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Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Reach out to us!

Which faculty are accepting students?

You can see which faculty are accepting students on the faculty page of our website. This is where to find the most up-to-date information; a faculty member’s webpage is not always up-to-date.

Under each faculty’s bio, you will see a checkmark (green) stating they will be (or may be) accepting students or an “X” (red) indicating that they are not accepting students.


Is the program accredited?

Yes, the UNC Chapel Hill Clinical Psychology doctoral program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1949 and is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).


What is the average GPA/GRE scores of students you've accepted?

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the average GRE scores of applicants were Verbal 160, GRE Quantitative 161. Of note, starting in the 2020-2021 application year, we will no longer be requiring or reviewing GRE scores.

In 2022-2023 the average GPA was 3.67.

You can find these data from the past 10 years in the Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data (AOOD) document on our website [PDF].


When will I be notified if I was invited for an interview?

All applicants who are invited for an interview will be notified no later than mid-January.


How many applicants apply?

Typically, between 500-650 people apply for admission to our Clinical Psychology doctoral program, usually for about 8-10 spots. You can find data from the past 10 years in the Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data (AOOD) document on our website [PDF].


When is interview day?

Interview day is Friday, February 16, 2023.

Typically, labs (with graduate students, sometimes faculty) have an informal dinner the Thursday before the interview day and on Saturday the department host brunches for racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQ individuals and allies.
For the current admissions cycle, our department is planning to have an in-person interview day. If we change to a virtual interview day, this will be posted on the our Application Process webpage.


Are GRE scores required? If they are not required, can I send them anyhow?

Starting with the admissions cycle for entry in Fall 2021, the UNC Department of Psychology & Neuroscience (the Clinical Psychology program and the 5 other programs) have decided to no longer require or review GRE scores. Applicants should not submit their GRE scores through ETS nor report their scores in their CVs or any other admissions material.


Can I apply as an international student?


How long does it take to complete the program?

In the past 10 years, the average time it has taken to complete the program is 6 years (including internship). For more information, visit our Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data (AOOD) document on our website [PDF].


How much is tuition?

For over 50 years, students admitted to the Clinical Psychology program has guaranteed full tuition remission and a nine‐month stipend (most typically for a research or teaching assistantship) and health insurance for 5 years at UNC (10 enrolled semesters). The minimum nine‐month stipend offered to incoming students of the 2022-2023 academic year was $20,000. Unfortunately, after your 5th year here, we can no longer guarantee funding.


Do you have any advice on applying to the Clinical Psychology doctoral program?

Yes, we do! D.r Prinstein has an entire webpage dedicated to this! Please review Dr. Mitch Prinstein’s document called Mitch’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology [PDF]. Dr. Prinstein was our Director of Clinical Psychology for 12 years and his document provides tips on how to apply to clinical programs, how the admissions process works, how to obtain research experience, how to interview, and so much more!

Becoming a Psychological Scientist: A Series to Successfully Apply to Grad School and Help Diversify the Field.
The application process for doctoral programs for psychological science has several steps. APA created a series of 6 videos in Fall 2023 and live question and answer sessions with psychological scientists and current graduate students from different subfields with lived experience and expertise in the application process. These sessions will offer advice and strategies for navigating all the steps of the application process, discuss important considerations for selecting a program, and highlight resources for funding your graduate education. The series will address challenges and systemic barriers for students and is free and open to all. Watch the series here!


What if I don't have a Psychology degree?

Our program does not require a Psychology Bachelor’s nor any specific undergraduate or graduate courses to be admitted. However, prior coursework in Psychology is expected. Some core courses to aim to take would be Psychopathology, Intro to Clinical Psyc, Statistics course with a Psyc focus, and a Research Methods course.

However, what is required is significant research experience prior to graduate school. This could be accomplished in a variety of ways (e.g., research assistant in a lab while in undergrad; honors thesis; post-bacc research), but all competitive applicants have done lots of research.


