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

  • Official undergraduate transcripts  
  • General GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) required; the subject test in Psychology is recommended but not required. GRE scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the Educational Testing Service.
  • 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 pages:
  1. What motivates you to pursue training in experimental psychology?
  2. What theoretical issues, research problems, or application areas are your central interests? Why are these issues especially interesting and important?
  3. Your current and prior research experience (including the research goals/findings, and your level of involvement, responsibilities, and accomplishments)
  4. Reason for applying to our graduate program
  5. 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

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.

Admission decisions are based on a holistic assessment of the application, including grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, coursework, research experience, statement of purpose, and potential fit with faculty research interests. Applicant files are reviewed by a committee of faculty across areas. We do not use absolute minimum scores ("cutoffs") to make admissions decisions. However, students with GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile are especially encouraged to apply. 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 WWU Graduate School directly via e-mail or 360-650-3170.

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

For additional information, contact 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; e-mail Barbara.Lehman@wwu.edu