Prospective Students

Information for Prospective Graduate Students – FAQ

What do I need to be accepted into the BussLab?

We look for serious, bright, knowledgeable, and highly motivated students who seek a career in evolutionary psychology. Additionally, the usual criteria of grades, competence in statistics, research experience, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated knowledge of evolutionary psychology are important.

Do I need to be a Psychology major?


What are the requirements for applying to the BussLab?

You should have a competitive GPA and CV. You will need to submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Information for applying can be found on the Psychology Department website.

What else can I do to increase my chances of acceptance?

The most competitive applicants will have a thorough knowledge of evolution, genetics, and evolutionary psychology. Additional familiarity with evolutionary biology, phylogenetics, and physical anthropology are a plus. Suggested courses that would help prepare you: evolution, genetics, evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, evolution and human behavior, human mating, human sexuality, evolutionary anthropology, animal behavior, statistics. A long list of suggested readings is provided by the IDEP area. Another very important component would be research experience. Honors projects, senior theses, and other independent studies in which you conducted experiments, calculated statistics, and wrote up APA style papers are highly regarded in applicants.

If I join the BussLab, what is expected of me?

You will be expected to conduct independent research, collaborate with Dr. Buss and the BussLab graduate students, and complete coursework. You will also attend weekly lab meetings and help with general lab duties. Students in the lab receive funding through either a 20 hour/week teaching assistant or research assistant position, or by obtaining a fellowship.

Do I need to know exactly what I want to study before I join the BussLab?

No, but you should come prepared with a number of potential ideas for research.

Information for Prospective Undergraduate Research Assistants

The BussLab welcomes undergraduate students to apply to become a research assistant (PSY357 or volunteer). As we receive so many applications each year, the application process is important.

  1. Make sure to look over the research interests of the graduate students to determine whom you’d like to work with and check our current openings section at the bottom of this page.
  2. Contact the graduate student via email indicating your specific interest(s) and he or she will, if there are openings, set up an interview with you.
  3. We are looking for conscientious undergraduates who are hard workers and interested in psychology (particularly evolutionary psychology). We also give preference to students who have taken Dr. Buss’s classes and performed well in them. Finally, a good GPA, and a high grade in PSY418 are preferred. Keep in mind that PSY357 students are expected to work 6 – 10 hours each week in the lab.
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