About the Program
IMPORTANT: The GRE is optional for the FA22 admissions cycle. Not submitting GRE scores will not be counted against an applicant. Please disregard any information that states that the GRE is required for Psychology graduate admission.

How long is the program?

Our graduate program is a 5-year program. Students typically complete the program in 5 or 6 years. We guarantee funding for 5 years.


What areas of specialization does the department offer?

Students may specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
  • Clinical Science
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental
  • Social-Personality

To learn about each: Research Areas


The department does not offer a terminal Master's degree, programs in criminal or forensic psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology (refer to UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education), a Psy.D. degree, or any joint or concurrent degree programs.  Information about programs in these areas is available at: American Psychological Association and American Psychological Association Divisions.


Is the Ph.D. program accredited?

Our Clinical Science program is accredited by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS).  This is not applicable to the other five research areas of our program.


If I have earned a Master’s degree in psychology before I begin the graduate program, may I enter with advanced standing?

No. University policy prohibits students entering Ph.D. programs to transfer credit. Whether a student enters with a master’s degree or with a bachelor’s degree, the student will begin at Year One of our program.


How many units must a student complete in order to graduate?

There is not a unit requirement for degree completion. Progress in the program is measured by milestones: qualifying examination, advancement to candidacy, dissertation proposal meeting, filing of the dissertation, and graduation. The standard timeline for completion is as follows:

  • Qualifying Examination by end of 6th semester
  • Advancement to candidacy by end of 7th semester
  • Dissertation proposal meeting by end of 8th semester
  • Filing of the dissertation and graduation by end of 10th semester

Will I be able to do research with professors in different areas of the department?

Yes. Many students work with professors from more than one area within the department. Our students also collaborate with professors of other departments/schools/institutes, including: Business, Computer Science, Education, Integrative Biology, Law, Linguistics, Music, Neuroscience, Optometry, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Welfare, Sociology, and Vision Science.


A comprehensive explanation of program requirements and departmental policies are in our Graduate Student Handbook.