Info for PhD Applicants

Are you accepting students into your lab for the 2024-2025 academic year?

I am on a professional leave from UNC to serve as the Chief Science Officer at the American Psychological Association.  I am not taking a student.

What kind of graduate students do you typically accept?

Students who generally are interested in child or adolescent peer relationships would be a good match for my lab, particularly if interested in one of my main programs of research. However, sometimes quite interesting and productive collaborations have resulted from the integration of new theories and methods in a graduate student’s area of expertise that offers a complement to type of research typically conducted in my lab. Ideally, students initially will be interested in gaining experience with ongoing research to help develop expertise in relevant literature and methods. Over the course of graduate training, students naturally are expected to develop novel research hypotheses that can help to establish skills as an independent scholar. Students in lab typically have substantial opportunities for presentation and publication of research findings.

Our work benefits from the inclusion of many perspectives and diverse points of view.  Our lab also has a long-standing commitment to cultivate a more diverse new generation of psychological scientists and practitioners.  If you join our lab, you will be expected to participate in ongoing discussions about many forms of diversity, including racial/ethnic, gender/sexual, and religious differences.

Any suggestions for improving my application?

Like most doctoral programs in psychology, graduate applicants typically are selected based on their academic record, research experience, and demonstrated potential for a successful career as an independent researcher. To the extent possible, it always is good to emphasize relevant experience, enthusiasm for your chosen area of study, and some capacity for developing novel, creative, and impactful hypotheses that can advance developmental psychopathology science and the prevention or treatment of psychopathology among youth.

For some general advice regarding the graduate application procedure, download “Mitch’s Uncensored Grad School Advice.”

Two other terrific documents written by my graduate students also may be of use. For excellent advice on when to apply/how to get post baccalaureate experiences, see “Before You Apply” written by Casey Calhoun. For a student’s view on the application process, see “Tips on Applying to Graduate School” written by Sophie Choukas-Bradley.

Many people ask for information on how to choose a graduate program.
These documents may prove useful:
Likelihood of Successfully Obtaining an APA-Accredited Predoctoral Internship, by Accredited Doctoral Program
How Difficult Is It to Gain Admission Into Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs?
Licensing Exam Pass Rates by Doctoral Program