Ph.D. Admissions Information

Admissions and Applications

PLEASE NOTE: We are revising some components of our program and these changes are in progress. Our catalog page is not yet updated so if you navigate to the catalog, you will be taken to a page with OLD INFORMATION. Please disregard the catalog pages (any page where the url starts “…”) for now, and follow the application instructions below.

Our doctorate is designed for applicants with a prior bachelor's or master's level degree. New students are admitted in the fall semester only. Because we receive applications from many more qualified individuals than can be admitted, admission is highly competitive. A disclosure of relevant data for students recently admitted is available on our web page.

All application materials must be received by December 1, 2023 to be considered for admission in Fall 2024. See below for current application procedures.  Our program follows the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology’s Guidelines for Graduate School Offers and Acceptances.

Admission Criteria

The GRE is not required and will not be considered in the admissions process.

The following are the minimum criteria recommended for admission:

  1. A bachelor's degree in Psychology, Counseling, or related disciplines, or satisfactory completion of prior coursework in Introductory/General Psychology, Experimental Methods/Research Design, and Statistics/Quantitative Methods. Satisfactory completion of prior coursework in at least two of the following areas is also strongly recommended: Psychological Disorders, Personality, Biopsychology, Sensation and Perception, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Motivation, and Social Psychology.
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or graduate GPA of 3.5. Alternative criteria may be accepted at the discretion of the admissions committee if there is good reason to believe the regular criteria do not adequately portray the student’s potential to do quality work in the doctoral degree. Applicants may provide explanations for circumstances of not meeting the GPA criteria in the online application system.
  3. Demonstrated evidence of interest in psychology research. Our training follows a mentorship model. Therefore, applicants whose research interests are similar to those of our faculty will be given higher consideration. Faculty interests can be accessed at the bottom of the Department of Psychology and Counseling web page by clicking on the faculty member’s name under their photo.

    Faculty mentors considering accepting students for Fall ’24 include:
    • Dr. LaVerne Berkel
    • Dr. Oh-Ryeong Ha
    • Dr. Erin Hambrick
    • Dr. Lark Lim

    • Dr. Michael Ternes
    • Dr. Westley Youngren

  4. History of personal conduct consistent with the ability to adhere to high standards of student conduct, as outlined in the UMKC Standard for Student Conduct, and professional conduct as outlined by the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and state licensure boards.

Because clinical psychology is an empirically-based discipline, our training emphasizes continuous involvement in research and practice. For this reason, students primarily interested in psychotherapy and clinical or counseling practice without a strong interest in the scientific aspect of the scientist/practitioner model would be better served by other programs.

Typically, six students are accepted each year. Applicants are evaluated based on the following dimensions:

  1. Academic potential
  2. Research potential
  3. Interpersonal skills and other indications of potential for clinical work
  4. Professional identity and involvement
  5. Appreciation for individual and cultural diversity
  6. Fit with the program and designated lab

Application Procedures

All application materials must be received by December 1, 2023 to be considered for admission in Fall ‘24.

The application process starts with the online application.  In the section titled “Enrollment Information”, there is a drop-down menu for “Academic Degree Program”.  Once you choose Psychology/Clinical Psychology from the drop-down menu, you will be taken to our program-specific application.

Application Materials

Official transcripts

      Applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges attended to the online application system.  Unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process; official transcripts will be required prior to enrollment.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores are not required and will not be reviewed in the admissions process.

Letters of Recommendation

      Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources are required. Letters from academic sources are preferred. Applicants will enter contact information for their references, and referees will receive links to submit their letters online.  Please contact your references now so they are ready to upload their letters when our application system opens.

Statement of purpose

      Applicants must upload a statement of purpose document.  The statement of purpose is expected to be 2-3 pages in length and describe the applicant’s specific research interests, past research and professional experiences, and career goals. Applicants should indicate how our program and mentorship align with their goals. The statement should include information describing interests and/or experiences that prepare you to learn and work with people with various identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Resume or Vita

      Applicants should include academic achievements (e.g., honors, awards, and scholarships), research achievements (e.g., presentations, publications, and research grants), and professional activities or work experiences (including role, dates, supervisors, and responsibilities).

Research mentor interest

      Our training follows a mentorship model. Within the online application form, applicants should indicate faculty members for preferred research mentors.

Statement about international applicants

      Application instructions and English proficiency requirements for international students are available on the International Student Affairs Office website. International applicants whose native language is not English or not meeting the exemption criteria need to submit official English proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, DET, GTEC, or GTEC CBT).