Frequently Asked Questions | Department of Psychology (2023)

Application Information

The department offers a comprehensive research-based graduate program spanning areas ofBehavioral Neuroscience;Sensation and Perception; Cognition;andSocial and Personality Psychology.Collaboration among different laboratories involving research spanning different areas is quite common. The graduate program is designed to provide a broad base in psychology, while offering an opportunity for intensive research. In addition, supervised teaching is integral to the graduate career, and all students serve as teaching assistants for one semester each year.

Master's and doctoral programs and specializations in the following sub-disciplines are offered through Teachers College:

  • Applied Educational Psychology, School Psychology, Health and Behavior Studies Applied Educational Psychology
  • Health and Behavior Studies Special Education, Health and Behavior Studies Health Studies
  • Counseling Psychology/Psychological Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Psychology in Education
  • Developmental Psychology Programs, Psychology: Developmental
  • Psychology: Organizational I/O, Social-Organizational Psychology

For more information on degrees in Clinical Psychology and the other programs listed above, please visit thewebsite. For information on application procedures for the programs listed above, please visit theTeachers College Admissionswebsite.

    Complete applications, including references, transcripts, and GRE scores, must be received bythe Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Office byDecember 1st, 2022to be considered for entrance in September of the following year.

    • Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application, GRE scores, transcripts, and supporting documents in accordance with theDecember 1deadline whichincludes the day of December 1. Late applications are rarely considered. Although incomplete applications are included in the evaluation pool, incomplete applications are very difficult to evaluate for admission to this program.

    • Information about a grace period for submitting supporting documents and scores beyond the Psychology Department deadline is provided in Please note that our department is better able to address specific questions regarding extenuating circumstances much closer to the application deadline. Please contact[emailprotected].

      Psychology department admits students in the Fall semester ONLY.

      The department receives about 200-300 applications yearly and, on average, makes offers to 12 students. For general information about Columbia University enrollment statistics, visit theColumbia University Factswebsite.

      The application fee is$115for the on-line application.

      The psychology GRE is not required.

      The code for the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is2162.

      *GRE Requirement has been waived for Fall 2023 Admission

      The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences does not use department codes, therefore, the Psychology program does not have a department code. Accordingly, all application materials should be submitted to the GSAS admissions office only.

      *GRE Requirement has been waived for Fall 2023 Admission

      Admission to the program is based on an overall evaluation of applicants' scores, grades, recommendation letters, as well as potential for scholarship in our program. Applicants who took the GREbefore August 1, 2011were encouraged by our department to score aminimum of 1200on the combined verbal and quantitative GREs. Applicants who took the GREafter August 1, 2011, and are therefore subject to the *revised scoring system*, are encouraged by our department to score aminimum of 310on the combined verbal and quantitative GREs.

      *GRE Requirement has been waived for Fall 2023 Admission

        The current policy states that test scores must come from ETS.

        Applications are usually made available on-line in September to be completed on the web at Graduate School of Arts and Sciences SLATE.

        The application process is entirely web-based, therefore, the application should be completed and submitted on-line. If prospective students are unable to submit application materials such as supporting documents on-line, those documents should be mailed to the GSAS Office of Admissions at:

        Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
        107 Low Memorial Library
        535 West 116th Street, MC 4304
        Columbia University
        New York, NY 10027

        **Applicants should not send any materials to the Psychology Department**

        Yes, you may check the status of your application on the Application Status screen. You will be able to access this screen only after your application has been submitted.

        • For information about visiting the Columbia University campus itself, navigate to theColumbia Campus Tourswebsite.
        • Concerning visitation with Psychology faculty, currently enrolled Columbia students can schedule meetings with faculty during office hours and the program does not offer information sessions or tours of the department. The faculty traditionally do not offer advisement to those who are not currently enrolled at Columbia University. Additionally, the Psychology Department does not send information about the program to prospective students by post but, rather, encourages applicants to visit the department website for information about the Psychology program. The application process itself is entirely web-based therefore; the department website has many links that give site visitors electronic access to current Faculty, Staff, Researchers, RAs, Postdocs, and Graduate Students who can respond to correspondence at their discretion.
          • You must take an English proficiency test. International students may, instead of TOEFL, submit results of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) administered in foreign countries by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), the British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia. The Graduate School normally requires a score of 7 or higher onIELTS(For information about IELTS).
          • Exception: International students who have earned a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution or from an institution in an English-speaking country, and have studied there for at least two years, are not required to take the TOEFL or IELTS.

          No, but international students must hold the equivalent of an American university baccalaureate (B.A.) and be fluent in both written and spoken English. International applicants who are not natives of English-speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in time for the score to be included with the completed application. Exam information is available from TOEFL, Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151 orETS.

