First year Medical/Clinical students touring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, October 2020.Admissions

Admission to the Psychology PhD program with a concentration in Medical/Clinical Psychology is highly competitive. We admit six to ten new students each year. Students are admitted only to begin in the fall semester, for full-time study, and for completion of the doctoral degree.

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 December 15. 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 Medical/Clinical concentration, which is listed under Psychology (PhD) programs, for the Fall 2021 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..

To receive full consideration, your application should inclue the following:

  • An indication of 1-3 potential faculty research mentors who are recruiting for the upcoming year. Enter these names on the application form. See the program faculty page for information about which faculty are recruiting for the upcoming year.
  • A personal statement that describes your research and clinical interests, highlights your background and prior experience that relates to those interests, and explains your interest in working with the faculty whom you listed on your application.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your academic, research, and/or clinically 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 clinical experience, and any research publications or presentations.
  • A transcript from each academic institution where you received undergraduate or graduate college credit. Follow instructions on the application portal for submission of these transcripts.
  • Graduate Record Examination General Test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing). Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores may also be required; see details on the application website. For both the GRE and TOEFL UAB institution code is 1856.

After careful consideration our program has decided that we will require the GRE General Test of students applying to enter the program in 2021. We understand that COVID-19 considerations will have made it more difficult for some applicants to complete the GRE. In making our decision we considered the fact that COVID-19 restrictions may have negatively impacted other elements of the application, such as course work and access to research experience, to an equal or greater extent. We evaluate applications holistically and do not have minimum required scores, so the GRE represents one of many ways in which an applicant can demonstrate their readiness for graduate work in our field. We also take explicit steps to ensure that groups that have historically been disadvantaged by use of standardized tests are not disadvantaged in our admissions process.

Applicants who lack and are not currently completing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Psychology should include evidence of knowledge and/or background in this field. Such evidence could be scores on the GRE Subject Test in Psychology and/or successful completion of substantial academic coursework.

Application Review Process

The Admissions Committee and recruiting faculty review applications to identify applicants to be interviewed. In consideration of COVID-19 our interviews and informational events for prospective students will be held entirely online. We expect to schedule most of these events on Sunday and Monday, February 7 and 8, 2021. Further information will be provided to interviewees once invitations are extended.

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.
  • Enduring commitments to equity and diversity in educational opportunity that are shared among program leadership, the Department of Psychology, the School of Medicine, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a whole.

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 scores, GPA, credit hours in psychology, etc. Download the Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data pdf (linked in the sidebar) to view GPAs and GRE scores of admitted applicants, but recognize that these are average values, not minimum requirements.

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.

Consistent with evolving standards for professional licensure and 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.

The program recruits nationally and internationally. Follow link for a text version of this graphic.