Admission and Requirements

For questions, please contact Kevin Belt, Ph.D. Program Coordinator at or (608)262-2079 Consideration for admission to our department is highly competitive. We receive approximately 425 applications each year and admit, on average, 25 to our program.  Applicant and Admissions Statistics provides information about students admitted into our graduate program in four different years. Applicants are selected for admission into our program by an individual faculty member or by an area group (i.e. a group of faculty members associated with a major area of concentration) and not by the department as a whole, nor by an admissions committee. Because these programs tend to be small, they may not admit students in a particular year. Applicants interested in a particular program or working with a particular faculty member may check the Unavailable Faculty page or individual faculty to determine if admissions are likely for that year. Each faculty member and area group gives preference to applicants who have a high potential for success in graduate school and who also share research interests with the prospective faculty sponsor. You should consider carefully the description of our faculty research interests, read several of their publications and consult with faculty and advisors at your undergraduate institution before applying to our program. Whereas most of our applicants have majored in psychology, we give full consideration to applicants with undergraduate majors in other relevant areas. Given our commitment to students, we take seriously our responsibility when admitting an applicant. We consider every piece of information carefully. Students are selected on the basis of their record of academic achievement, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, evidence of motivation to do research, as well as fit between faculty and student research interests. Applicant and Admissions Statistics for Psychology Graduate Program, 2006-2016: Graduate School Admission Requirements

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work). International applicants must have a strong academic performance comparable to a “B” or above average grades. We use your institution’s grading scale; we do not convert your grades to a four point scale.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution. For specific information on your country refer to the Graduate School Admission Requirements webpage.
  • Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. For more specific information about English proficiency, refer to the Graduate School Admission Requirements webpage.
  • International applicants are required to have adequate financial resources to cover their expenses for the duration of their studies at UW-Madison.

Although individual faculty members and area groups decide who will be admitted, the Psychology Department sets certain minimum standards that must be met by those admitted to our graduate program. It is extremely rare for the Department of Psychology to offer admission to those who do not meet our minimum standards for application. However, if you fall below the minimum standards set by the department you may still be admitted where there is clear justification, such as students who are below the minimum requirement in one respect but well above it in other respects. The Department of Psychology’s minimum requirements are as follows

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a four point scale
  • A GRE (General Test of the Graduate Record Examination) score of 310 when verbal and quantitative scores are combined
  • A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) and 213 (computer-based) for students whose native language is not English

Unavailable Faculty Faculty that will not consider applications for fall of 2020: 

Lyn Abramson

Martha Alibali

Joe Austerweil

Richie Davidson

Hill Goldsmith

Janet Hyde

Maryellen MacDonald

David Plante

Brad Postle