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Application Instructions

The University of New Mexico has adopted an electronic application system and all applicants must apply on-line.  You will begin the process by creating an account from the log-in page: APPLY TODAY.  Once you create an account, you will receive an e-mail with your log-in information; we suggest you save that message for future reference.

Before you begin the on-line application, you should spend some time going through the research section of our website to determine which concentration you would like to apply to.  Additionally, you should research the faculty and find two or three whom you would like to work with.  Part of the application procedure is making these preferences known.  Additionally, it might be helpful to you to ask faculty members if they are planning on taking any new students.


  • For best consideration your application must be submitted by December 1st.  Applications received after this date will only be considered if openings remain.
  • The on-line application will ask you to upload your transcripts and we encourage you to do so.  Additionally, you must submit an official copy of your transcripts to the Office of Admissions (or International Admissions if you are an international applicant).  Their address is: 
    Office of Admissions
     PO Box 4895
     Albuquerque, NM  87196-4895
    or your institution may submit them electronically to
  • The on-line application will ask you to submit your GRE scores and we encourage you to do so.  Additionally, you must have ETS submit your official scores to UNM.
  • The on-line application will ask you to submit contact information for your recommenders.  Please have that information ready. 
Application for admissions specific instructions
Application Section
Specific instructions for the on-line application.  You may wish to refer back to this page once you have started the on-line application.
Educational Background
VERY IMPORTANT: Under "Most Recent College/University" list your bachelor's degree information--even if that is not the most recent school you've attended. In the first "Other College/University" list your Graduate school information, if you have any. IF NOT, skip to the second "Other College/University" section and list any other College/University information you have.
Program of Interest and Additional Interests
Select: College of Arts and Sciences> Psychology> Psychology> PhD Psychology.  Next, you will choose an area of interest: CBB, Clinical, Developmental, or Evolutionary.  You may choose a second area under Second Interest.  Finally, in the Faculty Member Preference box, choose at least one but up to three faculty members you wish to work with, and please list them in order of preference.
Test Scores
The GRE-General Test scores (Quantitative, Verbal, Analytical) are required.  The Psychology Subject test is strongly recommended especially for applicants who do not hold a degree in psychology.  The Institution Code for UNM is 4845, the subject code is not necessary. Clinical applicants who are offered admission are required to take the Psychology Subject test prior to beginning the training program.
Letter of Intent
Your Letter of Intent/Statement of Purpose should describe your goals, research interests, research experience, and how they fit with your chosen faculty mentor(s).
Writing Sample
This is optional.  You may submit a writing sample that documents your research interests, and that showcases your research and writing abilities.  Some applicants have told us they are required to submit something so if you are not submitting a writing sample, and are unable to continue past this, feel free to upload a blank sheet of paper.
This is a required document.
At least three letters of recommendation are required; two of these should be from former professors.
Problems or Questions?

Advice on Gaining Admission to Graduate Programs

How you can improve your chances for graduate admission? How you should prepare for graduate training?

Here are a few tips:

  • A solid background in statistics and methodology is essential. At least PSYCH 200 (Statistical Principles), and 302 (Psychological Research Techniques) should be completed.
  • A strong background in general psychology is very important. Avoid becoming a "specialist" too early in your career. We encourage all majors to take History of Psychology. You should have at least one course in each of these major areas in psychology: Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Learning and Cognition ; and Behavioral Neuroscience.
  • Research experience is critical. In addition to the upper-division laboratory courses, you should arrange for individual experience working with at least one faculty member on research. Here at UNM this can be typically arranged through PSYCH 499. Consult the list of faculty research interests and then contact faculty with whom you might like to work. (Students in the Honors program automatically become involved in independent research.) The strongest applicants for graduate training have participated in the presentation of a paper at a conference, co-authorship of a paper submitted for publication, etc. This level of involvement in research usually begins not later than the junior year.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores are required.  The Psychology Subject test is required for applicants to the Clinical area, and it is strongly recommended for the other areas. Many students find it helpful to prepare for the GRE by taking practice examinations and studying exercises such as are provided in study books available through the UNM Bookstore.
  • Letters of recommendation (usually three or more) are an important part of any graduate application. These are best written by faculty who have had direct experience with you beyond the classroom, or in smaller seminar settings. Keep this in mind as you plan your major with an advisor.

Each career requires its own special preparation, and the psychology department offers nearly a hundred different courses. You should consult with the Student Advisor early to discuss the courses that you might take, and to design a program of studies that will provide the best preparation for your own future.

Resources for Selecting a Graduate Program


  • Peterson's Graduate Schools in the U.S.  Princeton, NJ: Peterson's.
  • Peters, Robert L., Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or Ph.D. (1997). New York, NY: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Graduate Study in Psychology.  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Norcross, John C., Michael A. Sayette, Tracy J. Mayne. Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. (2018/2019 edition). New York: The Guilford Press.
  • Getting In: A Step-By-Step Plan for Gaining Admission To Graduate School in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Graduate Exams

Contact Information:

If you have general questions concerning the general admission process, or would like to receive further information on our graduate program, please email