All application materials should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions via the online Graduate Application. Use the graduate admission checklist to get started. Please note that the checklist may not reflect our program’s deadlines and requirements; follow the information on this page.

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER for Fall 2023 applicants: The Department of Psychology has made available a select number of application fee waivers for PhD applicants in financial need and from underrepresented backgrounds. Please visit the "Requirements" panel below and scroll to the "Application Fee Waiver" section for more information.

  • Deadlines

    Fall: Apply by December 1

  • Requirements
    • Degree: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited college or university
    • GPA: Applicants must have a 3.0 average or higher during the last two years of the undergraduate program
    • GRE:  General test is waived for Fall 2023 applicants following a recent decision from the University Graduate School to waive the GRE requirement
    • Statement of Intent/Personal Statement: Discuss motivations and career goals; research experience, skills and plans; and faculty with whom you hope to work if admitted, making note of research interests and relevance, skills and goals. Statements should not exceed three typewritten, double-spaced pages. Statement should be uploaded to the graduate admissions portal
    • Curriculum vitae or resume: This includes pertinent information on previous experience, education, honors, awards, interests, community service and achievements.
    • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters written on official letterhead. Ideally, at least two letters would be from faculty evaluating the student's potential for graduate work. Letters of recommendation are uploaded online by the recommender. Letter writers will be asked to provide additional information when they log in to submit their letters. Letters of recommendation must be submitted or sent directly by the letter writer to Graduate Admissions at
    • Departmental Application: Fill out the Graduate Programs in Psychology application and upload it through the online admissions application portal
    • Transcripts: Submitting Transcripts. This includes university/college official transcript from all institutions previously attended in a sealed institution envelope. Addresses and other methods of submitting your transcripts can be found clicking here. If you graduated from FIU, you do not need to request transcripts  unless you attended another institution afterwards. Students who have received an education from non-English speaking countries must have their transcripts translated when sent to FIU. If sending electronically, institutions can have transcripts emailed to Graduate Admissions at
      Foreign Applicants: Please note you must provide a copy of your transcripts to graduate admissions and a translation from a recognized translation agency or official translator. Some suggested agencies are listed here.
    • Additional Requirements:
      • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate research methods course as a prerequisite
      • Two writing samples - academic or professional, no length requirement
      • Ability to work full time toward the degree
      • Previous research experience preferred
      • International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 92 on the iBT TOEFL (equivalent to 580 in the TOEFL) is required

    For additional requirements, consult the Graduate Catalog. For more information, contact Program Director Eliza Nelson or Contact with a potential faculty mentor is strongly recommended.

    Successful applicants demonstrate a strong interest in developmental science, significant research experience and a good fit with proposed faculty in the program. Additionally, successful applicants will demonstrate a record of academic achievement evidenced by a high GPA (mean GPA for the Fall 2019 cohort was 3.67 undergraduate/3.94 graduate); show significant professional accomplishments as described in personal statements; and have supportive letters of recommendations from past mentors.

    Top applicants will be interviewed remotely by two to three faculty members, including the applicant's potential advisor. The purpose of the interview is to give applicants an opportunity to further gauge their "fit" with our program by talking directly to faculty, and to learn more about our various mentorship models. Interviews usually take place during the last two weeks of December or the first two weeks of January. Invitations are typically extended by Dec. 30.

    Information on Judicial Holds

    Although we are required to include questions in our application that ask about previous experiences with disciplinary charges and criminal offenses, we do not want these questions to discourage anyone with these experiences from applying to our programs. Responding “yes” to these questions does not preclude applicants from being considered for admission to our programs. It does place a “judicial hold” on the application that can be resolved through the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) Admissions Clearance Process confidentially. Moreover, responses to these questions will not be shared with faculty reviewing applications—regardless of the applicant’s responses—so as to maintain confidentially and reduce bias throughout the review process.

    Instructions for resolving judicial holds can be found here:

    If you have any questions about this process, you can contact the SCAI team by phone at 305-348-3939 or email at, or the graduate secretary in the Department of Psychology by email at

    Application Fee Waiver

    For Fall 2023 applicants: The Department of Psychology has made available a select number of application fee waivers for PhD applicants in financial need and from underrepresented backgrounds. To find out if you are eligible for the department application fee waiver, email PhD Programs Coordinator, Brandon Isahack at, answering the following questions:

    1. Name and Panther ID number, subplan to which you are applying
    2. I have financial hardship or difficulty paying the application fee – Yes or No
    3. I am from an underrepresented, historically-excluded, or marginalized group – Yes or No

    2nd fee waiver opportunity
    : Applicants demonstrating financial need may have the application fee of $30 USD waived by the Graduate School if they do not meet eligibility for the departmental waiver above. 
    Applicants interested in submitting a waiver should select “check” when prompted for application payment and submit supporting documentation by emailing it to Graduate Admissions at The waivers are reviewed by University Admissions and will confirm eligibility. Eligibility criteria generally includes an EFC below 1500 on a FAFSA application; furlough letter; homeless waivers, etc. Applicants may email Graduate Admissions to inquire if they meet eligibility.

  • Grades and Test Scores

    Students accepted into our program usually have undergraduate GPAs of 3.5 or higher, and GRE scores of 155 Verbal and 150 Quantitative. Students offered admission to our Fall 2019 cohort had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.67 and graduate GPA of 3.94, and a combined GRE score of 312 (158 Verbal, 154 Quantitative). Letters of recommendation and research experience may significantly influence our assessment of these criteria.

    *Due to a recent decision from the University's Graduate School, the GRE is now waived for Fall 2023 admission. You may email if you have any concerns or questions regarding your application.

  • Potential Faculty Mentor

    An applicant must identify a potential faculty mentor(s) from our team and communicate with them before submitting application materials. The most successful applicants are able to clearly articulate their research interests and broadly identify the research topics/areas they plan to explore as a doctoral student. We strongly consider both applicants' "research interest fit" as discussed in the applicant's statement of intent, as well as our faculty's willingness to work with the potential applicant.

    Admission to our program depends in part on faculty members' willingness to mentor the incoming student. All incoming graduate students must have a faculty mentor identified before entering the program. For this reason, it is very important that students identify a potential faculty mentor and communicate with them before submitting their application materials.

    Faculty Accepting New Students for Fall 2023

  • Research Experience

    Successful applicants typically have gained research experience before applying to graduate school. Admitted applicants usually have worked or volunteered in undergraduate research labs or have completed a major research project such as an honors project or senior thesis. These kinds of research experiences should be highlighted in the statement of intent.

  • Coursework

    Although applicants admitted to our program usually have majored in psychology, other majors are welcome. Students who have pursued other majors typically have completed a significant number of foundational psychology courses (such as statistics/research methodology, personality theory, abnormal behavior, developmental and social psychology). Other courses applicable to their area of interest are also strongly recommended - for example, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, or psychology of women/gender.

    Applicants who have already earned their master’s degrees are also encouraged to apply. When appropriate, these students may petition to transfer up to 6 credits of prior postbaccalaureate coursework with the approval of the Program Director.

  • Funding

    Admitted students are provided with a graduate assistantship. GAs are classified as Graduate Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants. A graduate assistantship provides a stipend, tuition waiver and health insurance. Additionally, students may be funded through Center for Children and Families clinical assistantships, and awards and fellowships.

    Admitted students who maintain good academic standing are guaranteed four years of support. Graduate assistantships are on 12-month contracts (stipend $20,154). Most students are funded through their fifth year, contingent upon satisfactory progress in the program.