Admission Criteria

Note that for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle, due to pandemic-related issues with testing center access and questions about the equivalency of the online version of the GRE, the UTC I-O program will not require GRE tests as part of our normal formula score. This currently applies only to the application review cycle running Oct 2020 to March 1, 2021. All other application elements outlined on this page remain as-specified.

The following information is considered when admissions decisions are made for the UTC I-O program:

  1. formula score based on the overall undergraduate GPA, GRE Verbal, and GRE Quantitative scores.
  2. Evidence of successful completion of critical undergraduate courses (detailed below).
  3. Three letters of recommendation. We would like to have at least one letter from someone from whom you have taken a college level course. Letters should be accompanied by the online recommender ratings form.
  4. A personal Statement of Purpose (detailed below).
  5. A resume/curriculum vita.

The formula score

Note that the formula score will not be used in its normal form to guide Fall 2021 admissions. Because of the pandemic-related decision to exclude GRE information, GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and a resume will be the core criteria that will inform admissions decisions for applicants to the Fall 2021 incoming cohort.

A formula score combining overall undergraduate GPA and GRE scores has been found to be significantly related to performance in the program. For that reason it is the main piece of information on which admission decisions are based. Note that the GRE scores factored into this formula are your percentile ranks, not raw scores. Percentile ranks appear on the right side of your GRE score report from ETS. Percentile ranks are values between 0 and 100. 

Formula Score =  100 * UGPA + % Rank of GREV score + % Rank of GREQ score +

% Rank of GRE Analytic Writing score

In words, your formula score is equal to 100 times your overall undergraduate GPA (UGPA) plus the percentile rank of your GREV score plus the percentile rank of your GREQ score plus the percentile rank of your Analytic Writing score.

For example, the average UGPA of recently admitted students to the program is at least 3.50. The average recent GRE percentile ranks are as follows: Verbal = close to 50, Quantitative = close to 50, and Analytic Writing = close to 50. Using the formula, a student whose UGPA and GRE percentile ranks are at these recent values would have the following formula score:

Candidate formula score = 100*3.50 + 50 + 50 + 50 

= 350 + 50 + 50 + 50 = 500

In recent admissions cycles, this score would be about average, meaning that roughly half of the admitted students have formula scores below this value and about half have scores above it. Stated another way, the probability of admission is lower for applicants with formula scores below 500 and better for students with formula scores above 500. Exemplary letters of recommendation, a strong personal statement, and/or other evidence of a student’s ability to perform well in the program may positively influence the selection decision. 

Please note that each year applicants are selected after rank-ordering on the formula score detailed above, and then careful consideration of the top applicants' statements of purpose and letters of recommendation. 

Critical undergraduate courses

Success in the field of I-O Psychology increasingly requires competence in basic psychological statistical and methodological techniques. The UTC I-O program provides advanced training in both of these areas, but students get the most of this training when they have the background and basic understanding of core statistical and methodological concepts. Through our admissions review process, therefore, preference is granted to applicants who have successfully completed (prior to time of application) an (a) introduction to psychology course, (b) introduction to behavioral or social science statistics course, and (c) introduction to behavioral or social science research methods course. Equivalent courses will also be considered.

Letters of recommendation

As detailed more in the Admissions Process page, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. An applicant's file is not considered complete and will not be acted upon until all three letters are in the file. All recommendation letters should be from people who know the applicant well enough to comment frankly on his/her ability to complete a master's level program of study. At least one of the letters should be from a college professor who has observed the applicant's performance in at least one college-level course. Applicants should follow-up with their letter writers well before the application deadline to ensure that all recommendation letters have been submitted in a timely fashion. Please note that it is a really good idea to communicate with each of your letter writers before you begin the application process - as soon as you enter their information into the online application system, they will receive a request to submit their recommendation directly through the system.

Personal Statement of Purpose

Included as part of the I-O Program Application (which you complete in addition to the UTC Graduate School Application, as detailed on our Admissions Process webpage), your personal Statement of Purpose should:

  1. explain why you want to pursue a master's level graduate education in I-O psychology
  2. identify your individual strengths and weaknesses as an applicant to the UTC I-O program
  3. provide the committee with any other information about yourself that will help us evaluate your application and your ability to succeed in our comprehensive I-O psychology master's program here at UTC.

The statement should be typed in advance and not heavily formatted, as during the online application process you will be asked to copy and paste your responses to the above questions into text boxes in the application. Please note that each response to the above questions cannot exceed 500 words. Your overall statement will be evaluated in terms of its overall writing quality and evidence of your general knowledge of I-O psychology and the requirements for success in our M.S. program. Show us you understand what it will take to succeed here at UTC and let us know how you can make a positive contribution to the program and to the field of I-O psychology when you graduate.

Resume/Curriculum Vita

You will also be asked to upload a current resume or curriculum vita as part of the online application process. There are no specific formatting requirements for this, other than that you adhere to general standards for such documents and you provide the most current and up-to-date information about your past experiences with work, research, and class-related projects that you feel make you a strong candidate for our program. A functional resume is preferred to a chronological resume.