Application Instructions

To apply to the University of Arkansas Graduate School and to the Psychological Science Ph.D. program, please read these instructions carefully and submit all required materials by the program deadlines.

Psychological Science Ph.D. Program Deadlines:

 December 1st. 

Step 1: Apply to the Graduate School

Submit application to the University of Arkansas Graduate School (

Note that the Graduate School requires an application fee. This fee can be waived for individuals that qualify in these circumstances:

  • Full-time employees at the U of A main campus
  • U of A summer REU program participants
  • Senior Citizens age 60+

For those not meeting the above-mentioned criteria, a limited number of graduate application fee waivers are available to increase diverse representation of applicants to our doctoral programs, consistent with the University’s commitment to providing equal opportunity to all applicants for admission (see UArk non-discrimination policy). By "diverse representation of applicants," we mean race/ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, disability, neurodiversity, citizenship from countries outside the United States, low socioeconomic status, and first-generation student status.

Finally, the Admissions Office may consider a waiver for justified administrative reasons. Please send your explanations to Patricia Gamboa at

Step 2: Submit Additional Materials via Application Portal

After you submit your Graduate School application for admission consideration, you will be assigned an Application Portal ( where you will be able to pay your application fee, upload required materials, complete the Department of Psychological Science Application, and manage your letters of recommendation.

Applications for graduate work towards the Ph.D. in Psychology requires completion of the following items:

  1. Department of Psychological Science Application (form found in the portal).
  2. Unofficial Transcripts (upload in the portal)
  3. Resume/CV detailing relevant accomplishments and experiences (e.g., conference presentations (upload in the portal)
  4. Statement of Purpose (upload in the portal). Please ensure the statement includes the four following headers:
    1. Career goals.
    2. How your career goals fit with the training program at the University of Arkansas.
    3. Research interests and goals while in graduate school.
    4. Fit with faculty member(s).
  5. Three Letters of Recommendation (add or edit in the portal)
  6. Writing Sample (optional, not required; upload in the portal)
  7. Official GRE score reports (optionalnot required; unofficial scores can be uploaded in the portal; official scores can be sent to the University).


Some of these components of the application packet are explained in more detail below.

1)  Department of Psychological Science Application Form.  You will find a link for this form in your Application Portal under the Program Requirements section.  Click the link in the checklist item, answer all required questions, and hit submit.  On the form, you will be asked to select a psychology concentration- Clinical Psychology or Experimental Psychology.  Also, you will be asked to indicate your faculty mentor preferences (i.e., the faculty member with whom you would most like to work).  You can rank up to three faculty members.  Browse the faculty webpages thoroughly before indicating your preference.  Once on the webpage, you can click on the individual faculty members to learn more about their academic focus and research activities.  Our programs operate under a mentorship model so your rankings are critical to the application process.

2)  Unofficial Transcripts.  An unofficial copy of your transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work must be uploaded in your Application Portal.  In the Materials Upload section, select the Transcript: Institution Name in the drop-down list, attach the document, and upload.  It might take 15-30 minutes for the system to mark the checklist item as complete.  If admitted by the program, you will be required to request official transcripts from these institutions before you will be eligible to enroll in courses.

3)  Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Currently NOT REQUIRED For Admission.  

 The clinical and experimental training committees recognize that the GRE may put some individuals, particularly those from underrepresented groups, at a disadvantage when it comes to educational opportunities. Therefore, at the University of Arkansas, the GRE is not required for admission to the doctoral program in experimental or clinical psychology. Students admitted into our programs are guaranteed a base salary and a tuition waiver for at least four years. Further, most requests for a fifth year of funding are granted.

 At this time, however, applicants who do not have GRE scores will not have access to additional funding (above and beyond the base salary) available through the University of Arkansas’s graduate student fellowship program. The University of Arkansas Fellowship Committee requires GREs for all fellowship decisions (details about the fellowship can be found here).  These fellowships, only awarded to incoming students, provide a substantial supplement to the base salary (currently ~$15,000/year in addition to a ~$20,000/year tuition waiver): a) The Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship provides an additional $22,000/year for 4 years, and b) the Doctoral Academy Fellowship provides an additional $12,000/year for 4 years. Students without GRE scores cannot be nominated for fellowship consideration, which means they will miss this opportunity to be considered for additional funds to supplement their base salary. Currently, we are working with university officials to identify more holistic procedures for making these fellowship decisions, but for now we encourage applicants to take the GRE for this reason and for this reason only. Information on ways to reduce fees associated with taking the GREs can be found here.

4)  Letters of Recommendation.  A minimum of three letters of recommendation are required.  However, we will accept as many letters as submitted.  Insofar as you can, have references sent by those psychology professors who can best judge your chances for success in graduate study.  Letters from professors in other fields are helpful, provided they are well-acquainted with your capacity for academic and scientific work and the requirements for successful graduate study in psychology.  Recommendations from persons who have not had firsthand experience in graduate study tend not to be as useful.  In your Application Portal, you can add or edit your recommenders.  After you have added information about your recommenders in the portal, your recommenders will received an email from the Graduate School on your behalf.  The recommenders will upload their letters of recommendation using the secure link found in their email.  You should be notified by email and the checklist item in the portal will be completed once the recommenders submit their recommendations.

5)  Other Program Required or Supplemental Materials.  You are required to submit a Resume/CV and a Statement of Purpose.  You are also encouraged to upload other relevant supplemental materials to your application packet, i.e. writing samples, honors thesis, reprints of publications.  To upload those materials, go to your Application Portal to the Materials Upload section.  Select the corresponding material in the drop-down list, attach your document, and upload.  It can take 15-30 minutes for the system to mark the checklist item as complete.

6)  Interviews for Identified Applicants.  Promising applicants identified in the initial review are invited to participate in an interview held in January.  Due to on-going global pandemic health concerns, we may hold those interviews virtually. If you are an interview candidate, you will be notified in advance of those plans. 

7)  Criminal Background and Sex Offender Checks.  Prior to participating in interviews, invited applicants are required to undergo a criminal background check and (for clinical students) a sex offender registry check.  If the criminal history check reveals criminal convictions or arrests pending adjudication, the checks will be evaluated by the appropriate Training Committee in consultation with the applicant as well as the department chair and university administration, when relevant.  If criminal convictions or arrests currently pending adjudication are deemed substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of training or (for clinical students) to the professional practice of clinical psychology, applicants will not be admitted.  Minor traffic violations and other convictions or arrests not deemed related to the professional practice of clinical psychology typically will not disqualify applicants.  If the applicant believes the criminal background check is erroneous in some way, they may contact the background check vendor.



If you need assistance, please contact the Graduate School for technical questions about the Application Portal, issues with uploading materials in the portal, or the application fee at or (479) 575-4401.  Questions regarding the department admissions process, the applicant interview, or program required materials, feel free to contact our office.

Department of Psychological Science
University of Arkansas

216 Memorial Hall
Fayetteville, AR  72701
(479) 575-4256

For questions related to the Clinical Psychology graduate program, please email

For questions related to the Experimental Psychology graduate program, please email