Admission Requirements

All applications to the BASP psychology Ph.D. program are made through the Graduate Center here.

Applicants should also review Psychology's Admissions and Aid page and the Office of Admissions website.


Application Review

Admission to the Basic and Applied Social Psychology area within the Department of Psychology will be based on a comprehensive/holistic review of each candidate's complete application package. The admissions committee’s review will be based on the following components:

•  Personal/Research Statement
•  Letters of Recommendation (3)
•  Transcript

The faculty evaluate your application materials to assess your overall promise for a successful career in research, teaching, and/or contributions to applied contexts. Although we value and use a comprehensive assessment, certain components of your application materials are better suited to communicating particular strengths. 

The Personal statement should describe succinctly your preparation for this field of study, research interests, anticipated future career plans, reasons for applying to BASP, and other aspects of your background and interests that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your potential and motivation for graduate study. Please be sure to specifically address the following, as these will be the criteria upon which your personal statement will be evaluated:

  • Research experience, training, and skills you have gained.

  • Ability to work independently and autonomously on individual research projects, within a team setting, and/or in the context of other research roles you have held. 

  • Perseverance in the face of academic or research challenges. 

  • Fit with BASP’s philosophy, approach to training, and overall program. Please be sure to address this point beyond your identification of specific faculty with whom you are interested in working.

  • Diversity contributions, where applicable. These can include diversity in research questions and approaches to social psychology as well as aspects of identity and/or life experiences (e.g., culture, educational background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or physical ability).

    • Note: If applicable, please add relevant personal, financial, or institutional obstacles or hardships that you have had to overcome to achieve success.

Applicants need three recommendations from faculty or others qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study. Substitutions for faculty recommendations may include work associates or others who can comment on your potential for graduate work. Your recommender should describe his or her relationship with you, address your suitability for graduate study in BASP, and highlight any notable experiences with you that would enhance the comprehensive evaluation of your application package. 

Although there are no course requirements for admission, all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge and research experience to engage in graduate-level coursework and research. Importantly, we will be mindful of institutional differences in access to resources and opportunities as we evaluate your transcript in order to ensure institutional diversity in our admitted class. Be sure to highlight in your personal/research statement any successes or challenges evident in your transcript that may benefit from further explanation.

We accept students who hold undergraduate degrees as well as those who have both undergraduate and master's degrees. An undergraduate major in psychology is not required; BASP welcomes applicants from other academic backgrounds.

The Graduate Center does not require applicants to include GRE scores in the application process for the Psychology program. Your GRE scores will not be included as part of the evaluation of your application.

Applying to BASP

Application to the Basic and Applied Social Psychology program is done though the Graduate Center Admissions Portal. Applicants create a log-in and complete the online application form. Be sure to choose the Basic and Applied Social Psychology training area in your application form, and indicate at least two BASP faculty members with whom you are interested in working. Additional application requirements include: a) personal/research statement; b) three letters of recommendation; and c) an official transcript.

The link the application form and further information is available on the Graduate Center website.

See our curriculum page for more information about our program

Why Choose BASP?

Three factors distinguish our program from others offering traditional social psychology doctoral training. First, our commitment to training in a broad variety of research methods provides students with diverse skills that will enable them to succeed in both academic and non-academic research settings. Members of our faculty have been recognized nationally and internationally for conducting basic and applied research, using multiple and mixed methods. Second, many members of our faculty study topics within social psychology with direct policy applications, and their research occurs in collaboration with community-based organizations, public schools, courts, hospitals and other human services, policy institutes, and federal, state, and local governments. These faculty members maintain active and cutting-edge programs in person perception, impression formation, face perception, morality, health, relationships, psychology and the law, judgment and decision-making, intergroup relations, stigma, and stereotyping and prejudice. Third, our home at the CUNY Graduate Center, an internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, enables us to attract top quality students. BASP's home at the Graduate Center promotes an interdisciplinary perspective that allows students to benefit from a vibrant and active place of learning, culture, science and the arts, all in the heart of New York City. For over 50 years, the Graduate Center has been a hub for activism and social justice pursuits, and it is within this context that our program trains students to apply their interests and skills.

We are proud of our students and faculty. Please visit the News & Accomplishments page to see recent awards and grant funding.