          Applicants can contact theInternational Students and Scholars OfficeandGSASto determine if their degree is equivalent to an American university degree. For example, on the GSAS website, applicants with questions about their 3 year Bachelor's degree will note that "GSAS is now accepting applications from students earning 3 year Bachelor's degrees in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Australia, South Africa and any country which is a participant in theBologna Process."

          Admission Information

          Admission information can be found at theGraduate School of Arts and Scienceswebsite.

          Columbia's Psychology Department is relatively small; it admits about 12 full-time students each year. Such a highly selective system affords graduate students the opportunity to become acquainted with all department research conducted by faculty and fellow students.

          There are no rules or quotas regarding admittance of international students. For general information about Columbia University enrollment statistics, visit theColumbia University Factswebsite.

          The average GPA for students entering the program is 3.7. The range of the GRE scores for applicants who took the GRE prior to the August 1, 2011 revised scoring system was 640-750 for the verbal section and 600-800 for the quantitative section. Prior to the revised system, applicants scored an average of 664 on the verbal section and 760 on the quantitative section of the GRE. For information about the revised scoring system,click here.

          The department begins the review process afterDecember 1and invites selected students to the campus inlate January/early Februaryfor interviews, tours, and a chance to get to know faculty and current graduate students. Official notification from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences about admission decisions will be e-mailedmid-March.

          Students will be notified of all decisions by e-mail byend of March. After applicants submit their application materials, they can view the status of their application on the Application Status screen. Please note that Columbia does not post the admissions decisions online.

          Practical Program Information

          Faculty who sponsor thesis work can be found in a list on theApproved Dissertation Sponsorspage.

          Applicants are not admitted to the graduate program to work for a particular research group and, therefore, do not request the sponsorship of a particular faculty lab before an admissions decision is reached. Admitted students are encouraged to get to know several different faculty members, become acquainted with faculty research, and become involved with research in more than one lab. Applicants can find information about the different kinds of research conducted by faculty and address specific questions about sponsorship directly to Psychology faculty within theFaculty Research Labs.

          Students typically complete the program in five years. The program does not offer distance learning and it is a full-time program.

          All students accepted to the Ph.D. program in psychology receive a multi-year Faculty Fellowship which provides tuition, health and insurance fees, and an annual stipend for five years. The stipend level is adjusted each year to keep pace with the rate of inflation.In2019-2020 the stipend was $30,232 for the academic yearand$10,078for the summer of 2020.

          Students may apply for outside, need-based loans. Questions about financial aid can be directed to theFinancial Aid Office.

          Columbia University provides housing for graduate students. Funded students have a guarantee of only 5 years of housing. Housing beyond 5 years of study is at the discretion of the dean's office and is determined by availability and by timely progress towards the degree. Most accommodations are apartment shares in graduate student apartment buildings; there are a few studio and one-bedroom apartments in University buildings. All are located within a ten-minute walk to campus.On average single bedroom apartment costs about $1,025-$1,550 per month, a shared double about $670-750 per month. More information can be found onColumbia University Apartment Housing'swebsite.

            Students who are interested in a terminal master's degree should consider the. TC offers masters programs and specializes in multiple sub-disciplines in psychology as seen in the answer to question#9.

            Separate from Teachers College, our research-based Psychology program is a five-year consecutive series of classes and research culminating in the Ph.D. degree. Students usually earn a master's degree by the end of their second year, through the completion of research leading to a master's essay and an oral presentation of the master's essay to faculty and other graduate students.

              All students are admitted into the five-year Ph.D. program, and every student must fulfill all of the degree requirements. Previously taken courses will be evaluated on an individual basis. The program's emphasis, however, is research and there are very few course requirements.

              • Teachers Collegeoffers masters and doctoral programs in the following sub-disciplines in psychology:
                • Applied Educational Psychology, School Psychology, Health and Behavior Studies Applied Educational Psychology
                • Health and Behavior Studies Special Education, Health and Behavior Studies Health Studies
                • Counseling Psychology/Psychological Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Psychology in Education
                • Developmental Psychology Programs, Psychology: Developmental
                • Psychology: Organizational I/O, Social-Organizational Psychology
              • Columbia Business Schoolalso offers a Doctoral Program with fields of study which may be of interest to psychology students (Management, decision risk and operations, and Marketing). Additionally, Columbia Business School offers the MBA, Executive MBA, and Executive Education. Because psychology is such a broad subject, the other related disciplines at Columbia which may be of interest to students are too numerous to list here. We encourage prospective students to explore Columbia's offerings through their website listed above.
              • The Center for Neurobiology and Behaviorat Columbia University Medical Center also offers aDoctoral Program in Neurobiology and BehaviorandPostdoctoral training.
                • Prospective students may apply to one graduate school program only. All graduate applications for programs offered at Columbia allow prospective students the option to specify one secondary program of interest.
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