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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you are welcome to visit Tech before you apply or accept an offer of admission. If you would like to visit the Kanfer-Ackerman lab in particular, please contact us.

654 Cherry Street
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: (404) 385.0157
E-mail us here

Students who have worked in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab get jobs in many areas of applied psychology and in a variety of settings, including academia, consulting organizations, and private sector businesses.

Admission to graduate study in psychology, with full graduate standing in the School of Psychology, requires foremost a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in psychology or a related field (e.g., computer science, biology, linguistics, mathematics). The psychology faculty encourages competent students with undergraduate majors in subjects other than psychology to apply for admission. The School may require that such students take some courses that satisfy undergraduate psychology prerequisites for full graduate standing. Supplementary education in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, foreign languages, and particularly mathematics is also advised.

It generally takes 5 years to complete the Ph.D. program.

Yes, in fact many of our faculty members work collaboratively as well. Incoming students are typically assigned a first-year advisor based on the student’s stated research interests. Students are encouraged to become involved in research early in their training and to become involved in different research projects throughout their studies. Over the course of training, students typically take courses from most of the faculty.

The Ph.D. program is a full-time program. Consideration may be made if a student talks first with his/her advisor about how such work may be coordinated with and may complement graduate training.

Graduate teaching assistantships and research assistantships are the most common forms of financial assistance provided. Beginning doctoral students are usually awarded either a teaching or research assistantship. Advanced students may seek funding through approved and supervised field placements in local organizations. Historically, the School has done an excellent job of covering all doctoral students who request financial aid. The various positions available to doctoral students are described below.

Teaching assistantships (TA positions) typically involve assisting faculty who are teaching large undergraduate courses, statistics courses, or lab courses. TA tasks generally involve grading exams, preparing teaching materials, and meeting with enrolled students to answer questions. TA positions pay approximately $14,000 for 9 months. TAs that are enrolled for 12 or more hours receive a waiver of in-state or out-of-state tuition, excluding student fees.

Research Assistantships (RA positions) are awarded to students through the initiative of individual faculty with external research grant monies. Such positions are competitive and based on consideration of the student’s competencies and fit to the research program. The job requirements include helping faculty members with the various tasks associated with the research enterprise, including data collection, data coding, and statistical analysis. RA position pay varies with each position, but typically pays approximately the same amount as a TA position. RA funding also usually includes a full tuition waiver for all positions above 10 hours per week.

Since 1997, approximately a dozen graduate students have been funded with external grant monies associated with the Kanfer-Ackerman lab. Though funding opportunities change yearly, there is typically availability for at least one RA position each year. Part-time field internships/placements are awarded to students on a competitive basis in collaboration with organizational opportunities. Historically, such placements have been plentiful in the Atlanta area and are filled by advanced I/O students. Pay for each position varies and usually does not include any tuition waiver.

Students with a background in research methods, statistics, and related, basic areas of psychology (e.g., cognitive, social, personality) tend to be well-prepared for graduate studies.

Once admitted into the program, the following psychology “core” courses are required for all students, irrespective of their concentration.

1) Four of approximately six basic psychology courses (e.g., Cognitive Psychology, Human Abilities, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Biopsychology, etc)
2) Two basic statistics courses (ANOVA, Regression) and one research methods class
3) One professional problems/ethics course
4) One teaching practicum course

In addition, each area has its own set of course requirements. Information about these requirements can be found in the respective area descriptions. The I/O area, for example, requires the following courses in addition to the psychology core courses:

1) Completion of a three course specialty foundation sequence, comprised of

  • Overview of I/O Psychology
  • Industrial Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology

2) I/O graduate students are also strongly recommended to take at least three of the following classes during the advanced years of training:

  • Psychometric theory
  • Structural Equation Modeling
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychological Testing
  • History and Systems

3) Additionally, advanced I/O graduate students are expected to take research seminars offered by faculty in areas such as cross-cultural psychology, teams, work motivation and emotion, and employee development.
4) I/O graduate students are also required to minor is quanitative measurements.

Research experience is heavily considered for Ph.D. applicants as this demonstrates the student’s involvement and dedication to psychology. However, prior research experience does not necessarily have to be in I/O psychology to be viewed favorably for working in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab. We also view knowledge and research experience in basic domains of psychology (cognitive, social, personality, developmental), psychological methods and statistics (or measurement) as a positive factor.

The main criteria we use are research experience, undergraduate GPA, general GRE scores, subject GRE scores (strongly recommended), letters of recommendation, and the personal statement. The personal statement is used to determine writing skills and how well a student’s research interests and goals fit with our programs (e.g., if faculty are conducting research in areas that interest the student). If students include a writing sample and/or vita, these materials will also be considered by the admissions committee.

The number of students accepted by the School of Psychology varies yearly, but is typically about 3-7 students per program. Last year, for example, the I/O Ph.D. program received approximately 60 applications, and 6 students were accepted.

The deadline for applications is December 15 for the following Fall semester. Decisions are typically made in March, though the class is usually not filled until April 15. We do not have Spring semester admissions.

The application procedure and required materials are fully described in the application packet, which can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Office in the Psychology Department at Georgia Tech.

Jan Westbrook
Academic Assistant II
Phone: (404) 894-0886

Please refer to the most recent year’s application materials for exact details. A complete application will include all of the following materials:

1) Psychology graduate application which you can download here.
2) A statement of objectives, experiences, and future goals (this is part of the online application)
3) Three letters of recommendation (sealed)
4) Official GRE scores to be sent from ETS. The Psychology subject test is not required, but strongly recommended for best consideration for persons interested in working in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab.
5) All official transcripts for coursework completed (both undergraduate and graduate). Please note that your application will not be complete until the official copies arrive.
6) For international students, proof of English proficiency (e.g., TOEFL scores)

When applying to the graduate school, it is important that you apply to both the School of Psychology and the Georgia Institute of Technology Graduate School. There is no fee for applying to the School of Psychology, but a $50 application fee is required by the graduate school.

You can download an application from the psychology department. Applications are only taken via the online link; no paper applications are available. Supporting materials should be sent to the following address:

School of Psychology
654 Cherry Street
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0170

While there is no application fee required by the department of psychology, a $50 application fee is required by the Georgia Tech graduate school.
If you need any other information you can contact the Psychology graduate office through email:

Jan Westbrook
Academic Assistant II
Phone: (404) 894-0886
School of Psychology Fax: (404) 894-8905

The School of Psychology at Georgia Tech offers a full-time program leading to a Ph.D. The M.S. degree is earned on the way to obtaining the Ph.D. The M.S. is awarded as a terminal degree only in unusual cases, such as the student needing to cut short his or her training. We do not offer a part-time Ph.D. program. There are four graduate program areas of study at Georgia Tech: Industrial/Organizational, Experimental, Engineering, and Quantitative. Professors Kanfer and Ackerman are affiliated with both the Industrial/Organizational and Experimental Psychology program areas, so students interested in working with either of these faculty and/or in the Kanfer-Ackerman lab can apply through either program. For best consideration, be sure to state your faculty and/or lab interest on the application form.