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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

PhD Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission as graduate degree-seeking students must submit all application materials online at by February 1. Students applying during the Spring are applying to begin the following Fall.

Admission to the doctoral program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum criteria will not guarantee admission. Students must meet all University-wide requirements as outlined in the most recent UTSA Graduate Catalog. At the very least, students must hold a completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution, have been in good standing at the time of departure from the last institution attended, and be recommended for admission by the Psychology Doctoral Program Admissions Committee.

Admissions are competitive with a limited number of openings available any given year. As such, there is not a specific profile that guarantees admission. The following data are from recently admitted applicants:

  • Their average GPA for their graduate coursework is 3.88
  • Their average GRE-Verbal score is in the 75th percentile
  • Their average GRE-Quantitative is in the 55th percentile
  • All had completed a Master's degree in Psychology or a closely related discipline (e.g., Public Health, Kinesiology)
  • All had out-of-class research experience prior to applying (e.g., independent study, applied research at work, etc.)

Keep in mind, the above are averages. Some successful applicants scored lower while others scored higher. The minimum requirements for unconditional admission are:

  1. Documented completion of a 36-hour (or more), thesis-based Master’s degree in psychology and courses comparable to those required by the UTSA Psychology MS Program. Applicants with fewer hours or from a non-thesis program may be considered for conditional admission pending completion of all deficiencies. Students with conditional admission will not be eligible for tuition waivers or stipends.
  2. A Master’s degree transcript documenting a GPA of 3.5 or higher. If a master’s degree has not been completed, a transcript documenting a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the last 60 hours of coursework will be required
  3. For applicants whose native language is not English, a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL paper version and/or 79 on the internet version
  4. Three letters of recommendation indicating the applicant has the necessary academic and personal attributes for success in the program and has the potential for making significant contributions in the field of psychology
  5. A 3-page statement written by the applicant that clearly states his or her career goals, research interests, and purpose for pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio
  6. Evidence of prior research experience. The preferred form is a completed Master’s thesis, but published research articles, a manuscript prepared for publication, or a paper submitted for credit in an independent or honors study project are acceptable alternatives
  7. Scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) must be submitted before the application is considered complete. These scores must be no older than 5 years and will be weighed in conjunction with the other material in the applicant’s file