Skip to main content

Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts


The Department of Psychology at Jackson State University is a unit of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts

Program Application Materials and Student Selection Process

*Update 9/22/22 – The GRE requirement has been waived for this year’s applications.

The first step in the application process is to apply to JSU’s Graduate School at the following Graduate Admissions Portal: After creating an account, you will be able to complete the program application process. After entering personal, demographic, and academic information, you will complete the Supplemental Application. You will also find the Application Instructions, Rights, and Consent Form, which includes the instructions for completing the application and a signature line for the applicant to agrees to participate in the admissions screening, evaluation, interview, and selection process. Note that you can also access the documents at the links noted below.


A major goal of this program is retention and graduation of students within the prescribed five years. This is best accomplished by selecting applicants who have the educational foundation, motivation, and personality characteristics required to successfully complete an intensive and rigorous doctoral program.

Admission to the program is very competitive.  There are a limited number of slots (about 6) are available each year. Please note that simply meeting the minimal application standards does not guarantee admission into the program.  Invitations to be interviewed by the graduate faculty are extended to applicants that pass the initial screening process, which is conducted by the entire graduate faculty. Shortly after the interview process is complete, the interviewed applicants will be notified about the status of their application.


Program-Application fillable


The application process includes the submission of several important application requirements. The Director of Clinical Training (DCT) is primarily responsible for coordinating and managing the entire process. The application deadline is January 15th of each year. The applicants are instructed to submit all application materials, which can be downloaded from the program website, to the Division of Graduate Studies. The Division of Graduate Studies, subsequently forwards the information to the DCT. The DCT maintains a file on each applicant. The DCT also fields all electronic and telephone inquiries about the program. The DCT routinely informs all applicants about the status of their application via e-mail. During the monthly graduate faculty meetings, the DCT updates the faculty on the selection and admission process.

Once the deadline has ended, a meeting is held with the graduate faculty to initiate the following applicant review process:

    1. All applicants are assigned a minimum of two reviewers.
    2. At least a week is allowed for the assigned reviewers to evaluate his or her assigned applicants through the use of the applicants file and the attached Applicant Evaluation Form.
    3. The DCT facilitates a meeting held to determine which applicants will be granted an interview, which involves assigning each applicant to one of three categories (i.e., Interview, Alternate, and Denial).
    4. Each of the applicants is informed about his or her status (i.e., Interview, Alternate, and Denial).

A meticulous process is utilized to choose the next class of incoming students. Particular attention is paid to the interviewees’ level of academic, clinical, and research background and experiences. The applicant interview process is as follows:

    1. All graduate faculty members are involved in the interview process. Each applicant is assigned a minimum of three interviewers to be present during the interview.
    1. The faculty uses an Interview Rating Form to evaluate the interviewee.
    2. The DCT facilitates a meeting in which each interviewee’s application and interview is discussed in detail. Faculty members may refer to several resources (e.g., letters of recommendation, clinical/research experiences, interview performance, Interview Rating Form scores, etc.) during the discussion. Decisions are including, but not limited to the information on the Interview Rating Form.
    3. The interviewees are placed in one of three categories (i.e., Accept, Alternate, and Denial).
    4. After the top interviewees are designated, the list of Alternates is ranked in case some of the top interviewees accept offers to other programs.
    5. The chosen interviewees are given an April 15th deadline to provide written notification about his or her decision.
    6. After April 15th, the DCT contacts the ranked “Alternate” applicants to inform them whether they will be chosen replace an applicant that chose not to accept our offer.


Immunization Policy Details | JSU Immunization Form

All students admitted to Jackson State University are required to submit proof of having received two immunization shots for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) in order to complete registration for classes.

If an applicant has already been admitted and plans to attend the University as a first-time student (undergraduate, graduate or transfer), he/she must submit a copy of the required immunization record to the University Health Center prior to registration for courses.

Students who have been admitted but do not submit the required immunization verification will be unable to complete registration for classes in the school’s computer enrollment system.

The University Health Center will accept any immunization document that shows proof that the student has had the two MMR shots (measles, mumps, rubella) and has the same identifying information required on most immunization compliance forms (see JSU Immunization Form link on web page)

        • Your name, address, date of birth
        • Dates that the two MMR shots were given (month, day, year)
        • Name, address and phone number of verifying health care facility or provider

Applicants can also download and print the JSU Compliance Form and have their healthcare provider complete and sign it or use the Mississippi Form 121 or their own state’s standard compliance form.
All immunization documents can be submitted in one the following ways:

FAX TO:   601-979-9228


P.O. BOX 17097
JACKSON, MS  39217


IN PERSON:  Immunization documents may be dropped off to the University Health Center located on Prentiss Street near the Prentiss Street entrance (FLAT TOP ONE STORY BUILDING WITH BLUE TRIM AROUND THE TOP, RECTANGULAR SHAPE).

(For more detailed information about JSU’s immunization policy including exemptions, alternative blood test as proof, immunization forms etc, go to “Immunization Policy Details” link above.)

For questions, the Health Center can be contacted by email at



More about us
By the time JSU officially gained university status from Mississippi’s state legislature in 1979, the Department of Psychology’s primary focus on research made its move to the School of Liberal Arts a natural transition. Then, Dr. Janet St. Lawrence, a faculty member and clinical psychologist at JSU, began to investigate HIV and STD issues in vulnerable populations during the advent of the AIDS epidemic. Out of this work with those in drug treatment, people contending with incarceration, or people from other at-risk groups, came the genesis of the Community Health Program (CHP). This program became the foremost research division within the Psychology Department and works to provide community service while training students and conducting original studies, which gain national attention. Additionally, during this time period, Dr. Cynthia Ford designed a course to teach psychology from an afro-centric perspective. This type of enhancement to the curriculum highlights JSU’s focus on both cultural and individual diversity and remains a popular elective in the discipline.


The mission of the Undergraduate Major in the Psychology Department is to expose students to the breadth and depths of the various fields of psychology. Students are encouraged and taught to think critically about psychological issues and to understand the value of empirical investigation. The department seeks to foster each student’s appreciation for the field of psychology and its applications to individual and social problems. The department is dedicated to high standards of original inquiry and personal growth. Students are taught that sound research and scholarship serve to expand knowledge and improve the quality of peoples’ lives. Our program provides students with the education needed to enter a variety of careers or to pursue graduate work in psychology or related fields.

“Challenging Minds, Changing Lives.”


After years of preparing undergraduates to pursue advanced research degrees, JSU began to develop its own plan for graduate study. Spearheading this movement was a working group whose goal was to design a program in clinical psychology that would provide multicultural training. The idea behind such multiculturalism is that the most effective clinical psychologists are those who have separated themselves from their personal biases and that this can only occur through in depth understanding of other cultures. In 1995, program was launched with a charter class of five students. APA accreditation then followed in 2001, and the first dissertation defense occurred in 2002. The concept of multicultural training remains a primary mission and requires the program actively to support those from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds while ensuring that even the most traditional of graduate students becomes immersed in as many different environments as possible. This occurs most directly through practica, externships, and field research experience with underserved people; in the area of Jackson, this most often means rural and African-American populations.


Psychology majors have a plethora of career options after studying:

Psychiatrist Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Neuropsychologist Clinical Psychologist
Engineering Psychologist Counseling Psychologist Forensic Psychologist School Psychologist



For more information, please contact us at (601) 979-2371.  We look forward to meeting with you and seeing how our program can help you achieve your goals.



College of Liberal Arts Building-2nd Floor
1325 J. R. Lynch Street
P.O. Box 17550
Jackson, MS 39217-0350


(601) 979-2371