Admission Requirements

The screening process for the fall will begin on January 15th.  Applications are not accepted for the spring semester.

The Ph.D. program in Health Psychology has a strong research focus on behavioral risk factors that impact health, such as stress, at-risk sexual practices, drug use, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, noncompliance with treatment regimens, etc. This program focuses on health service provision disparities in minority communities for diseases such as mental health, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as effective health promotion education and planning for those communities. The program has two specialized areas of study: clinical health; and behavioral and community health sciences (BCHS).  The clinical health specialization will prepares students to work in applied settings, such as hospitals, physical rehabilitation settings, outpatient clinics, and other health services settings as members of multidisciplinary teams. The BCHS specialization trains students to conduct research and to develop and implement community interventions. Both areas of study emphasize research and grant-writing, as well as offer opportunities for students to develop teaching skills.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Health Psychology Doctoral Program, a student must:

  1. Have a minimum of 15 semester hours in psychology, including at least one course in each of the following: 1) social, personality, cognitive, or developmental psychology, 2) research methods, quantitative methods, or experimental psychology, and 3) physiological psychology. Students applying to the Clinical Health Psychology program must have a course in abnormal psychology;
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  3. Submit official GRE scores. The GRE is required for all applicants, including those with a Master’s degrees.
  4. Complete a VSU Graduate School Application and the Psychology Department Supplemental Application, including a resume.
  5. Submit a written personal statement (not to exceed three pages, double spaced) that describes your personal background, academic experience and future goals (professional and educational);
  6. Submit three current letters of recommendation from professors, employers, and other professionals qualified to assess the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral studies. At least two letters should be from professors and/or psychologists.

Students who are most competitive for unconditional admission will have:

  1. A minimum graduate grade point average of 3.00 on a scale of 4.0. Applicants with post-baccalaureate work, including those with Master’s degrees, must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.5.
  2. Have a minimum verbal GRE score of 153 and quantitative GRE score of 144 (500V and 500Q on the old GRE scale).

Application Deadline

Students are only accepted into the Doctoral program in the Fall of each year. We begin reviewing applications on January 15th.

Continuing Status

Continuing status is dependent upon maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, with no more than two grades of C (including grades of U), as well as a favorable review by the departmental graduate faculty committee. For anyone with a grade below C, continuing status is subject to further departmental review.  Each student will be evaluated annually.  This evaluation will include academic performance, departmental contribution and professionalism.  The student should complete coursework with a grade of “B” or higher.  Students are required to show good standing in the program.  Thus, in the event of any concern, written documentation will be given to allow adequate time for the student to adjust the behavior in question. 

Summary Requirements

Those admitted with a master’s degree will undergo a credit audit to determine which of their credits will be accepted.  All required courses at the 600 level or above will have to be completed at VSU.  If an applicant with a master’s degree completed a program with a non-thesis option, they will be required to complete a thesis-level project during their first year.