The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program typically admits between one and three new students every year who will fulfill the requirements of the social psychology graduate program, as well as the requirements for the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program. These students will earn a Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a Departmental Certificate in the Psychology of Peace and Violence.

The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program makes every effort to provide graduate students with financial support for four years. This support carries a tuition waiver and may take the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and/or graduate fellowships.


See the Psychology Department’s Graduate Application website for more specific information about application procedures and policies:

Applications are available online at The Graduate School Admissions Office.

Application forms can also be obtained from:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    Rm. 530 Goodell Hall
    University of Massachusetts
    Amherst, MA 01003  USA

The completed application and all supporting documents should be sent in duplicate to the Graduate Office.

Application Deadline: The application deadline for all students is December 1st. However, international students are encouraged to submit application materials as early as possible to ensure adequate processing time.

Notification Dates:  Applicants will be notified about whether or not they have been accepted between March and May each year.


In considering an application, our faculty will be particularly interested in the following:

  •  Personal Statement    This aspect of the application is probably the single most important item. Of particular note are indications that the applicant has interests that match those of our faculty and research programs, that the applicant's long range goals are appropriate to the training he or she would receive in our program, and that the applicant writes in a manner that indicates the skill and ability to communicate effectively.   


  •  Grades   Generally, our students have achieved a grade point average at or above 3.7 on a 4 point scale. However, we also carefully consider the difficulty of the courses taken and the general reputation of the undergraduate institution from which the degree was received. We do accept students who have not been psychology majors during their undergraduate years. We expect that students have, however, some coursework or research experience in psychology since these are considered to be foundational aspects of the Program.


  •  Research and Practical Experience    Evidence of undergraduate research (or post-undergraduate research) involvement is important and practical experience that demonstrates an interest and commitment to both research and intervention is favorably considered.


  •  Letters of Recommendation    Three letters of recommendation are required. Where possible, letters should be from faculty who have been associated with the research the student has undertaken.


  •  GRE scores    There are no minimum GRE scores for consideration in the program; however, our typical graduate student has scores in the 650s or higher on each subtest.


 All of these factors are taken into consideration in the application and no one factor (except mismatched interests) is fatal to chances for admission. If a student has lower than average GRE scores, but excellent grades and letters of recommendation, for example, the GRE scores will tend to be de-emphasized.

The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program is committed to recruiting graduate students who represent a variety of perspectives and types of social and cultural backgrounds. In order to achieve this end, special consideration is given to applicants (a) who have the potential to bring distinct perspectives to research and/or (b) who may use their training to address problems of groups with limited access to psychological and peacebuilding services. All criteria ordinarily used by area admissions committees also apply to candidates competitive in terms of the diversity criteria.