Kristin Shutts – Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Dr. Kristin Shutts – Information for Prospective Graduate Students


Current research:  I am interested in how children learn and think about the social world. Much of my work has focused on how children think about themselves and other people as members of different social groups—and the implications of such distinctions (e.g., social bias). My website lists all my publications; these papers are a good way to understand the nature and diversity of my interests.

Communication Prior to Applying: I do not privilege applications from prospective students who have interacted with me prior to applying. I read every application I receive with an open mind. That said, I am happy to answer questions about my lab and my mentoring from potential applicants. In most cases, I find that I can answer applicants’ questions well via email. (Any questions about the mechanics of completing/submitting the UW-Madison Psychology Department application itself are best addressed to our graduate coordinator, If an applicant’s questions cannot be answered via email, I am open to having a phone or video call. The best way to schedule such a call is to send an email with your availability.

Areas I’m Willing to Advise Students in: Developmental; IGM; Social; Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience. Note that it is not uncommon for students in my lab to be in multiple area groups or to change area groups during their graduate training. If you are admitted, we will discuss which area group is the best fit for your training needs and interests. I do not advise students in the Clinical program.

How I Evaluate Applicants:  Like all faculty members in the Psychology Department, I evaluate prospective graduate students in a holistic manner. I therefore consider all the possible ways in which students’ applications materials can demonstrate excellence and a strong likelihood to thrive in the graduate program and in my lab. The only caveat I will note is that it would be unusual for me to admit a student into my lab who had not previously worked with children (assuming they are interested in doing so as a graduate student). This is because the only way to know if you like working with children is to have done it previously!

Other Information for Prospective Applicants: I am happy to serve as the sole/primary mentor for graduate students, but I also enjoy co-advising students within and across area groups.