Health Psychology Admissions
All applications to the Ph.D. program must be submitted via the VCU admissions portal.
Please note that there is not a separate application for the program or department. General information about graduate study at VCU can be obtained from VCU Graduate School.
The deadline for applications is January 10.
Applicants are evaluated on a number of dimensions, including past research experience and accomplishments, academic record, letters of recommendation, essay describing research interests and fit with mentor.
You do not need a degree in psychology to apply to the Health program. People with many types of backgrounds can be admitted to the health psychology program; however, a background in a health care or a public health field would be especially appropriate. If your degree is in a field other than psychology, it would be helpful if you have had at least 18 semester hours of psychology-related courses, including introductory psychology, health psychology, research methods and statistics.
Identifying a potential mentor is recommended but not required.
Additional details about admission requirements are available in the VCU Bulletin.
Graduate Student Support
One hundred percent of our students receive tuition waivers and assistantships or fellowships for at least the first four years of training. Learn more about financial support.
Additional Admissions Information
Students entering the program with a master's degree are required to complete a minimum of 80 hours for the Ph.D. However, their master's thesis and some courses may be used to waive specific requirements for the health psychology master's degree or doctorate.
Courses completed elsewhere may be used to substitute for a program requirement, provided the course was comparable to the course offered at VCU, or used as electives. All transfer work must be at the "A" or "B" grade level from an accredited institution or university.
The required curriculum provides core knowledge in psychology, research methods, statistics, ethics and health (broadly defined). Although there are several specific requirements in these areas there is also considerable flexibility for students to tailor the program to best meet their needs. The curriculum is described in greater detail in the Health Psychology Handbook.
No. This is an experimental research-focused program in health psychology. Our students are trained to become researchers rather than clinicians. If you are interested in receiving clinical training you might consider VCU’s excellent programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. Many of the faculty members in those programs focus on health issues.
The American Psychological Association only accredits practice-oriented programs (clinical, counseling, school psychology). Research-focused experimental programs such as ours are not accredited.
Yes, many of the electives are taught on the MCV Campus.
Since its inception, 69% of students in the health program have been women, and 49% have been members of a racial or ethnic minority group.