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Frequently Asked Questions

For information regarding the online application and admissions process, please visit the Admissions FAQ page on the Graduate School’s website.

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  • Where can I find a listing of the faculty members who are accepting new students?  The list of our faculty accepting new Ph.D. students can be found here and the list of faculty accepting new MA students can be found here.
  • I would like to ultimately pursue a career in counseling.  Is this the right program for me?  Although our Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology is APA accredited and includes training in clinical practice, the program has a far stronger research emphasis.  The program is designed to develop the skills necessary for becoming a clinical researcher and to prepare students for careers in academic settings, such as psychology and psychiatry departments.  Applicants who do not have a strong interest in research may want to consider the counseling based doctoral and master’s level psychology programs offered at UB within the Graduate School of Education along with the graduate programs offered by UB’s School of Social Work.  Our Cognitive Psychology Ph.D., Social-Personality Ph.D., Behavioral Neuroscience Ph.D. and General Psychology MA programs do not offer clinical training nor provide the credentials necessary for graduates to be eligible to be a licensed therapist or counselor.
  • Are your programs APA accredited?  Only our Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program is currently APA accredited.  Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002 / Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org / Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation
  • I’d like to speak with a current graduate student or faculty member about the program and/or their lab. Where can I find contact information? You can find a listing of our current graduate students here and a listing of our faculty here.
  • Is there a minimum GPA required to apply?  The University at Buffalo requires an Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
  • What are acceptable GRE scores?  Is there a minimum score required?  There is no minimum requirement for GRE scores to either our MA or doctoral programs. However, applicants with Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores below the 50th percentile are unlikely to be very competitive for admissions. Occasionally, we will give further consideration to applicants who have GRE scores below the 50th percentile but demonstrate compelling compensatory strengths (e.g., an accomplished publication record, excellent letters of recommendation that speak to the GRE scores, well developed research skills).
  • Can GRE scores be waived? Can you accept another test in place of the GRE?  We do not waive the GREs nor can we accept another test in its place.  There are no exceptions.
  • Is the GRE Subject Test required?  No. 
  • What are the GRE codes (Institution and Department)?  The Institution Code is 2925.  Any other Institution Code, regardless of the Institution name attached to the code, will not reach our office. You can use any department code, as we will receive all scores sent to Institution Code 2925.
  • Why do you still not have my GRE scores when I sent the scores to you a while ago?  Most often this is because the Institution code was incorrect.  Note that we ONLY receive scores sent to Institution Code 2925.  If you accidently sent the scores to a different code, you will need to contact ETS and have them send the scores to the correct code.  Another reason we may not have received your scores may be because your name is spelled differently on your GRE test than on your application.  If this is the case, please contact us at psych@buffalo.edu with the spelling you used on your GRE test. 
  • I sent my scores to the wrong Institution code.  Can you still retrieve my scores?  No.  You will need to contact ETS to have them resend your scores to Institution code: 2925 and one of the following Department Codes:  2001, 2002, 2015, or 2016.
  • I am taking the GRE near or after the deadline.  Will it be a problem if my scores arrive late?  Any application materials received after the deadline are not guaranteed review. As applications are reviewed shortly after the deadline, it is best to schedule your GRE test at least three weeks before the deadline.   If you are taking the test after the deadline, it is highly unlikely that your application will receive full consideration.
  • I am an international student.  Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam?  Yes, UB requires the TOEFL or IELTS exam. 
  • What is the Institution code for the TOEFL exam?  The Institution Code for the TOEFL exam is 2925.
  • Can I have the TOEFL/IELTS waived?  The TOEFL/IELTS are waived for students who are citizens of, and who claim to be native speakers of English, and who were educated in the English medium.  Citizens of Singapore who completed their education in an English medium environment and who obtained a grade of D or better on the Singapore O-level examination and can provide a copy of their scores can waive the TOEFL/IELTS.  TOEFL/IELTS scores are waived for current UB students.  Also, students currently attending another U.S. institution with less than a one year break in study AND who can provide a photocopy of their expired score report may qualify if the original score meets UB’s minimum score requirement.
  • Can I still apply if I do not meet the minimum GPA or if my GRE scores are low?  Yes.  Low GRE scores or low grades aren’t necessarily a problem if there are other strong credentials, such as having a lot of research experience or great letters of recommendation.
