What is the average class size?
Typical class sizes are 4 to 6 students. Class sizes are limited to ensure a favorable ratio of students to faculty mentors. Because many qualified students apply for a relatively small number of openings, admission is highly competitive. This means we cannot admit some excellent applicants.
What are the GRE & GPA Requirements?
The Graduate School requires a GPA of at least a 3.0 for undergraduate course work (or graduate course work if the applicant has a master's degree); however, most students accepted into the program have grade points much higher than 3.0. The department requires applicants to take the general GRE. In selecting students for our doctoral program, we do not set arbitrary minimums for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Grade Point Average (GPA) as these factors contribute only partially to our overall assessment of the application. Conversely, although high scores do not guarantee admission, they increase the probability of favorable consideration. Most students entering our program have performed well on these measures. A strong science background, both in psychology and the other sciences, and a strong math background help a candidate.
How necessary is it to have research experience?
Applicants are encouraged to have obtained experience in the conduct of psychological research as undergraduates. Having conducted research shows faculty members the student’s commitment to complete a Ph.D.
Research experience is also useful when finding the appropriate student-faculty match. Potential applicants should consider the interests and expertise of our faculty and compare them to their own educational goals. Even the best student would be ill served if accepted to a program without mentors who could facilitate and share their interests. The ideal applicant can identify one or more members of our faculty whose research matches their interests.
What are the course requirements?
Although an undergraduate psychology major is not mandatory for admission, applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours in psychology, including a course in experimental psychology (with laboratory experience) and a psychology statistics course.
What are the requirements for transfer students?
A student may transfer as many courses as they wish, if deemed equivalent to courses at Wayne State University. However, students obtaining a Master's degree must complete a minimum of 24 graduate credits, and Ph.D. students must complete at least 30 credits of coursework and 30 dissertation credits at Wayne State University.
The evaluation of course equivalency and/or Master's theses is handled on a case-by-case basis, and occurs only after the student has been admitted to the program. At a minimum, the student must provide the syllabi for the courses they wish to transfer.
If the student has an empirical Master's thesis, then that thesis is reviewed by the area faculty and, if deemed equivalent to one completed at Wayne State University, the student does not have to complete a second formal Master's thesis. However, all graduate students are expected to be involved in research at all times - not merely as part of conducting a Master's thesis or dissertation project.
What are the requirements for Canadian applicants?
Wayne State University welcomes Canadian students and offers in-state tuition rates to Ontarians. Many of our students reside in Windsor and commute easily to campus. The campus is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Windsor. Canadian teaching and research assistants are paid in U.S. dollars (and receive tuition waivers), so they can take advantage of the exchange rate.
What are the requirements for international students?
International Students are required to take the TOEFL or MELAB examination. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based), 80 (internet based), or a minimum MELAB score of 85 is required for admission consideration. These exams are not necessary if an international applicant completes a baccalaurete degree at an accredited U.S. institution or in a country where English is the native language.

About the Program

Are students expected to be involved in research projects?
The Ph.D. degree signifies that the recipient has acquired the capacity to make independent contributions to knowledge through original research and scholarship. All psychology graduate students conduct a minimum of two research projects: a Master's thesis or equivalent project and a doctoral dissertation. In addition to these required elements, students have to gain other research skills and sophistication, which can be accomplished in many ways. For example, students may attend research seminars and colloquia, join a research laboratory, collaborate with core or adjunct faculty on research projects, work as a paid research assistant, conduct scholarly literature reviews, write grants to support dissertation or other research, present research findings at professional meetings, and publish their research in scholarly journals.
Can students start their own research projects?
Yes, if students come up with their own research projects they may receive full support from the faculty.
Can students take courses outside the Psychology Department?
Yes, graduate students occasionally take courses in the business school, and courses in other areas are also allowed.
Do students teach classes?
Teaching is important in the development of professional skills, and students are encouraged to adopt teaching roles in the department. Students have the opportunity to assist in courses, teach laboratories, and teach their own courses during their graduate training. To support students' development as instructors, we offer departmental brown bag seminars, a teaching methods course in Psychology, and technical assistance from the department's Instructional Specialist. In addition, the University's Office for Teaching and Learning has developed numerous excellent workshops that our graduate students may attend.
Is academia preferred over practice or vice versa?
No, faculty gear their efforts toward student needs and help students achieve their goals accordingly.
In what activities do students engage in during the summer?
Most graduate students take one course during the summer and devote the rest of the time to their research projects. They also engage in applied projects through APORG (Applied Psychology and Organizational Research Group).
How long does it take to get through the program?
Typically students complete the program in 5-6 years
Am I required to get a minor?
To augment the training of the psychologist as a broadly educated innovator and contributor to the scientific foundations of psychology, all graduate students complete a minor, generally consisting of three courses related to a common domain, and tailored to the special needs and interests of the student. These courses can be taken within or outside of the Department of Psychology.
Students select a minor area of specialization in consultation with their graduate advisors. Most of the graduate students in I/O get a minor in quantitative methods. Other minors are available.


Can students work in multiple labs?
Yes, students often work with more than one faculty member.


Is it possible for students to work at another job while in graduate school?
No, students who are admitted into the program are funded. The rigors of the program make it difficult to make adequate progress if you are working in addition to your course work, research and teaching.
Is summer funding available?
Yes, students can obtain a part-time teaching assignment and also get involved in applied projects (paid) through APORG (Applied Psychology and Organizational Research Group).


 ↑ back to top