Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is the University at Buffalo like?
The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, popularly known as UB, is New York's premier public center for graduate and professional education. Read on...
What is living in Buffalo really like?
A lot better than some people think! Western New York has a lot to offer...
How much does it cost to live in Western New York?
Western New York is a remarkably inexpensive place to live.
Does the University at Buffalo accept applications from international students?
Yes, we welcome international students.
Are GRE scores important?
Every graduate school hopes to attract and select the most capable and most highly motivated students who are apt to become devoted to psychology as a profession and who will make major contributions to knowledge. GREs provide one independent and standardized method of assessing all candidates though the other areas of your application give further insight into who you are and how you might be expected to perform.
If your grades are low and you are lacking research experience, then your GRE scores should be high. If your grades are high and you have some research experience, then your GRE scores can be lower. In general, GRE scores under 50th percentile can present a problem unless there are other strong credentials. GRE scores above 80th precentile are very good.
Is there a required minimum GPA and GRE scores?
The graduate school requires a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for admissions into an MA or doctoral program, but occasionally we will petition for an exemption of this requirement for applicants who are otherwise highly qualified. 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).
What are acceptable GRE scores?
Each year, from approximately 250 completed applications, our admissions committee is limited to selecting a total M.A. and Ph.D. class of approximately 30 students. 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. For admission to the M.A. program, the means and ranges in recent years have been approximately 595 (490-700) verbal, 510 (430-590) quantitative, and 595 (520-670) analytical. For doctoral students, the means and ranges have been approximately 600 (500-710) verbal, 625 (500-750 quantitative, and 645 (510-780) analytical. Previous research experience, clinically-related public service or employment, and extracurricular activities are also taken into consideration.
I didn't do well on the GRE test (OR my grade average is low). Should I still apply?
Low GRE scores or low grades aren't necessarily a problem if there are other strong credentials, for example, lots of research experience or great letters of recommendation.
I took the Graduate Record Exam over five years ago. Do I need to retake it?
Yes. We require valid GRE exam results and GRE scores only have a validity window of 5 years from the date the test was taken.
What coursework is required and what are the typical GRE scores of accepted students?
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. For doctoral students, the means and ranges have been approximately 600 (500-710) verbal, 625 (500-750 quantitative, and 645 (510-780) analytical. Previous research experience, clinically-related public service or employment, and extracurricular activities are also taken into consideration.
How should I calculate my GPA?
Let A = 4.00, A- = 3.67, B+ = 3.33, etc. Multiply each grade by its credits (e.g., 4.00 x 3 credits = 12.00). Sum these grade x credit products for all courses. Divide by total credits.
Can I substitute another test for the Graduate Record Exams?
If I already have a Master's degree, how long will it take to complete a Ph.D. program? How many courses will transfer towards a doctoral degree?
If you already have a Master's degree, it will still take three to four years to complete a doctoral program. Which courses will transfer depends on which courses you have had and whether there are equivalent requirements in the doctoral program. In general, it is better to think of a doctoral program as comprised not of coursework but of laboratory research experience. We do not evaluate courses for transfer credit until after students have been accepted.
Is a Master's degree required before I can apply to the Ph.D. program?
No, an M.A. degree is not required. Most students apply directly to a doctoral program. But see the question above, "What job opportunities are available with an M.A.?"
I didn't major in psychology as an undergraduate. May I still apply to your Ph.D. program?
Yes. However, the admissions committee will expect that you have had an introductory course in psychology, a course in statistics, and a course in research methods (or similar courses). And you should have had enough experiences in psychology (courses, research experience, fieldwork) to be sure that being a psychologist is what you really want to do.
What about housing at UB?
Any remaining questions? Drop us a note:
Department of Psychology
Park Hall Room 210
University at Buffalo--The State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14260-4110
Phone: (716) 645-3660