Graduate Application Information

Below you will find the graduate application instructions.

The following information and instructions have been written to assist the applicant in completing the application materials for our Graduate Programs. The application process is highly competitive with 500 plus applicants each year. Although the selection process is not based on GPA and GRE scores alone, we recommend that applicants have a GPA in the range of 3.2 to 3.6 or better, and GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores in the range of 50 to 70th percentile or better.

Across all graduate training programs in the Department, we offered positions to 21 out of 681 applicants for the 2017 term. The average GRE Verbal percentile was 80%, average GRE Quantitative percentile was 65%, and average GRE Writing percentile was 80%. The average GPA of applicants offered positions was 3.77.

Applied Social and Health, Cognitive, Cognitive Neuroscience, Counseling and I/O psychology programs offer M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, but only accept those applicants who definitely wish to pursue the Ph.D.

The Masters in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) program is entirely online and only offers an M.S. degree.

The Masters in Addictions Counseling Psychology (MAC) program is residential (you are expected to take classes on campus in Fort Collins) and only offers an M.S. degree. It is distinct from the Counseling Psychology doctoral program.

The application deadlines for each program:

December 1st

Counseling Psychology

Industrial Organizational Psychology

January 15th

Applied Social and Health Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience

April 1st

Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP)

Masters in Addiction Counseling

All programs only admit students in the Fall.

Please select “Fall XXXX” of the year you would begin your studies at CSU as the term you are applying to – we accept students only for the Fall term. If you select spring or summer, your application may be overlooked when we review fall applicants.

Read and follow directions in the application system carefully; if your application is not correct and complete, we may not be able to evaluate it.

When you reach the “Program” segment of the application (after you enter your personal information), choose “Degree.” Then, in the “Program” drop-down menu:

  • If you are applying for the MAIOP program, choose “Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.I.O.P) – Distance.”
  • If you are applying for the MAC program, choose “Addiction Counseling (M.A.C.).”
  • If you are applying for any of the doctoral programs, choose “Psychology (Ph.D.).” You will indicate which specific graduate training program you are applying to in a later screen (titled “Supplemental – Psychology”).

You may apply to more than one graduate program within the department. If you are applying to multiple doctoral programs, you may select more than one on the “Supplemental – Psychology” page, where you can also answer application questions that are unique to each program (see below). Make sure that you have provided all required materials for all programs to which you are applying, and that your application addresses your interest in and qualification for all relevant programs.

Applying to one of the terminal masters programs (MAIOP and MAC) as well as a doctoral program requires a separate application. Simply return to “Home” in the system and click “New Application.”

There is no fee to submit an application for any graduate program within the Department of Psychology. However, if you are offered admission and accept, you will be required to pay CSU’s standard $65 application fee before your admission is finalized. Please do not pay any fees before you receive your admissions decision; application fees do not affect your chances of admission and they cannot be refunded. Note that different departments at CSU have different policies on admissions fees; if you are applying in other departments, make sure you are informed about their policies.

Please follow the instructions within the admissions system to ensure that your supporting documents are submitted correctly.

Institutions Attended and Transcripts: One official transcript is required from all colleges or universities attended except Colorado State University. Where possible, have the institutions furnish official transcripts in sealed envelopes. IMPORTANT NOTE: If the last name on the transcript is different than the current last name, e.g., due to marriage, please notify the department so the records can be matched to the file.  If you attended Colorado State University, please be sure to include it in your list of institutions attended and we will pull the transcript for you.

ALL transcripts are to be mailed to:

Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO  80523-1062
Domestic Students: Electronic transcripts may be sent on your behalf to gradadmissions@colostate.edu directly from your prior institution to CSU.

References: Ask the three persons to write letters of recommendation concerning your abilities and potential for graduate study. You will need to know the current email addresses of the people you are asking to write letters of recommendation; they will receive an email from CSU with instructions to submit the letter online. Your letter writers must submit the letters directly; they should not give you the letters to submit for them. All applicants should have letters written on letterhead by professors or other professionals with whom you have worked recently or who know you well. All letters should clearly refer to BOTH your FIRST and LAST names. We do not have a form for reference letters.

GRE: You may self-report your GRE scores in the application system, and we will consider these unofficial scores in evaluating your application. However, if your application is successful, you must submit your official scores to confirm the self-reported ones before you can be formally admitted to CSU. Send official electronic test scores using code 4075.

Psychology Subject Test: Psychology subject test scores are not required for all programs. The subject test score is required by the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program and the MAIOP program only for applicants who did not major in psychology as an undergraduate or in graduate school. As with GRE General Test scores, you may self-report your scores in the application, but must confirm them with official score reports if you are offered admission.

Financial Assistance: If you wish to be considered for a fellowship, traineeship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship, please complete the GS Form 4B and return it to the Psychology Department. If you wish to be considered for a residence hall assistantship, a separate application is necessary. You will be able to complete the GS Form 4B online through the application process.

Please follow these instructions carefully to ensure that you have submitted all materials required by the program(s) to which you are applying. Submit your resume or CV and statement of research interests under “Statement of Purpose.”

Applied Social and Health Applicants: Submit: (1) A resume or vita indicating your education, training and work experience; (2) a statement of your research interests which highlight areas of research that you would like to pursue during your graduate training, specific faculty members with whom you would like to work, and your previous or current research experience. (3) A sample of your scientific writing ability such as a senior honors thesis, term paper from a psychology course, laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material.

