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Graduate Program

Important message regarding the GRE: Beginning with applications in Fall 2020, the GRE is not required and should not be submitted. 

Overview of the Graduate Program

The graduate program in Psychological and Brain Sciences is a research-focused program designed for students seeking a doctorate in psychology. The program prepares students for careers in research, teaching, and related scholarly endeavors in academic, industrial, governmental, or medical settings. We believe the best way to accomplish these goals is to adopt an apprenticeship-based model in which a student immediately joins a mentor’s laboratory and starts conducting research. Accordingly, prospective applicants should reach out to potential faculty mentors in advance to determine whether a) the mentor plans to accept graduate students in the coming year and b) the laboratory is a good fit for the applicant.

The department is strongly committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field. Faculty believe deeply in recruiting, training, and mentoring graduate students from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in psychological science, including Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic students, sexual and gender minority students, and first-generation students. The department supports a number of committees and programs related to this effort, including: the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee composed of faculty, staff, and students; the Bridging the Gap in Psyience (BGP) program, designed to provide a safe, inclusive, and collaborative space for BIPOC graduate and postdoctoral students; and the Our Collective Brains (OCB) program, designed to support first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students.

The graduate program also has close ties with the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Training Program (BBIP), an NIH-funded interdisciplinary research training program that provides behaviorally oriented scientists with opportunities to incorporate biomedical methodologies into their research. The BBIP program also provides opportunities for graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply for funding.

When applying to our PhD program, we ask prospective applicants to list their primary research interests and identify potential mentors. We have a variety of research groups in the department that are made up of overlapping sets of faculty with shared research interests, including Behavioral & Cognitive NeuroscienceClinical ScienceCognition, Cognitive ControlDevelopmental Psychopathology, Developmental Science, Health PsychologySocial Psychology, and Visual Perception. Prospective applicants should review these groups to help identify potential mentors in the program. 

Several of these research groups also serve as broad training tracks that provide curricular frameworks. Specialized graduate training can also be pursued through the Individualized Graduate Training Track. The current training tracks are listed below:

If you need assistance or accommodations throughout the application and admissions process, please reach out to us by emailing the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Ryan LaLumiere (ryan-lalumiere@uiowa.edu), or calling the department office at 319-335-2406.