Application FAQ

Who can provide the strongest letters of recommendation?

We suggest that faculty who can speak to your achievements in a laboratory provide the strongest letters of recommendation. Also, faculty who know you well, and can speak to your unique strengths and likelihood for success in a PhD program provide valuable letters of recommendation.

How do I write the strongest candidate statement?

Make it personal and tailored to what you believe are the key elements that make you and your potential advisor in the department a good "fit." Answer the key questions (and provide examples as data, as appropriate): Why do you want to complete additional research in Psychology? What is it about our program, and especially the faculty members in our program, that are most appealing to you, given your interests and goals? What are the strengths you bring as a foundation for starting graduate school? What are the skills you have that may not be research methods per se, but that enhance your success? How does the opportunity to work with a specific, self-defined set of faculty members align with your career goals?

What materials will I need to apply?

Please see the required list of materials.

What is the GRE institution code for the University of Chicago?

The GRE code is 1832. Departmental codes are not required; so long as you select institution code 1832 your score will match to your application regardless of departmental code selected.

What if I have questions about application materials, fee waivers, or how to submit my application?

For questions specific to the application process itself, please see the Social Sciences Admissions website or contact the Office of Admissions at

What is the basic timeline once my application is submitted?

The department invites selected applicants for interviews in December or January. Interviews are conducted in late January/early February, with offers of admission being sent a few weeks after interviews.

How do I prepare for interviews?

The purpose of the interview is for the department faculty and current students to get to know you and your interests better than what is possible from the application. You are best served by being prepared to ask questions and engage with their research. Additionally, you will be asked to explain your prior research experience; the more professionally you can do that, the better. Many faculty will be interested in the questions you will pursue in graduate school, so be prepared to talk about the kind of work you envision doing in your first year.

What should I consider prior to accepting an offer?

This is a highly personal decision. Re-think your interests, goals, and priorities. Consider what kinds of environments you want to work in. Prioritize all of the personal, professional, and logistical factors again. Decide where you will be most successful.

Are there fellowships available to fund by PhD?

Yes. All of our PhD students receive a full funding package that includes tuition remission, student health insurance, the graduate student fee, and a stipend.

How many years does it take to complete the PhD?

Our students complete the PhD in five to six years.

What are the teaching requirements for the PhD?

Our PhD students are typically required to complete 5 mentored teaching experiences (e.g., teaching assistant for undergraduate courses).