Admissions

Students are admitted only to begin in the fall semester, for full-time study, and for completion of the doctoral degree (a Master’s degree is typically earned along the way).

How to Apply

Applications to our program and all related materials – including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and scores – must be submitted through the UAB Graduate School by November 30. The online application portal can be accessed via the main Graduate School website or the application portal. Please indicate that you are applying for the Lifespan Developmental concentration, which is listed under Psychology (PhD) programs, for the Fall 2020 term.

There is an application fee of $50 for U.S. applicants (including green card holders) and $60 for international applicants. The fee is waived for students who can provide evidence of participation in Gates Millennium Scholars, LSAMP, McNair Scholars, MARC, the NIH-funded PREP program, the UNCF, or a similar program. A complete list is available on the application portal or from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Applicants should submit the following materials in addition to the application form:

  • A personal statement that describes the research area that you would like to pursue at UAB and identifies at least one member of our faculty with whom you would be interested in working with on research. The program faculty page indicates which faculty members are recruiting students for the upcoming academic year.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your academic and research relevant background and interests. These letters should be requested and submitted electronically via the application portal.
  • A curriculum vitae that includes your educational background, relevant research and teaching experience, and any research publications or presentations.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores, including verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing scores. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores may also be required; see details on the Graduate School’s application website. For both tests, UAB’s institution code is 1856.
  • An official transcript from each academic institution where college credit – undergraduate as well as graduate if applicable – was received. Transcripts may be mailed to UAB Graduate School, LHL G03, 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35294-0013, or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Although the GRE Subject Test in Psychology is not required, it is recommended for those applicants who lack an undergraduate or graduate degree in Psychology. This test is administered a limited number of times each year. Consult the ETS website for further details.

Application Review Process

The Admissions Committee reviews all applications to identify applicants who are invited for on-site interviews to occur in January or February. Interviews for Fall 2020 entry will be held January 23-25, 2020.

The committee considers the following factors in selecting individuals to interview:

  • Overall academic credentials, including grade point average (GPA), courses completed, and GRE scores.
  • Academic background relevant to psychology and other life sciences, statistics, and mathematics, as well as grades received in these courses and scores on the Psychology Subject Test (if submitted).
  • Research experience in psychology or related fields.
  • Research interests and career goals that align with faculty interests and program goals.
  • UAB's and our program’s commitment to diversity of its students and equity in educational opportunity.

We only interview students who have interests and career goals that appear to be a good fit to our program. Most interviewed applicants have research experience, although we also consider the availability of such experiences at the applicants’ undergraduate institution. Other requirements are evaluated as a whole, meaning that there are no firm requirements for test scores, GPA, credit hours in psychology, etc.

At the interview, applicants have the opportunity to discuss their background, experience, interests, and career goals in more detail with program faculty and to learn more about the program from both faculty and current students. In general, our criteria for offering admission are the same as those we use to select applicants to invite to interview. Initial offers of admission are typically extended within a week of the interview and continue until the incoming class is filled.

To help ensure the safety of patients and research participants, admitted students will be required to undergo a criminal background check. The program evaluates any findings from this process on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with concerns about what such a background check might reveal are encouraged to discuss those concerns with the program director prior to accepting the interview offer.