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The Department of Psychology at Rutgers-Newark includes world-class researchers in cognition, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology. We are ranked among the top third of American psychology departments, according to US News and World Report. Our faculty engage in pioneering basic and applied research, publish in premier scientific journals, and lead model community-intervention programs. We offer one of the most popular campus majors.

Our research, which is heavily grant-supported, is enhanced by our various resources and collaborations. Our neuroscience faculty are part of the Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center (RUBIC), which houses a state-of-the-art neuroimaging facility with access to two fMRI scanners (a 3T Siemens TRIO and a 3T Siemens PRISMA), eye-trackers and peripheral equipment for collection of physiological data. Our developmental program makes use of behavioral, neuroscience (fMRI, EEG/ERP), eye-tracking, physiological, and computational techniques, and manages a mobile child development lab—The Rutgers Newark Mobile Maker Center—that is situated in local museums for both data collection and community outreach. The department also has an ample and well-organized subject pool, employing Sona Systems software, and an omnibus prescreening survey, which permits large-sample studies with highly diverse samples.

Besides the resources we can offer directly, our students also are also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities in the adjacent Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, the College of Business (Information Sciences), the School of Criminal Justice, as well as courses listed in related areas (such as linguistics and philosophy) on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Our faculty are actively involved with the Center on Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice as well, which serves as a hub for engaged scholarship on issues related to juvenile justice reform, the intersection of youth development and juvenile justice policy and practice, and the prevention of youth violence and delinquency.  


The graduate program in psychology offers training in the behavioral sciences including concentrations in:

Our program places a strong emphasis on research, empirical methods, teaching, and presentation skills during graduate training. We emphasize comprehensive training while providing a nurturing environment for students to explore their research interests. All students are required to take and pass 72 credits of courses in our four core concentration areas, including required foundational courses in statistics, experimental design, and specialized electives taught by our expert faculty. In addition to coursework and continuous research, all third-year graduate students must pass a qualifying examination. The qualifying exam consists of an NIH-style grant proposal that is evaluated through oral and written examination. The dissertation committee is formed after the student has passed the qualifying examination. When the dissertation is complete, the student and the committee chairperson schedule an oral defense, where all members of the graduate faculty are invited to attend.  


Learning Goal 1: Attain broad scholarship in five aspects of Psychology: Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognition, and Social Psychology, and general experimental/statistical methodology. This learning goal reflects the bulk of our coursework requirements, as all doctoral students are required to take courses related to our four training areas as well as “foundational courses” in basic behavioral science methodology and analysis.

Learning Goal 2: Attain research expertise in one of four areas of Psychology: Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognition, and Social Psychology. This learning goal reflects the primary emphasis of our doctoral program, which is in research training. Our students are involved in mentored research from their first semester of study onward, with increasingly higher expectations for productivity and independent scholarship through the completion of the dissertation.

Learning Goal 3: Develop teaching expertise in Psychology. Although our doctoral program’s primary emphasis is on research training, we strive to ensure that our students receive adequate training in college-level teaching.


All students accepted into the program receive a full stipend and tuition remission through one of the wide range of scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships offered by the Rutgers Graduate School to full-time Ph.D. students whose records demonstrate superior academic achievement and scholarly promise. Students of minority groups may receive additional support through the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program and other programs. Students also receive some financial support from the Department of Psychology to attend conferences.



We require TOEFL score from applicants for whom English is not the primary language, three letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and a personal statement that identifies desired faculty advisors. The GRE is not required. Applications are due yearly on December 1. Please direct questions to the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Vanessa LoBue:

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Graduate Student Handbook


Administrative Research Staff

Graduate Students and Post-docs

Department Brochure

Please Contact:

Dr. Vanessa LoBue, Director of Graduate Programs in Psychology

Department of Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
101 Warren Street
Smith Hall Rm: 301
Newark, New Jersey 07102
United States

Phone: 973-353-3950
Fax: 973-353-1171