The Ph.D. program requires two years of didactic course work and two to three years of dissertation research.
Applying to the program
Submitting the application online starts the admissions process, but your application cannot be reviewed until we receive your application fee and all the required supporting documents. We recommend students complete the online application early and submit all documents before the deadline.
Admitted students must inform the program of their intent to matriculate on or before the date that is outlined in their acceptance letter.
The statement must identify the faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work and research areas that you would like to pursue. The professional statement should demonstrate a clear understanding of how the program of study will benefit you in achieving your career goals. The Admissions Committee places a great deal of weight on the clarity of purpose and quality of the written statement of professional intent.
Applications may be submitted as soon as the online application is available each year. Applications received in January will receive priority consideration but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until slots are filled. Only complete applications will be reviewed for admission.
Applicants who submit their materials after the deadline greatly reduce their chances for review and/or funding. Applicants are advised that since a number of application materials must go through the VCU Graduate School and then to our program, some additional delay may be introduced by Graduate School processing of application materials. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed only if vacancies remain. Students whose late or incomplete applications are not considered but still wish to be considered for the program must re-apply in the next academic year.
Up to 30 percent of the didactic hours required for a Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences may be considered for transfer if they were not part of the requirements for a previously awarded degree. The transfer course(s) must be of graduate level from an accredited four-year institution, relevant to the degree, and be approved by the Ph.D. program. Students who have been accepted into the program and who wish to transfer in courses must send a written request to the Graduate Program Director.
The same rule applies for transfer of courses taken at VCU as for courses taken at other institutions.
GREs are the preferred test of aptitude and are required for all applicants. The program will also accept the MCAT with the permission of the Graduate Program Director.
GRE test scores are accepted within five years of the test date only.
VCU’s code is 5570.
All applicants must present GRE test scores.
Yes. Applicants who graduate with a master’s degree following two years of study at a U.S. institution are not required to submit TOEFL scores. International applicants may also provide evidence of English language proficiency with English Language Proficiency Certification through appropriate English training programs at other U.S. institutions. All other international applicants must present an official TOEFL score. A copy of the score report is acceptable if an official current score cannot be obtained.
Currently the program is on-campus only, although some electives may be available online. Classroom attendance is necessary for almost all courses.