Graduate work in the Department of Psychology is designed to prepare students for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and a career of productive scholarship in psychological science.
The program offers specialization in diverse areas, including behavioral economics, cognitive neuroscience, culture, developmental science, diversity science, emotion, language and communication, learning and memory, perception and cognition, the psychology of inequality, social neuroscience, social psychology, and systems neuroscience.
Ph.D. Program Requirements
Graduate students complete at least 5 courses during their first year, and then focus on research and teaching. In particular, students carry out independent research, write a research paper and theory paper as part of their general examination, write a dissertation proposal, take advanced seminars, and present their dissertation to our departmental community.
Applying to the Graduate Program
Applications to the Ph.D. program should include a statement of purpose, resume/CV, transcript, and 3 letters of recommendation. Applicants may also submit an essay about how their academic interests or life experiences help fulfill Princeton’s commitment to diversity.
Graduate students take 5 core courses: a seminar focused on cognitive psychology, a seminar focused on social psychology, two semesters of statistics, and a course on responsible conduct of research. Students enroll every semester in a lunchtime seminar where they hear about the research of both local and visiting scientists. Optional courses are offered regularly, including a course that informs students about current trends in statistics.
In the first year, graduate students take courses and carry out independent and collaborative research. At the beginning of the third year, students submit a research paper and a theory paper, and discuss their work with a committee as part of the general examination. During the fourth year, students propose their dissertation research. At the end of the fifth year, students present their dissertation research to our departmental community.
Prospective graduate students should reach out to one or more relevant advisors prior to applying. Students are admitted with the intent of working with a particular faculty member as their primary advisor, and must select a secondary/co-advisor by the end of the first year.
See our directory of current graduate students and their year of study.
On the Job Market
Each year we have a number of emerging scientists on the job market for tenure-track positions, other academic positions, and industry positions. See our current graduate students and postdocs who are in the job market.