Cognitive Applicants: Submit: (1) A vita or resume which lists your educational background, relevant work experience and training, research experience, and any publications or presentations for which you appear as an author; (2) A statement of interest that describes how you became interested in Cognitive psychology, your training goals in our program, and why you are pursuing a career in Cognitive psychology. Because we follow a mentorship model, you are encouraged to be as explicit as possible in indicating your research interests and the faculty members or members with whom you wish to be affiliated; (3) Optionally, a sample of your scientific writing, such as a senior honor’s thesis, a term paper from a psychology course, a laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material.

Cognitive Neuroscience Applicants: Submit: (1) a vita or resume which lists your educational background, relevant work experience or training, research experience, and any publications or presentations for which you appear as an author and (2) a statement of interest which describes how you became interested in Cognitive Neuroscience. You are also encouraged to be as specific as possible in describing your research interest and to indicate the faculty member or members with whom you wish to affiliate. ; (3) OPTIONAL – a sample of your scientific writing ability such as a senior honor’s thesis, term paper from a psychology course, laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material. In addition, a statement of diversity describing your experience and/or commitment to diversity is encouraged.

Counseling Applicants: Submit: (1) a resume or vita indicating your education, training, and work experience; (2) a personal statement, not longer than two or three typewritten pages. Write a biographical sketch highlighting your interest in psychology and your previous or current involvement in research, or applied psychology work. The Selection Committee is concerned with how your interest in Counseling psychology developed, what you want from a graduate program, and an assessment of your personal strengths and weaknesses; and (3) the Counseling Academic Information Form. For your ease of use, this form is available on our web site in Word format so that you may save the file to your computer to review, and complete so that you can copy and paste into the electronic form. In the application system, you will enter your answers to these questions on the page titled “Supplemental-Psychology” after selecting the “Counseling” checkbox.

The Academic Information Form – In Microsoft Word

Industrial/Organizational Applicants: Submit: (1) a resume or vita indicating your education, training, and work experience; (2) a sample of your scientific writing ability such as a senior honor’s thesis, term paper from a psychology course, laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material; and (3) answers to the questions on the personal statement form. For your ease of use, this form is available on our web site in Word format so that you may save the file to your computer to review and complete so that you can copy and paste into the electronic form. In the application system, you will enter your answers to these questions on the page titled “Supplemental-Psychology” after selecting the “Industrial/Organizational” checkbox.  This form is in place of the traditional personal statement; the system will require you to submit a Statement of Purpose, but this document can be a single sentence stating “Please see Personal Statement Form” or similar. Please do not submit a full statement in addition to answering the questions in the form; we will not consider such separate statements in your application.

The I/O Personal Statement Form – In Microsoft Word

Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) – Submit: (1) a resume or vita indicating your education, training, and work experience; (2) a statement of purpose – The statement of purpose should describe: How you became interested in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, What you want to gain from our graduate program, Why you are interested in pursuing a career in Industrial/Organizational Psychology; (3) a sample of your scientific writing ability such as a senior honor’s thesis, term paper from a psychology course, laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material. You will also be asked to confirm that you have met or expect to meet the prerequisites for the MAIOP program (see here for more information about prerequisites).

Our graduate application coordinators will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Linda Thornton can be contacted at: 970.491.5212 or Linda.Thornton@ColoState.EDU.

Frequently Asked Questions

The application deadlines for each program:

December 1st

Counseling Psychology

Industrial Organizational Psychology

January 15th

Applied Social and Health Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience

April 1st

Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP)

Masters in Addiction Counseling

We require three letters of recommendation. There are no specific forms that need to be used, but the letters should be written on official letterhead.

We do request that you specify the faculty member or members that you are interested in working with.  Because we operate according to a mentorship model, the match of faculty interests to student interests is an important factor in the admission process. Note that current advising loads and other factors may preclude a particular faculty member from taking on students in a given year. Students often conduct research with more than one faculty member.

We accept students from diverse academic backgrounds. However, if one is not a psychology major, we strongly recommend that he/she supplement his/her education with relevant coursework.

Yes!  Any research experience is of considerable value.  This is especially true when the work has led to a publication or presentation at a conference.  Regardless of the specific topic of investigation, research experience can demonstrate knowledge in research methodology and skills in statistics. Applicants we have admitted in the past few years have had substantial and relevant research experience, generally including conference presentations, manuscripts submitted for publication, and other high levels of involvement in scholarly research activity.

Yes. In fact, about 20-25% of our new students come with Master’s Degrees from other schools. Generally, at least some credits transfer, though not all of them. Usually, the basic content classes are accepted. Often, methodological and statistics classes are accepted as well.

If you are accepted into the program, then you should be notified within the first two weeks of March. However, if you are placed on a waiting list, it could take some weeks longer.

For the 2017/2018 academic year, the estimated cost of full-time tuition and fees in the doctoral program is $12,400 for in-state students, and $26,792 for out-of-state students.

It is the intent of all programs that students receive funding throughout their graduate training, though funding is contingent on the availability of funds and a student’s progress in the program. As a rule, we do not “guarantee” funding beyond the first year, because our ability to fund students depends on state budgets and other somewhat unpredictable sources.  Financial support comes from a variety of sources, including: teaching and research assistantships funded by the Department and University; research assistantships funded by government and private-sector grants to individual faculty members; and University-sponsored fellowships for outstanding students. In most cases, these assistantships provide a monthly stipend and tuition waiver. Historically, virtually every student in the program who has requested financial support has received funding from the program, whether in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, internship, or other opportunity.

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