  • How do I apply for an application fee waiver?  For the Fall 2017 cycle for MA applications, the College of Arts & Sciences has a limited number of fee waivers available to New York State Residents with an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0. The fee waiver application can be found here. If you meet the criteria and have submitted the fee waiver application, please email us at psych@buffalo.edu after you formally submit your MA in General Psychology application so that we can process the waiver.  Other fee waivers are only available to students in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program (anywhere in the United States), Educational Opportunity Program in New York State (EOP), Higher Education Opportunity Program in New York State (HEOP), Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program in New York State (SEEK), TRIO, Upward Bound, GRE Fee Waivers, AmeriCorps Program, certain categories of sponsored, university recognized and approved exchange programs applicants, or applicants with that have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on their Fee Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). If you fall into one of these categories please contact us to request an application fee waiver to be submitted on your behalf. In all cases, you will need to provide official supporting documentation. 
  • I do not have a degree in Psychology.  Can I still apply to the graduate program?    There are no specific undergraduate course requirements for admission to graduate study, but courses such as introductory psychology, statistics, and experimental psychology and/or research methods are preferred.  We also prefer applicants with previous research experience or clinically-related public service/employment.  You should look at the program page you are interested in applying to for more information regarding area specific admission criteria, as some of our programs may have additional academic requirements.
  • Is a Master’s degree required before I can apply to the Ph.D. program?  No.
  • I already have a master’s degree.  What are my transfer options?  Since all of our programs are research based (which includes working on research projects), having a Master’s degree does not significantly decrease our Ph.D. students’ time in our program.  Note that transfer credit can only be reviewed after an applicant has been accepted and enrolled in the program and usually does not exceed 6 credits.
  • If I start in the master’s program, can I transfer to the Ph.D. program later?  MA students who are interested in continuing in one of our Ph.D. programs must apply to the Ph.D. program in the same manner as applicants from other universities.  You should not apply to the MA program under the assumption that you will be automatically enrolled in the Ph.D. program at a later date.
  • Does the department offer assistantships?  What are the details and how do I apply for these? Ph.D. applicants are automatically considered for assistantships.  There are no additional applications or forms to be filled out in order to be considered.  MA applicants are rarely awarded assistantships.  More information can be found on our Financial Support page.
  • Can I apply to more than one degree program within the Psychology Department?  Applicants may apply to only one degree at a time within the same department. Applicants will not be able to apply for both the MA program and one of our Ph.D. programs, nor can they apply to two of our Ph.D. programs during the same admissions cycle.
  • How long does it take to complete the degree?  Our MA program takes approximately 2 years to complete.  Our Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program takes 7 years on average to complete.  Our other Ph.D. programs take approximately 5 years to complete.
  • What criteria make for a strong applicant?  How can I strengthen my application?  As we are a research based program, applicants with clear and focused research interests and goals, along with prior research experience, tend to have stronger applications.  However, different areas may be looking for different qualities in applicants.  You may contact the respective area head of the degree program you are interested in to ask about what that specific criteria the area may be looking for.
  • How are applicants accepted to your graduate program?  Am I accepted and then assigned a mentor?  For the MA program, applicants are selected by a specific faculty member.  For this reason, it is important that you list faculty members on your application as potential mentors who are accepting MA students for the semester to which you are applying. Each Ph.D. area works differently; some areas review applicants individually and other areas review applications by means of a committee.  Regardless of how your application is reviewed, it is vital you list at least one faculty member on your application in order to receive full consideration.  If you have any questions regarding a faculty member’s current research or any other questions for specific faculty, please feel free to contact him or her directly.  A list of faculty currently accepting students can be found on our Apply page.
  • What are your admissions statistics? Across all areas, the average undergraduate GPA for accepted applicants is 3.66. The average GRE Verbal Score is in the 81st percentile, the average GRE Quantitative Score is in the 68th percentile and the average GRE Analytic Writing Score is in the 80th percentile. The average rate of acceptance is between 15% and 20% of all applicants.
  • When and how will I be notified regarding the outcome of my application?  Applications are reviewed soon after the deadline.  Most applicants will be notified via email and regular mail of the final outcome of their application.  Ph.D. decisions are generally made by March 1 and MA decisions by May 1. 
  • Will my application be reviewed if I am missing a letter of recommendation or other application materials?  We will review applications missing certain application materials, such as one letter of recommendation.  However, applications missing all letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts or GRE scores will not receive full consideration. 
  • How can I find out if you have received all of my application materials? After your application has been submitted for formal review, you can view your application along with your supporting documents online by logging back into your application.  For questions regarding how to access your online application, please visit the Graduate School website.