Information for Prospective Applicants

All areas of study contained within Psychology and Neuroscience lead to a doctoral degree. Candidates who intend to terminate at the Master's degree should not apply. Graduate study begins each fall semester and students are not admitted at other times during the year. All students are full-time students. Students ideally have a background in psychology or biopsychology with courses in developmental, cognitive, social, experimental, biological psychology, and statistics. Research experience is strongly recommended. For students interested in Neuroscience, a strong natural science and quantitative background is also recommended. 

For information on whether a specific faculty member will be admitting new students please go to the faculty members web page.  If there is no information on the web page consult that faculty member directly.

For additional information on graduate studies in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience please contact:

Pam Smith

Box 90086
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0086


Applications are only available online. No other application material from our department is needed to apply.

Click here for online applications.

Applications for clinical psychology must be submitted online, on or before December 1st. Applications for the remaining areas of graduate study must be submitted on or before December 8th.

Please try to have the following materials postmarked  or submitted online by the deadlines stated above:

  • application including personal statement with potential faculty mentors indicated
  • transcripts of college/university coursework
  • official GRE scores (for clinical, if you were not a psychology undergraduate major, it is recommended that you take the GRE subject test.  For psychology majors, it is not necessary to take the subject test).
  • 3 or more letters of recommendation

Applications incomplete after this date may not be considered for admission. Please note that scores from the GREs taken after the November date will not reach us in time to complete your application by the December 1st deadline.

On Item 9 of the application form, the space following "the Proposed Department/Program" should be filled in as Psychology and Neuroscience.

The space following "Special Field" should be completed as:

  • Systems and Integrative Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology

If you are interested in more than one area, please note both choices.

In your personal statement of research interests, please mention the names of one or more faculty members who you believe provide the best match with your research interests for mentoring purposes. A description of the research areas of our primary faculty who can serve as research mentors and a listing of their latest publications can be found on our Faculty Web Page.

The personal statement can be longer than the requested area.

We look very favorably on applicants' efforts to bring external support funds to their graduate training. Please see item #16, Form B on your application. Below is a list of websites for the some of the most widely known predoctoral fellowship programs. Many of our current students have secured funding from these sources.

Feel free to contact individual faculty members about their research interests. However, please do not send personal information or achievements to individual faculty members or the department prior to applying for admission. We have no place to store this additional information.


For more information on all training areas: Clinical, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, Social, and Systems and Intergrative Neuroscience Programs contact: Pam Smith,