Information for Applicants

The Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania will be accepting applications for the PhD program for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Deadline for applications for Fall 2022:  December 1, 2021 11:59 pm P.S.T.

The application is closed for Fall 2022.

Please note, we only accept applications for a PhD in Psychology. We do not offer a terminal Master’s degree in Psychology.

Update 10/18/2021: In a change from our previous policy, we are no longer requiring the GRE. See point 3 below.

Update 1/20/2022: Invitations to interview for Fall 2022 admission have been sent.

Update 2/25/2022: Admissions decisions have been made. All applicants on the admit list and the wait list have been notified.




1. Before you submit an application, we strongly encourage applicants to contact faculty with whom they are interested in working to discuss their research interests and confirm that working with the faculty member would be a good fit. 


The following faculty members are considering applications for Fall 2022 (updated 10/19/2021):

Professor Dolores Albarracin

Professor Coren Apicella

Professor Michael Arcaro

Professor Sudeep Bhatia

Professor David Brainard

Professor Elizabeth Brannon

Professor Delphine Dahan

Professor Angela Duckworth

Professor Russell Epstein

Professor Emily Falk

Professor Loretta Flanagan-Cato

Professor Maria Geffen

Professor Jay Gottfried

Professor Anna Jenkins

Professor Joseph Kable

Professor Michael Kahana

Professor Konrad Kording

Professor Allyson Mackey

Professor David Mandell

Professor Anna Papafragou

Professor Michael Platt

Professor Gareth Roberts

Professor Ayelet Ruscio

Professor Martin Seligman

Professor Alan Stocker

Professor Sharon Thompson-Schill

Professor John Trueswell

Professor Rebecca Waller


A full listing of our graduate group members may be found here. All members of our graduate group are eligible to advise students in our program, but only those listed above have indicated that they will look at applications for fall 2022.


2. Once you have contacted a faculty member and determined that the lab and the program are a good fit, you should proceed with your application (APPLY HERE).

3. Submission of scores from the GRE general test is optional, but recommended. Strong GREs can add important information to an application, and thus we encourage the submission of scores. However, in recognition of the difficulties some applicants have with GRE this year, we will give full consideration to applications submitted without the GRE. If you choose to submit official scores, they must be sent before the Dec. 1, 20221 deadline. Information about GRE fee waivers can be found here:

4. Applicants whose native language is not English must prove English proficiency through the following approved tests, unless they graduated from an English-speaking university (i.e., a university in an English-speaking country): TOEFL iBT Test (standard/in-person), TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, TOEFL ITP Plus for China solution, or Duolingo English Test.

5. You must arrange to have 3 letters of recommendation sent to Penn and submit all components of the application before the December 1, 2021 deadline (APPLY HERE). These include a personal statement, a transcript, and a CV. See here, for additional information about the personal statement.

6. Pay your application fee. Penn offers application fee waivers for some applicants. All fee waiver requests for hardships, McNair Scholars, etc., should be sent to Ms. Patricia Rea, Associate Director for Admissions in the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences for her review. Requests may be sent by email at

7. You will hear from us in mid January if you will be invited to interview. Interviews will be held virtually.  Interviews are usually in late January/early February. Admissions offers are usually made in mid-February. 


Is Penn’s program right for you? – See this handy decisions tree, reposted from the University of Houston Psychology website, to help you determine a route to your desired Psychology career.

Additional questions? A list of frequently asked questions about the application process can be found here.

For further questions, please contact Paul Newlon at