as possible for the writers to submit reference letters.

    4. Academic Transcripts

    5. Test Scores

    • Optional: GRE general test scores
    • TOEFL scores are required for applicants whose native language is not English, or did not receive a bachelor or higher degree in an English speaking country (see Graduate School website)

    6. If applicable, Resident Alien/Permanent Resident Card and Financial Documentation (See Graduate School website)


    Review of applications will only include the information listed above; other provided documents will not be reviewed by the SPS admissions committee. 

    Many students find it useful to connect with potential mentors ahead of submitting their application to ensure their research interests align and the potential mentor is accepting students.  For brief descriptions of research interests of SPS mentors and links to their contact information, see Applied Cognition, Engineering Psychology, and Health Psychology concentration pages.