Application Instructions

Deadline: Dec. 1st

How to Apply: Parts I and II

To apply to the Experimental Psychology PhD program, applicants must complete Part I and Part II

Part I. Graduate School
Part II. Experimental Psychology Program

Part I. Graduate School

To complete Part I, applicants should review the Graduate School application instructions and then complete the online application form. Below are some of the requirements for that application.

    1. Application Form
      Note about the two required essays in the Education and Life Experiences section (300 words max each): Our program does not require that applicants focus on any specific skill, personal attribute, or experience in answering these questions. A Personal Statement (see Part II. Experimental Psychology Program below) is also required.
    2. Application Fee: $65
      Fee waivers: Students who fall into the following categories may request a waiver by calling (502) 852-6495 to determine their eligibility: applicants in active duty military and active Peace Corp/AmeriCorps; students receiving government public assistance through programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Care (AFDC), Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI); students who attend minority serving institutions (application fee waiver is reviewed on case-by-case request); students who participate in Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), TRIO, McNair Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and UofL Cardinal Covenant; and students who attend the UofL Graduate School sponsored visitation day, held in the spring, and students who attend regional and national recruiting events where they meet with UofL graduate school representatives.
    3. Transcript(s):
      Official transcripts from all colleges you have attended must be sent directly from the colleges to the Graduate Admissions office. 
    4. Graduate Record Exam (GRE):  **IMPORTANT NOTICE** Due to COVID-19, our program has made the GRE General Test optional for the Fall 2022 admission cycle (deadline Dec. 1, 2021)
      • Applications without GRE scores will be given equal consideration.
      • If you choose to submit your GRE General Test scores, please submit them through ETS (the University of Louisville institution code of 1838).
      • If you have submitted your GRE scores but wish to have them removed from your application before your materials are reviewed, you may have your scores removed by emailing
      • PLEASE NOTE: Drs. Cara Cashon, Daniel DeCaro, Marci DeCaro, and Keith Lyle will not review the GRE scores of anyone applying to their labs.
    5. Three Recommendation Letters:
      Three letters of recommendation from professors who know you from an academic setting are required by the Experimental Psychology program. Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the electronic letter of recommendation option available through the online application form
    6. *TOEFL/English Proficiency: 
      Those for whom English is not their native language must also submit official TOEFL scores. For more information about the English Proficiency/TOEFL requirements, click here.
    7. *International Students: 
      Additional instructions for international students can be found here.

Part II. Experimental Psychology Program

After completing the graduate school online application in Part I, applications need to complete the Experimental Psychology program application. As a friendly reminder, both Part I and Part II need to be completed by the December 1st deadline.

The following additional materials will be needed to complete the Experimental Psychology program application:

    1. Mentor Rankings:
      In our program, students work one-on-one with a research mentor. On the application, you will be asked to indicate your preferences for up to 3 possible research mentors (ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). 
    2. Awards for Students from Underrepresented Groups: 
      Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate if they would like to be considered for awards/scholarships at UofL for students from historically underrepresented groups. Depending on the award, historically underrepresented groups may include US citizens and permanent residents who are first-generation college students, students from low economic backgrounds (e.g., those eligible for Pell grants in the past), and students who are Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander.
    3. Curriculum Vitae (CV):
      A current CV will need to be uploaded. You may include the following sections depending on your strengths and interests: honors and awards (from post-secondary school); research interests; research experience; publications; presentations; professional activities (committee memberships, intern experiences, relevant volunteer work); skills (second language, computer proficiencies, programming skills); and references (you may include these or indicate they are available on request). Tips on writing a CV can be found here:
    4. Personal Statement:
      The personal statement (also known as statement of purpose) is expected to be 2-3 pages and should describe the applicant's background, research experience and interests (please indicate the faculty member(s) with whom you would like to conduct research and request as a research mentor), and career goals. Depending on how you answered the essay questions on the general UofL application form (see Part I. Graduate School above), you may choose to also address how you would contribute to the diversity of the program and/or field or
       discuss other skills, experiences, and characteristics that you believe would make your application stronger (see selection criteria discussed here).

Offers of Acceptance

Typically, students will receive offers of admission before April 1. Assistantships and fellowships are also normally offered before April 1. Applicants are under no obligation to respond to offers of admission or financial support prior to the decision date of April 15. Additional admissions and financial offers may be made after the April 15th decision date if one or more slots become available.


If you have any questions about the application process, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page. Should you have any further questions, please contact:
Maggie Leahy
Experimental Psychology Ph.D. Program
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
University of Louisville