Academic Eligibility Requirements
For admission to the Graduate School at Penn State, an applicant must hold either: (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Admission decisions are based on the complete application portfolio. Admission to the ACPSY program is granted jointly by The Graduate School of Penn State University and Penn State Behrend's School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Academic Background and Pre-Requisite Coursework
- In addition to the general prerequisites for admission to the Graduate School, the following is required by the Applied Clinical Psychology program:
- Students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 credits of course work. The undergraduate work must include a statistics course and a psychology research methods course with grades of B or higher.
- The applicant must have completed at least 18 credits in psychology as part of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- A personal interview may be required.
ACPSY Application Information and Deadlines
- For Fall 2023 admission:
- The Admissions Review Committee will begin reviewing completed applications in mid-February. A second round of applications will be reviewed beyond April 30, if space is available in the program.
- Domestic applicants can apply now for Fall 2023. A complete application should be ready for review by April 30.
- International applicants should have a complete application ready for review by mid-February.
- All application requirements, including references, are due by the deadline.
- Once your application is accessible, Graduate Admissions will begin assembling your application portfolio and will send a confirmation email.
- View semester dates and student action guidelines on Penn State's academic calendar.
- The GRE (or an APA-style paper) is required for admission. The GRE is required for those who plan to apply for an ACPSY research scholarship.
ACPSY Application Requirements
Review these steps fully before beginning your application. You should apply using Firefox or Chrome. Individuals with international credentials will have additional requirements for application.
1. Submit Penn State’s Graduate School Online Application.
Before you apply, be sure to have official transcripts from all institutions attended (see Step 3 below for details). In the application, skip any questions that don’t apply, such as junior/senior GPA, GMAT/GRE scores, etc.
2. Upload a Statement of Purpose.
The statement should be one to one and a half pages in length. Once completed, upload your statement to your digital application portfolio. (Note: It is recommended that the statement be a TXT or PDF file for ease of uploading.) The statement should address the following questions:
- Why have you chosen to pursue an Applied Clinical Psychology degree at Penn State Behrend?
- How will these studies help you achieve your personal and professional goals?
- How will your participation contribute to Penn State Behrend's ACPSY program?
- Indicate your current or most recent work, internship, and/or clinical experiences.
- You also can address any concerns that you have regarding GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, or the like.
3. Upload a copy of an official transcript from each institution attended except Penn State.
Per the Graduate School of Penn State University, you must disclose all institutions attended in the Education section of the application.
- Prior to applying, contact the registrar’s office at all institutions attended, except Penn State. The Graduate School of Penn State University requires that you upload a copy of official transcripts and list all institutions attended, regardless of credits attempted or completed.
- An official transcript bears the university logo and includes the registrar’s signature. Transcripts uploaded to the graduate application should be in PDF or TXT format. If you are supplied an official print transcript from one of your previous institutions, you will have to scan it and upload it digitally. If you are supplied an official electronic transcript, you might have to print it out and scan it to be able to upload it to the application portal.
- Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of their academic history. Previously submitted transcripts for a Penn State undergraduate application cannot be used for a graduate level application.
- For your application, don’t send paper or electronic transcripts to Penn State Behrend or to the Graduate School. Don’t upload advising or unofficial transcripts as there is only one field, per institution, to upload.
- Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Review Academic Eligibility, by country, and required academic documents, for credentials obtained outside of the U.S.
4. Submit contact information for three references.
- The ACPSY program requires three references, two of which are required to be faculty within one’s academic discipline.
- References will receive an email directing them to complete a web-based form before or by the application deadline. References can upload a letter of support and include narrative. References will be sent an email when you submit the application; allow them plenty of time to meet the application deadline.
- If you have questions about appropriate references, please contact Dr. Wilson Brown, ACPSY program coordinator.
5. Submit either an Official GRE General Score or an APA-style research paper.
- The GRE or an APA-style research paper, is required for admission. Report your GRE score to Penn State University using Institution Code 2660. GRE scores are sent electronically to Penn State but may take up to three weeks to arrive.
- The GRE must have been taken within five years of applying to the program. The ACPSY program doesn’t have a minimum score requirement.
- Learn more about the GRE and information sessions offered by Penn State Behrend.