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Department of Psychology

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If you are considering a major or minor in psychology, you'll apply to the University of South Carolina through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and declare your major within your first year here. If you are interested in one of our advanced degree programs, you'll apply through the Graduate School.

Apply for Undergraduate Admission

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions manages online applications to the university and provides the most comprehensive information on the application process. The admissions office also provides the latest information on application deadlines and university scholarships for S.C. residents and nonresidents. So whether you are applying as a freshman, are looking to transfer to South Carolina or are planning to come to Columbia from another USC campus, you can check the requirements based on your current status and apply now.


Apply to Graduate School

The Graduate School coordinates online applications to our master's and doctoral programs. There may be supporting materials that are required along with your online application for graduate admission, so be sure to review the degree requirements before you apply.

Admissions Criteria for Specific Programs

Some of our programs require additional application steps.

The Clinical-Community Program receives on average between 150-180 applications each year. Files are evaluated in a holistic manner and six to eight new students are typically admitted each year. Students who are made offers for admission often have research or applied experience in addition to their undergraduate degree. The University of South Carolina is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. Minorities and members of other historically under-represented groups in our field are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students in our program have a major professor who serves as an advisor and mentor. Please review the research expertise for all faculty members and carefully consider with whom you would like to work within the Clinical-Community Program. Your research interests and suggested mentor should be explained in the personal statement.

 Admission to our program is based on scholastic achievement, prior research experience and research interests. Admission is very competitive. Research experience and fit with a faculty member are especially important. Please review the research expertise of faculty members in the Program, and carefully consider whom you would like to work with. Your personal statement should reflect your research interests and fit with potential mentors. You are strongly advised to contact potential faculty mentors to inquire about fit and lab openings before you apply. 

 The University of South Carolina is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. Minorities and members of other historically under-represented groups in our field are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications completed by December 1st will be given full consideration. Applications should be submitted on-line at the Graduate School of the University of South Carolina.   

Admission to the quantitative PhD concentration is based on an inclusive evaluation of the prospective student’s profile. We consider one’s traditional academic record, prior relevant experience, and fit with faculty mentor in evaluating files. Applicants are encouraged to contact prospective faculty mentors prior to submitting an application (to learn more about the faculty member’s current research and to assess match potential) and are advised to discuss fit with identified mentors in the personal statement. Competitive applicants often have prior research experience in quantitative study or have completed prior quantitative classwork of some kind. The University of South Carolina is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. We strongly encourage minorities and members of other historically under-represented groups in our field to apply.

Each year, we receive a number of applications for the School Psychology Doctoral Program. Typically, 5-7 students are admitted to the Ph.D. program. Learn about our admissions criteria.

During a designated "interview day" in January, applicants are invited to come to the University to meet the faculty and students currently in the program. This provides an excellent opportunity for applicants to acquaint themselves with program faculty and students and ask questions about the program. Additionally, applicants can learn about training opportunities, program resources, funding options, etc., which will enable applicants to better evaluate the program. Applicants invited to interview day should attend if at all possible, although it is recognized that some applicants will not be able to attend. No applicant will be denied admission because of missing an interview day. An invitation to an interview in no way guarantees acceptance into the program.

Tips for Submitting a Competitive Application

  1. All application materials must be furnished by the application deadline date, December 1 to be considered for admission in the fall of next year. There are no mid-year admissions or consideration for part-time student status. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure all materials arrive on time for review. Note that one may apply to only one graduate program at USC in a given year.
  2. A successful application will highlight preferences for a faculty mentor on the application. Decisions regarding your faculty mentors should be based on research and professional interests. Applications should be submitted on-line from the USC Graduate School application. Please specify the psychology program in which you are interested.
  1. To be considered, prospective applicants must apply jointly to BBIP and to the disciplinary program of interest. Applicants must be a US citizen or US permanent resident to apply. To ensure full consideration, applicants are encouraged to apply to their department of interest early. The Psychology Department has a December deadline. The Exercise Science and Epidemiology Departments have varying deadlines. Check with your department of interest on specific deadlines.
  2. To Apply to BBIP in conjunction with Psychology or Exercise Science, applicants must apply through the Graduate School.
  3. To Apply to BBIP in conjunction with Epidemiology, applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
  4. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact one of the three participating departments to obtain more information about these doctoral programs that are coordinating with BBIP.

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