This section describes Department and campus resources available to graduate students.
Area Faculty Advisors and Head Graduate Advisor. Area Faculty Advisors and the Head Graduate Advisor are responsible for the academic advising of graduate students. The objectives of the Area Faculty Advisors and Head Graduate Advisor are to admit the best possible class of students and to guide each entering or continuing student through the various steps necessary for the student to earn higher degrees. In addition, the Head Graduate Advisor serves as a sounding board and problem-solver in addressing concerns about mentorship, career-related barriers, and other departmental or university issues you would like help resolving. Information shared is kept confidential (with the exception of reporting requirements around topics like sexual harassment or abuse).
Graduate Student Services Advisor. The Graduate Student Services Advisor is a departmental staff member who is responsible for the administrative advising of graduate students. For example, the GSSA reminds students about registration and fellowship deadlines, stays abreast of degree requirements from Graduate Division and University, and manages requisite administrative paperwork on behalf of the Department and its graduate students. For general information send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Student Services Advisor
Berkeley Way West, 2nd Floor
Director of Student Services
Berkeley Way West, 2nd Floor
bCourses (Psychology Graduate Students). This bCourses site centralizes information pertinent to graduate students in the Department of Psychology.
Department Website. (psychology.berkeley.edu). The Department website contains department news, course offerings, faculty and student directories, applications and forms, and area program information. For a listing of Department events visit: events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/psych.html.
Graduate Division Website. (grad.berkeley.edu). Graduate Division’s website has information about the different offices of Graduate Division as well as information concerning financial support, academic and professional development, policies and procedures, and student life. It also has links to upcoming workshops and events, diversity topics, information for student families, and applications and forms.
Guide to Graduate Policy. (grad.berkeley.edu/policies/ggp/ggp.pdf). The Guide to Graduate Policy acquaints staff and students with the policies and procedures that govern graduate work at UC Berkeley. This guide is best used in conjunction with this handbook and the General Catalog (bulletin.berkeley.edu/).
Department of Psychology Graduate Appeals Process.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this procedure is to afford graduate students in the Psychology Department an opportunity to resolve complaints about dismissal from graduate standing, placement of probationary status, denial of readmission, and other administrative or academic decisions that terminate or otherwise impede progress toward academic or professional degree goals.
The scope of this procedure is limited to the matters listed above, and excludes complaint regarding denial of admission, student records, grades in courses of instruction, student employment, student discipline, and auxiliary student services (such as housing, child care, etc.). This procedure may not be used for complains regarding actions based solely on faculty evaluation of the academic quality of a student’s performance, or decanal evaluation of a student’s appropriate academic progress, unless the complaint alleges that the actions may have been influenced by non-academic criteria.
- INFORMAL RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
A student may pursue informal resolution of a complaint by scheduling a meeting with the Area Graduate Advisor to discuss the complaint and explore possible avenues of resolution. If informal resolution is pursued, it must be initiated, and should be completed, within 30 days. At any point in this process, if a satisfactory solution cannot be reached, the student may initiate formal resolution by putting the complaint in writing.
- FORMAL RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Head Graduate Advisor will investigate the complaint. (The Department Chair will appoint a substitute if the Head Graduate Advisor is from the student’s Area.) If the complaint is about action taken by the Head Graduate Advisor, the complainant may elect to take the complaint directly to the Department Chair. Generally, the investigation will include an interview with the complainant, a review of any relevant written materials, and an effort to obtain information from available witnesses (i.e., interview or written statement of documents). The Head Graduate Advisor or his substitute may choose to consult with the other Graduate Advisors. The Head Graduate Advisor will notify the student in writing of the outcome of the complaint.
If the issue is not resolved at the Head Graduate Advisor level, the complainant may take the issue directly to the Department Chair. A written complaint under this procedure (written complaint submitted to the Head Graduate Advisor and/or Department Chair) satisfies the requirement of a unit level resolution process pursuant to the Graduate Appeals Procedure.
A written complaint must include information regarding the action being complained of and the date it occurred, the grounds upon which the appeal is based, and the relief requested. The complaint must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
- Procedural error or violation of official policy by academic or administrative personnel;
- Judgments improperly based upon non-academic criteria, including, but not limited to, discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or ability status.
- Specific mitigating circumstances beyond the student’s control not properly taken into account in a decision affecting the student’s academic progress.
A written complaint must be received by the head Graduate Advisor within 30 days from the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. The department will complete its investigation and notify the student of the outcome of the complaint within 60 days of the date it was received.
The time frame for filing a written complaint may be extended by the department if the student has been involved in continuing efforts toward informal resolution, and the informal resolution process was initiated within 30 days of the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. All time frames referred to in this procedure refer to calendar days. Summer and inter-semester recesses are not included within these time frames.
- APPEAL TO THE GRADUATE DIVISION
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint under the department’s procedure, he or she may bring the complaint to the Formal Appeal Procedure of the Graduate Appeals Procedure. The formal appeal must be received in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Division, 424 Sproul Hall, within 15 days for the date of the written notification of the result of the unit level procedure. Copies of the Graduate Appeal Procedure (updated May 11, 2012) may be obtained from the Department’s Student Services Office or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate Division, or at the following link: grad.berkeley.edu/policy/coursework-grading-probation-and-dismissal-policy/#e19-graduate-student-appeal-procedure
- COMPLAINTS INVOLVING DESCRIMINATION
If the complaint involves allegations of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, the department will consult appropriate campus compliance officers prior to commencing informal or formal resolution. The names, phone numbers, and campus addresses of these individuals are listed in the various campus publications and may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Graduate Division (510-642-5472) or the Academic Compliance Office at (510) 642-2795.
- OTHER COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
Graduate students my contact the office of the Ombudsman for Students, the Title IX Compliance Officer, or the 504/ADA Compliance Office for assistance with complaint resolution. There are also other complaint resolution procedures listed in the Graduate Appeals Procedure for use regarding complaints that do not fall under this procedure.