About the Program

Duration of the Program


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


Areas of Specialization

We are a STEM designated program.

The areas offered to students to specialize in are the following:

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


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.


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


  • Accreditations

    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.

  • Credit Transfer 

    University policy prohibits students entering PhD Programs to transfer credit. All students will begin at Year one of our program regardless of having a Master's or a Bachelor's degree in psychology or other field.

  • Degree Completion

    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 
  • Student Research with Faculty 

    Students are allowed to conduct research with professors in different areas of the department. 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
    • Vision Science