Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for submission of applications to the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program is 11:59pm, EST on December 1st. The application and all required credentials must be received by the graduate school by this deadline. The Clinical Program will not accept credentials submitted after the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Q: What credentials and paperwork go into the application?

The online application is available in September and should be submitted as far in advance of the December 1st deadline as possible. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted online via a link the recommenders will receive. On the application, you will have the opportunity to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript. Please note you will be required to submit official transcripts if you accept our offer of admission. GRE scores must be submitted by ETS (the Boston University institution code is 3087). The GRE Subject Test is recommended, but not required. A personal statement and CV should be uploaded with your application.

Q: Is there a minimum GRE score or GPA required to apply?

No. All complete applications are reviewed by at least one faculty member regardless of your GPA or of how low or high you score on the GRE.

Q: Can I apply to the PhD program if I have not received an MA?

Yes. All students enrolled in the clinical doctoral program will follow the same curriculum and will be expected to take 20 courses at Boston University whether or not they have received a master’s degree previously. Students without master’s degrees will earn a master’s en route to the doctorate.

Q: Can I schedule an individual meeting or phone conversation with a faculty member?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of prospective applicants who wish to meet individually with clinical faculty members, we are unable to accommodate such requests. Due to a policy change, the clinical program no longer offers information sessions. Unscheduled visits to the program are not recommended, but campus tours are available through the Boston University Admissions office. Please contact the Clinical Program Coordinator with any questions at (617) 353-2587 or

Q: Are there any special steps international students should take in order to ensure their application is properly processed and reviewed?

Please refer to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences admissions page. You should have your grades/GPA translated to the U.S (4.0) scale. You may wish to provide an explanation of the grading system utilized at your university/within your country of origin if it is very different from the U.S. scale and not easily translated. This is especially important if your bachelor’s degree was conferred from an accredited foreign university and not an American one. Be sure your GPA is clearly stated on your transcript and Curriculum Vitae. You may find it helpful to consult the International Students and Scholars Office.

Q: Can I transfer credits from another graduate program to the clinical psychology PhD program at Boston University?

Transfer credits are considered once an applicant is accepted and enrolls as a student. There is no guarantee that the courses you have taken at another college or university will transfer. Even if they do transfer, you will be required to substitute courses to complement your experiences at BU. It is unlikely that successfully transferred courses will reduce your time in the program.

Q: How much does graduate education cost and what is the availability of financial aid and/or scholarships?

We provide funding for five years, including summers. The majority of the funding is either teaching fellowships or research assistantships, but there are a few University-sponsored scholarships as well, for which outstanding applicants are nominated by the admissions committee.

Q: Approximately how many applicants are accepted per academic year?

Less than 2% of applicants are accepted every year.

Q: On What criteria are applications reviewed?

First and foremost, we are interested in an applicant’s “fit” with the clinical program. We want to attract students who will thrive in a clinical scientist program and who have the potential to be productive clinical researchers and skilled clinicians. Also, we are interested in whether or not an applicant’s interests match those of our faculty. We try to have potential faculty mentors review appropriate applicant files.

Next, we are interested in the strength of the application. An applicant’s transcript and GRE scores are evaluated in terms of academic ability and potential. Qualities essential to successful graduate student careers—such as motivation, initiative, curiosity, and perseverance—are typically enumerated in letters of recommendation and personal statements.

Lastly, we are interested in the applicant’s commitment to the field of psychology and whether they have tested their interests with relevant research participation or work in mental health and related fields.

Overall, we strive to admit applicants who will be happy and successful in their chosen field and who have the potential to become leaders in psychology.

Q: Would successful completion of the clinical program make me eligible for licensure in other states?

The program is designed to permit students to become eligible for a psychologist license in the state of Massachusetts. It is important to note that licensing requirements may vary by state. Students are responsible for identifying specific state requirements outside of MA, which, in some cases, may be addressed through electives. You will find state-specific licensure information here.