Am I required to have my Master's degree before joining the program?

No, this is a five- to six-year program where you will receive both your Master’s degree and PhD. In fact, most of our students do not have Master’s when they apply, although all have substantial research experience (in undergraduate and/or as a post-baccalaureate research assistant).


Is this a Master's program?

No, this is a doctoral program. You earn your Master’s degree en route to your PhD, but the program is not a terminal Master’s program. We only accept applicants who are pursuing their PhD. We do not accept students who are only interested in receiving their Master’s degree.


What if I already have a Master's degree?

If you have a Master’s in Psychology or a related field, you can attempt to get it transferred here. As part of that process, a committee of faculty will read, discuss and review your thesis and decide whether the topic and quality are similar to what we would expect of our own students. If it is, you are not required to complete any Master’s requirements as part of our program. Despite this, students who enter with a Master’s typically take the same amount of time to complete the program as students who do not.


What does the program's curriculum look like?

You can see our entire curriculum in the Clinical Program handbook in Appendices A and B.


How do I know if your Clinical program is for me?

You can find information on each faculty member’s research in their bios on our website. You can find information on our program, the structure, the mission, the curriculum, and more in the Clinical Handbook. You can also contact the faculty you would be interested in working with, the Clinical Program Coordinator or the Director of Clinical Psychology (Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz) with any questions you have. However, before you email any faculty or staff, make sure you have carefully read the information on our website (and their website). In addition, please do not send your CV/resume to us: we will review this should you decide to apply.


What if I am interested in more than one program?

Occasionally, applicants may feel an interest in two areas of interest and would prefer to receive training that integrates the curricula from two of our six graduate programs. Each year, we consider a small number of applicants for admission to a dual-area training program.

If interested, select Dual Program within the graduate school application and choose two programs of interest. Be certain to articulate the rationale within your statement of purpose (likely in your response to one of the first 2 questions in the statement of purpose) and identify at least one member of each program’s faculty to serve as potential co-mentors. We strongly recommend you contact both potential co-mentors to discuss the feasibility of your joint training program. Finally, be sure to indicate within your statement of purpose whether you would like to be considered for admission into a single program of study if you are not selected for a dual-program slot.

Please note that selecting more than one area of interest will not increase your chances of admission. Select this option only if you have a specific interest in dual-program training.

In terms of coursework, students must work with their co-mentors and program directors to determine requirements. Certain courses and requirements are mandatory for all students in P&N, so they take those. Then, you will make a plan with their advisers about which program-specific courses you will take from each program. For your research milestones, the same process will be used: you will work with your co-mentors to determine research topics, procedures and grading. Students will receive a single degree in Psychology after completion of the programs; neither program will be denoted on the diploma.


Who should write my letters of recommendation?

These letters of recommendation should be written by people qualified to evaluate your academic and professional qualifications. You should solicit recommendations from individuals who are familiar with your academic achievement and who can address your potential for success in this academic setting. If you have been out of school for several years and are unable to contact former professors, letters from other individuals who can address your achievement and potential will be accepted. We advise against using generic letters of recommendation such as those provided by campus career planning and placement offices. The online application includes a place for you to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders (3 are required); email invitations will go out to these recommenders once you select “Save” in the application. Letters must be received by the application deadline.


How do I know which faculty are in the adult or child track?

You can find this information on our website.


What is the Diversifying Psychology Weekend?

This is a weekend full of seminars, panel discussions, and workshops for ethnic/racial minority undergraduates and recent college graduates who are invested in pursuing doctoral-level training in clinical and/or developmental psychology. More information about this program can be found online.


Does this program lead to licensure?

Licensure is not part of our program per se. However, since we are accredited by multiple bodies including APA and PCSAS, obtaining licensure is fairly straightforward for most states, and we are happy to provide necessary documentation they may need to help them with licensure. Most students have no major issues with the process.