Saint Louis University

Experimental Psychology (Psychology) | Doctor of Philosophy Degree


The issues and problems within psychology are increasingly explored through diverse theoretical and methodological lenses. Saint Louis University offers a multi-faceted, full-time Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology. Graduate students select an area of research specialization in one of our concentration areas of Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, or Social Psychology, in addition to receiving broad instruction in each of these program areas. Each concentration integrates theory and research through rigorous coursework, research activities, and professional experiences.

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Application Deadline for Beginning Term The Application Package Apply Online
Fall: Dec. 15 (International: Dec. 15) Transcript(s); Three (3) Letters of Recommendation; GRE G scores; Resume; Professional Goal Statement
(Advantages of the web application)
Spring: No admittance
Summer: No admittance
E-mail: rwarner3@slu.edu
Tel. No.: 314.977.2660
Chair: Jeffrey Gfeller, Ph.D.
Admissions Coordinator: Ruth Warner, Ph.D.


Assistantship Application Deadline: December 15

Required Additional Application Materials for International Students

Check our English Proficiency Policy page for specific TOEFL and IELTS score requirements. You may also visit our international prospects, applicants and students page for more information about international application requirements.

Applicant Criteria

  • Applicants with Bachelor's degrees only must apply to the M.S. degree program and will eventually petition to the Ph. D. program.
  • An applicant who already has earned a Master's of Science degree in Psychology will apply to the Ph. D. degree program.
  • GRE scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, previous experience, and the fit between the applicant's research interests/career goals and program offerings are reviewed
  • A review of TOEFL scores (for International applicants)

Psychology Application Review Process

  • Applications are reviewed by a committee of Psychology Dept. faculty members
  • The committee examines and reviews the applicant and application wholly, attending to GRE scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, previous experience, and the fit between the applicant's research interests/career goals and program offerings. Because the program operates on an apprenticeship model, it is important that the applicant's research interests match the expertise of one or more program faculty members, as reflected in the professional goal statement. 

Admission Statistics

  • A diversified undergraduate education, including the equivalent of a psychology minor (i.e., a minimum of 18 upper-division hours in psychology, including statistics/research methods) is a requirement for applicants to Experimental Psychology graduate education at Saint Louis University.

Rankings/Honors: In its 2010 "Best Graduate Schools" edition, U.S. News and World Report recognized the SLU Psychology Graduate Education programs among other top programs in the United States.

Credit Hours/Coursework: To complete the program, the student must complete a minimum of 59 hours (or the equivalent for students who enroll with a master's degree in psychology, for which some credit hours may be transferred). Students entering the program with a master's degree must present course syllabi and/or other documentation from earlier courses to the Experimental Psychology Graduate Program Director to negotiate transfer credits for the SLU course requirement. | Program Requirements 

Program Description: This program prepares students for academic teaching and research careers in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, developmental or social psychology. | Psychology Graduate Programs

Careers Possibilities: Developmental Psychologist; Cognitive Psychologist; Neuroscientist; or Social Psychologist (i.e., conduct research in academic or applied settings; college-level teaching) | Graduate Education in Psychology

Curriculum & Program Details: The graduate program in Experimental Psychology includes three specializations of training (Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Social Psychology). Each concentration integrates theory and research through coursework, research activities, and professional experiences. | Concentrations in Experimental Psychology

About the Psychology Faculty: The faculty hold Ph.D. degrees and teach courses in the specialties of clinical, social, developmental, cognitive neuroscience, and industrial/organizational psychology. They conduct and publish research with graduate and undergraduate students and are known nationally for their contributions to psychology. | Psychology Faculty & Staff

Scholarships & Financial Aid: Contact Student Financial Services at SLU for more about funding your graduate education at Saint Louis University. Admitted Experimental Psychology students typically receive two years of guaranteed assistantship funding (tuition, stipend, and health care). During the remaining years, they may receive additional assistantship support, grant support, external fellowships or loans, adjunct teaching opportunities, etc.

Program Highlights: Students entering the Experimental Psychology Program without a master's degree in psychology must apply to and complete the requirements for a Master's degree (MS) in psychology at Saint Louis University before petitioning for official admission into the Ph.D. program. A terminal master's degree is not offered, so applicants to the program are expected to have admissions credentials consistent with the expectation that the student is capable of Ph.D. work. Students with a master's degree in psychology are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program. Each student must comply with the general Graduate School regulations regarding the MS and Ph.D. degrees.

Among the prerequisites for graduate work in Experimental Psychology is a diversified undergraduate education, including the equivalent of a psychology minor (i.e., a minimum of 18 upper-division hours in psychology, including statistics/research methods). | Experimental Psychology Mission Statement

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