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Frequently Asked Questions about Applying

Where is the Department of Psychology located?

On the third and fourth floors of Brackett Hall. The main department office is in Room 418.

Who can I contact for additional information about the graduate programs in psychology at Clemson?

Please contact Dr. Bob Sinclair, our Graduate Programs Coordinator for questions about the industrial-organizational psychology programs, and Dr. Chris Pagano for questions about the human factors psychology programs.

When is the deadline for applying to the graduate programs?

January 15 (this is for admission for the following fall semester). The January 15 deadline is the correct deadline; it supersedes any deadline you posted to the university's website.

Can I apply to begin the program in January?

No, our programs are tightly structured for 45 credit hours in the first two years. January admissions are not practical in such a program.

What materials are required in an application?

  1. The electronic application, available through the Graduate Admissions website, which includes basic background information and a personal statement addressing the reasons why you are applying to the psychology department's graduate program and, where relevant, indicating which faculty member(s) you would most like to work with.
  2. The General GRE exam (Verbal, Quantitative, & Analytical). The GRE Psychology Subject test is NOT required. The institution code for sending official GRE scores to Clemson University is 5111.
  3. Transcripts from your undergraduate (and any graduate) institutions.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation. These do not have to be from college professors. As part of the online application you will be required to fill in the name and contact information for the individuals who will submit recommendations on your behalf. A message will be sent to them automatically via email and they will be able to submit their recommendation online. You will not need to obtain or distribute recommendation forms.
  5. Recommended but not required: A resume (or academic-style vita).
  6. TOEFL scores are required for applicants whose native language is not English. However, if you completed a prior degree program where the primary language of instruction was English, you do not need to submit TOEFL scores.

Where should application materials be sent?

Send supporting materials to the admissions office:

Graduate Admissions Office
E-209 Martin Hall
Clemson, SC 29634

What are the minimum cut-off scores for the GRE and GPA?

We do not have an official minimum cut-off score for the GRE and GPA. However, in general, a low GRE in our program would be around 500 and a low GPA would be around 3.0. Although the acceptance criteria vary slightly among our different graduate programs, acceptance into all of our programs is competitive. Both GRE and GPA are considered in the application process.

What are some typical GRE and GPA scores for your students?

Our students typically have GRE subtest scores averaging 550 Verbal, 600 Quantitative, and 650 Analytical with an average overall GPA of 3.5.

How many students do you accept each year?

The number of students accepted varies according to our funding levels, but we typically enroll six to seven I-0 students and four to five human factors students each year.

How many applications do you get each year?

We typically receive more than 150 applications each year.

Do I have to have a degree in psychology to be admitted into the graduate programs?

No. All applicants to the human factors (HF) and industrial-organizational (IO) Ph.D. and M.S. programs are expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge of behavioral research methods and statistical analysis, most commonly through relevant undergraduate coursework. Applicants to the human factors program (Ph.D. or M.S.) are expected to have 18 credits of psychology prior to entering the HF program and are expected to have completed a college-level course in calculus. 

If you do not meet one of these requirements, you may still apply to the HF program and, if you are admitted, the HF program will work with you to develop a plan for meeting the requirement. Please note that the HF program does not make such recommendations until after the student has been admitted. Applicants to the industrial-organizational (IO) Ph.D. or M.S. program are strongly encouraged to obtain some background in applied psychology prior to applying, and are expected to have basic knowledge of psychological theories and methods, but the I-O program does not have a specific psychology course credit expectation for either the M.S. or the Ph.D. level.

I have not yet received the information or an application. When can I expect to receive these materials?

Information regarding our graduate programs may be obtained by emailing Dr. Bob Sinclair, the graduate program coordinator. Application materials may be obtained from the Graduate Admissions website or by calling 864-656-3195 for an application.

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application online.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, but the specific amounts may vary according to our funding levels. Typically, we offer most of our students the following funding package: 20-Hour/Week Teaching or Research Assistantship (TA / RA) that pays $11,000 - $14,000 for each academic year (9 months) PLUS a full tuition waiver (you pay no tuition, in-state or out-of-state; you do, however, pay about $1000 per semester in various fees). Also, many students find paid summer internships that supplement their financial aid. Some types of aid are also available online through Clemson’s Financial Aid Office.

When are admissions decisions and decisions about assistantships made?

The admissions committee makes decisions and communicates the results to applicants throughout the months of February, March and April.

How long does the program take?

We do not offer graduate courses part time, online or via distance learning. With the exception of approved internships, students are expected to remain full-time students in residence for the duration of their graduate career. The completion of a master's degree in psychology requires two years of full-time study while in residence. The completion of a Ph.D. requires five years of full-time study in residence, assuming that the student enters the program with a bachelor's degree and earns the master's degree along the way. The completion of a Ph.D. by a student entering Clemson with a master's degree from another institution typically requires three to four years of full-time study in residence. All graduate students are expected to be involved in both class work and research on a full-time basis.

Does the Department of Psychology offer graduate courses part time, online or via distance learning programs?


What is the orientation of the program?

The master’s programs are oriented toward applications and research. To correctly apply psychological research (and to stay current as the field advances) you must be a trained evaluator and informed consumer of psychological research. To that end, we require substantial training in research methods and a written thesis is required in our master’s degree programs. Our two Ph.D. programs (human factors and I-O psychology) are based on the scientist-practitioner model.

Does the master’s degree require a written thesis?

Yes (see above).

What is Clemson like?

Our beautiful college campus sits on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the shores of Hartwell Lake. We also have research facilities and economic development hubs throughout the state of South Carolina — in Greenville, Greenwood, Columbia and Charleston.

One of the country’s most selective public research universities, Clemson University serves a uniquely driven and highly accomplished student body. Ranked as the 21st best national public university by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson is a science- and engineering-oriented college dedicated to teaching, research and service. Founded in 1889, it remains committed both to world-class research and a high quality of life. Ninety-two percent of Clemson seniors say they’d pick the university again if they had it to do over. See the Clemson University home page for more information about the university and the surrounding area.

What is the housing situation at Clemson?

Clemson University offers single or roommate-oriented housing, and Clemson and surrounding cities offer off-campus apartment housing options. For more information visit the University Housing Office.