Experimental Graduate Program: Application and Admission

Applicants to the Experimental Psychology Graduate Program must have a baccalaureate degree (in any field) prior to admission; completed courses in Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods; and completed courses in three of the following areas: Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Physiological/Behavioral Neuroscience.

The following are preferred but not required: depth of coursework in at least one of the above concentration areas (e.g., multiple courses within a domain, upper-level courses); experience planning, conducting, analyzing, presenting, and/or writing research.

Required Application Materials

  • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts  
  • For the 2022-2023 academic year, the GRE test is NOT required or accepted as part of our application process. This temporary change was made in part to recognize the challenges in accessing GRE tests during COVID-19. However, we are exploring the possibility of making this change permanent to help address some of the known inequities inherent with using the GRE for graduate admissions. 
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Personal statement discussing the applicant's interest in an area related to Experimental Psychology. Please discuss the following in 2-5 double-spaced pages:

    1. Explain why you are interested in pursuing training in Experimental Psychology. How have your professional (e.g., research, academic, work) and/or lived experiences contributed to your interest in applying to this program?

    2. Describe your current and prior research experiences (including the research topic and your level of involvement, responsibilities, and accomplishments).

    3. Describe which theoretical issues, research problems, or application areas you are particularly interested in. Why are these issues especially interesting and important?

    4. Provide the name(s) of faculty members with whom you may wish to work. Discuss in detail how your interests, goals, and experiences align with their research program. Note: We strongly encourage applicants to contact potential faculty members prior to writing their statement and become familiar with their current research in order to facilitate appropriate mentorship

    5. Describe how your experiences and goals match the mission and learning goals of the MS Experimental Psychology program

Admission Deadlines and Decisions

The Psychology Department priority application deadline is February 1. We will review late applications submitted after the priority deadline on a space-available basis. Completed applications must be submitted by March 15; however, because maximum student enrollment in the program is limited, all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by February 1. (We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2022.)

Admission decisions are based on a holistic assessment of the application, including grade point average (GPA), coursework, research experience, statement of purpose, and potential fit with faculty research interests. Applicant files are reviewed by a committee of faculty across areas. Applicants who meet our threshold are then reviewed by potential mentors who determine fit of research interests.

Application Materials and Additional Information

Applicants are required to submit ALL materials (see required application materials above) to the Graduate School. If you have any questions or difficulties with the application materials on the website, please contact the Western Graduate School directly via e-mail or 360-650-3170.

Students considering the program at Western are invited to visit the attractive campus, which is located between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia.

For additional information, contact Dr. Barbara Lehman.


Dr. Barbara Lehman, Director, Experimental Psychology Graduate Program
Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
516 High Street, Bellingham, WA, 98225-9172

Phone: 360-650-2212

Email: lehmanb2@wwu.edu