Answers to frequently asked questions regarding general program information and application/admission: QuestionMark

  • Q: How long is your program?
    A: This is a 5 to 6 year, full-time PhD program (with the average graduation time of 6 years). Please refer to our program data for a table on the “Time to Completion for all Students entering the Program”.
  • Q: Do you offer program tours?
    A: Due to the high volume of applicants, we cannot accommodate requests for meetings/tours. If you are offered an interview, we have a two-day interview process in mid-February which will include an in-depth description of the program and the opportunity to speak to JDP faculty and students.
  • Q: Does your program allow online, part-time enrollment, and/or evening courses?
    A: No, We require in person full-time attendance and participation; we do not offer weekend/evening courses.
  • Q: Does your program allow any transfer of courses?
    A: No, Because the sequence and content of courses is considered to be so fundamental to the preparation of students who graduate from the JDP, no required course can be waived unless the exact course required by the JDP has already been taken (i.e., a student has already successfully completed PSY 770A and 770B). Courses that have the same name or may superficially appear to have the same content may differ from courses as taught in the JDP. Thus, no JDP course can be challenged or waived based on having taken that course at another institution.
  • Q: My bachelors degree is in an area other than psychology, can I apply to your program?
    A: Our program is open to accepting well-qualified students whose undergraduate or Master’s degrees are not in psychology. For such an individual to qualify for admission, they must have taken a variety of advanced (upper division) psychology courses which are listed on our What We Consider for a Competitive Application page.
  • Q: Is a Master's degree required for admission to your doctoral program?
    A: No. A Master’s degree is not required for admission into our program, however it could be beneficial to students for various reasons including those who do not have an undergraduate Psychology degree or for students who are looking for more research experience. Approximately one-quarter of the students admitted each year enter with a Master’s degree. Please refer to our What We Consider for a Competitive Application page.
  • Q: Do you offer a masters degree in clinical psychology?
    A: The MS in clinical psychology is available only to students already in the JDP.
  • Q: Do you admit students in the Fall and Spring?
    A: We accept students for Fall admission only. We do not have Spring admissions.
  • Q: How do I submit my additional application materials, such as statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, CV, and essays?
    A: Statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, CV, and essays are all part of the Supplemental Program Application that will be available starting October 1 on our Application Procedures page.
  • Q: When are letters of recommendation due?
    A: Letters of recommendation are part of the Supplemental Program Application that will be available starting October 1, and must be completed online by the recommender by our application deadline. Paper recommendations will NOT be accepted.
  • Q: Do I have to enter my statement of purpose in the Cal State Apply application?
    A: No, when filling out the Cal State Apply application, there is no need to input your statement of purpose. Please just answer “See supplemental application”
  • Q: When and where do I send Transcripts?
    A: Please refer to the “Submitting Transcripts & Test Scores” section of our Application Procedures page for this information. The deadline to submit transcripts to the SDSU Graduate Admissions is January 12, 2023.
  • Q: Are GRE scores required this year?
    A: Please refer  our Application Procedures page for more information on application requirements: The SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program has decided to waive consideration of all scores from the GREs (General and Psychology Subject Test) for the 2022-2023 application cycle (for entry to the doctoral program in Fall 2023). We will not review any GRE scores for admission to the program.
  • Q: Do I also have to apply to UC San Diego?
    A: No, please DO NOT send any application materials to UC San Diego at this time. ONLY those students who are admitted to the program and elect to come need to complete the UC San Diego application process.
  • Q: Can I get the Cal State Apply application fee waived?
    A: Each year, the SDSU Graduate Studies is able to provide a limited number of application fee waivers to McNair and other Trio scholars. If this applies to you, please contact the main Graduate Studies office directly at to request an application fee waiver.Please note: Application fee waivers can only be awarded after you begin the Cal State Application (opens October 1) since you will need a CAS ID number (which is assigned to you once you begin the application). Also, it is advised that you submit your request for an application fee waiver at least 2 weeks before our Supplemental Program Application deadline (December 1) to allow time for the fee waiver to be processed. Once the application deadline passes, Graduate Studies is not able to process any type of refund or apply the coupon code. Fee waivers are first come, first serve so it is best to begin the application as early as possible and reach out to Graduate Studies. 
  • Q: If I contact a JDP faculty member about my application, will it increase my chances of being accepted into the program?
    A: No, contacting a professor directly about your application will not better your chances of being accepted. In fact, for some faculty members it may even decrease your chances. It is, however, appropriate to contact professors ahead of time to find out more about their research if you are considering applying to work with them.For a list of our program faculty and those who are interested in taking a student for the upcoming admission cycle, please visit our Faculty page.
  • Q: How is acceptance into the JDP determined?
    A: Application review for our program is holistic, and all applications are reviewed. Please refer to our What We Consider for a Competitive Application page for everything we consider when reviewing applications.
  • Q: Will you look at my Facebook, Instagram, or other social media account?
    A: Our program may use publicly available social media resources in determination of applicant suitability.
  • Q: If I get offered a slot in the program, how long do I have to decide whether or not to accept.
    A: April 15th. Our program is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and supports the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants
  • Q: I was not accepted into the JDP, can you tell me why?
    A: We are unable to provide specific reasons for non-acceptance. If your application credentials were competitive compared to the averages listed in our admissions data, it is likely that a major reason you were not accepted was that you were not a good match with program offerings at that time. If your application was generally competitive, perhaps feedback from your own professors would assist you in strengthening a subsequent application. Keep in mind that we receive hundreds of applications each year and many are exceptionally well-qualified. It is usually very difficult to choose among them and the fact that we can take so few students means that every year at least some very highly qualified students are not offered admission.
  • Q: If I am admitted to one of the psychology masters programs at SDSU, will it help me get into the JDP in Clinical Psychology?
    A: No, the programs are entirely separate. Entry into a masters program at SDSU is, in no way, a stepping stone into the JDP.
  • Q: I wasn't accepted into the JDP this year, can I apply again next year?
    A: To apply in a subsequent year, you must submit a new Cal State Apply online application as well as our Supplemental Program Application and pay the fee. Your transcripts will remain on file for up to one year since your last application submission date.
  • Q: Can I enroll in JDP courses even if I am not admitted to the program?
    A: No, you must be admitted and enrolled in the program to take JDP courses.
  • Q: Is the JDP designated as a STEM program?
    A: Both SDSU and UC San Diego’s Clinical Psychology JDP CIP code has been updated to 42.2799, Research and Experimental Psychology, Other. This code is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List (
  • Q: Where can I find more information about getting into graduate school in clinical psychology?
    A: Visit the Council of University Directors of Clinical Training (CUDCP) website at