Ph.D. Program - Psychological and Brain Sciences
The program admits students for matriculation only in the fall semester of each academic year. Applications must be complete by Dec. 1 for full consideration of admission into the Psychological and Brain Sciences graduate program. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as early as possible. The admission process is typically completed by April 15.
We anticipate entering classes of approximately seven to ten students each year. Typically, admitted students have GPAs above 3.40 and GRE scores above 150 on each required subtest. Our program does not use the GRE to screen applicants and the program faculty take a holistic approach when reviewing application materials.
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution.
- Applicants should have completed at least 18 hours of undergraduate psychology courses including Statistics and Research Methods or their equivalents.
- Scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). For the GRE Testing website. GRE score reporting is cumulative. Current GRE board policy states that your scores are retained for five years following the year in which you tested. We encourage submitting GRE scores if available, but realize some individuals are unable to take the GRE due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will consider applications without GRE scores.
- Complete the online application via the Graduate College website. Application fees are $60 for domestic applicants and $95 for international applicants. If this fee poses a financial hardship, you may request a potential reimbursement for the fee. Please email the program coordinator (Jennifer.email@example.com) and provide a one paragraph explanation for the request for reimbursement and documents to support the request, such as the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Reimbursements are limited and not guaranteed. Decisions will be made based on need, pending available funding and department chair approval.
- Completion of the application will require submission of one official transcript from each university/college attended. Be sure to include transcripts from institutions for which you had credits transferred to another university/college if applicable.
- Completion of the application will also require submission of a letter of intent. In this letter, you should describe: (a) your research interests; (b) educational and professional goals; (c) one to three faculty you might be interested in working with and the area of study that interests you (cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, or quantitative/experimental); (d) some background information describing how you became interested in these areas; and (e) if applicable, any other factors that you would want the admissions committee to consider in evaluating your application that are not evident from other materials (e.g., multicultural background or interests; gaps in your record).
- Completion of the application will also require three letters of recommendation evaluating the student's potential for doctoral studies. Be prepared to provide contact information for your three letter writers so they receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter.
- When requesting to have your GRE scores sent to UNLV, please use the following institution GRE code: 4861 for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
- The Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty will review the applications and invite a select number of applicants for interviews with members of the program faculty and graduate students. Typically, the Psychological and Brain Sciences program notifies applicants for interviews by late December or early January. These interviews are a significant component of the selection process, so invited applicants are highly encouraged to attend. If personal interviews are not feasible, telephone or internet interviews may be substituted. Due to COVID-19, all interviews will be conducted remotely this admissions season.
- Following the interviews, the Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty will meet and send offers of admission to those students whose research interests and background best fit the goals of their prospective mentor and the Psychological and Brain Sciences mission.
Evaluation of Applications
The admission requirements represent the minimum standards. Meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee admission. Admission is a competitive process in which the faculty judges each applicant’s credentials with the goal of selecting those who are most qualified and represent the best fit with our Psychological and Brain Sciences program. Consideration of fit includes factors such as the applicant’s goals and the program’s goals. We also value how applicants contribute to the diversity, broadly defined, of our department in terms of background, research interests, and experience.
The Psychological and Brain Sciences Committee evaluates requests for transfer/waiver credit only after students have been accepted into the program.
UNLV strives to provide competitive funding offers with reasonable tuition and fees to doctoral students. Our program attempts to provide funding to all students who request it. The most common source of funding for first and second-year graduate students is a graduate assistantship. Students in years three and beyond are often funded through assistantships, which involve teaching two sections of introductory psychology or a similar course. Some students are funded on faculty research or service grants. In past years nearly all students that have requested funding have received some form of funding similar to a Graduate Assistantship. Visit the Graduate College for additional information regarding financial aid and other possible sources of funding.