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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do you offer a Masters degree/have a Masters program?

No.  Our program is strictly a Ph.D. program. While students earn a Masters degree enroute to their Ph.D., we do not have a terminal Master's program.

When is the deadline to apply for admissions?

For best consideration, please submit your complete application by December 1st.  Applications received after December 1st will only be considered if there are positions available.

Do you have spring or summer admissions?

No, we only admit graduate students for fall. There are no spring or summer admissions.

Is the Department of Psychology accredited by the APA?

Yes. The University of New Mexico Psychology Department is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association.

What are the requirements for admission to the Ph.D. program?

  • University of New Mexico graduate application
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • GRE general test scores (the Psychology subject test is not required, but is strongly recommended for students without a psychology degree)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Letter of intent/statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • $50.00 fee

What are the criteria for admissions?

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Strong GRE general test scores (Psychology subject test, while strongly recommended is not required)
  • Strong GPA--3.5 or higher is recommended
  • Correspondence between the student's interests and the strengths of our program and faculty

How do you write a strong letter of intent?

Here are some excellent guidelines for crafting a strong Letter of Intent/Statement of Purpose:  Writing a Strong Letter of Intent

What are the minimum GRE and GPA requirements for admission into your graduate program in psychology?

You must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 to apply to UNM graduate programs. In addition, Psychology applicants should have a subject GPA of at least 3.5 and GRE scores in the upper 150s.

What are the average GRE scores and GPA?

Please see the Applicant Statistics section of our website.

I do not have a degree in Psychology but am interested in your program. What do you recommend?

Adequate preparation for graduate training includes at least 15 semester hours in psychology. Of these, at least one course should be in statistics and one in research or a psychology laboratory.

I completed a graduate program/course. How do I know whether this course transfers to UNM or to your program?

Previous graduate coursework may be applied toward your graduate degree if the course(s) receive approval by the faculty. Faculty will review your coursework after you are admitted to the program and you request that your coursework be reviewed for transfer.

Is your program full-time or part-time?

It is a full-time program. There are no online or correspondence coursework options available at the graduate level. Additionally, students are expected to work in the department 10-20 hours/week depending on the type of assistantship they receive.

Does the Department of Psychology fund their graduate students?

Every student admitted to our program will receive financial support in the form of an assistantship (research, graduate, teaching), which includes a tuition waiver, and health insurance. Students are generally offered 5-years of funding as long as they remain in good standing within the program.

Where can I find information on the GRE?

Call 1-800-GRE-CALL (1-800-473-2255) or visit the web page at

I have a Masters degree, do I still need to take the GRE?

Yes. The GRE General exam is required of all our applicants.

What graduate level programs do you offer?

Where can I obtain an application package?

The University of New Mexico has an all electronic application process. All applicants must apply on-line. Here's a link to the on-line application: Apply Now

I want to go to graduate school in psychology. What steps should I be taking now to increase my chances of being admitted?

  • The American Psychological Association provides some useful information on this topic.
  • Maintain a high GPA. One of the important deciding factors in graduate program selection is GPA. How high your GPA needs to be depends on the school you are applying to and the specialty area you select.
  • Do well on the GRE. GRE scores are critically important. Again, standards vary from program to program. You might consider purchasing one of the numerous GRE preparation manuals or enrolling in a GRE prep course.
  • Get research experience. Graduate schools value hands-on experience, which is why many look to see if the student has participated in some form of research outside the standard classroom. At UNM students may enroll in a 499 course to obtain research experience with the professor of their choice.
  • Letters of recommendation are important. The better a professor knows you, the more personalized their letter can be. Working with professors through 499 courses is a good way for professors to get to know you personally.

What is the difference between counseling and clinical psychology programs?

In general, counseling psychology programs are more oriented to training academic counselors for college/university counseling centers. What's unique about counseling programs is that you'll get training both in psychotherapy and academic/career counseling. Clinical psychology is focused on training you to become a psychotherapist. The clinical PhD degree is generally very focused on research, although clinical PhD students are still trained to be licensed psychotherapists. The clinical PsyD degree, on the other hand, is focused almost exclusively on psychotherapy training, so there's little research involved. Counseling PhD programs may or may not be research oriented--it really depends on the program you attend and what you make of it. In general, clinical psychology programs are significantly more competitive, but counseling programs can also be quite selective. What makes the distinction between clinical and counseling degrees really confusing is that there are plenty of counseling psychologists who decided not to work in academic settings, and so are employed alongside clinical psychologists in hospitals, mental health agencies and private practice. Of course, there are also a few clinical psychologists who work in university counseling centers; so as you can see, the distinction is blurry. One reliable difference, however, is that clinical psychology students are almost never trained in academic counseling.

How long will graduate school take?

Masters programs should take 2-4 years. Doctoral programs may take from 4 to 7 years, but 5 years is a good estimate. Many doctoral programs will include a Masters degree.