These instructions will clarify the application process for admission to our Ph.D. program. A link to additional information for Clinical Science applicants is at the bottom of this page.
Questions should be sent to email@example.com. Please do not phone.
We do not have a terminal Master’s degree program. Our application is for Ph.D. candidates only. The School Psychology program is offered through the Graduate School of Education. Visiting and exchange students, go to Study Abroad for information.
The application for Fall 2021 admission opens September 8, 2020. Our application deadline is December 1, 2020, 8:59pm Pacific Standard Time.
Applicants should take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and, if applicable, TOEFL, so that we receive the scores by our application deadline. Check with Educational Testing Service (ETS) to be sure your official GRE or TOEFL scores will be submitted on time. Scores from the GRE Psychology subject test are not requested or considered in the application process. Clinical Science graduate applicants, though, are encouraged to take the Psychology subject test, because high scores from the test can help cover the APA breadth requirements if the test was taken before the start of graduate training.
Your application, letters of recommendation, official exam scores, scanned transcripts, other application documents, and fee payment must be submitted through the online UC Berkeley Graduate Division application. Do not mail, courier, or deliver any application documents to Graduate Division Admissions or the Department of Psychology unless specifically requested. If sent without being requested, these items are not garunteed to be recieved or applied to your application.
It will be useful to review our Graduate Admissions website before beginning your application: Graduate Admissions.
To begin your application, go to Applying for Graduate Admissions.
ADMIT TERM and PROGRAM: Select Fall 2021. We do not accept applications for any Spring or Summer term. Select Psychology PhD.
PROGRAM INFORMATION: Select the Study Emphasis/Research Concentration to which you are applying. You may apply to one or two concentrations. The six training areas in the department are:
- Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience
- Clinical Science
- Cognitive Neuroscience
FACULTY ADVISOR: Please review the research interests of the faculty in the area of emphasis to which you are applying: faculty profiles. List at least two (and at most three) Psychology faculty members whose research is of particular interest to you. List the faculty members in order of preference. For each faculty member you list, please provide a short explanation about why you selected that faculty member. This is an important part of the application.
Faculty admitting students for Fall 2020:
Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience: Frederic Theunissen, Joni Wallis
Clinical Science: Aaron Fisher, Qing Zhou, Bob Levenson
Cognition: Anne Collins
Cognitive Neuroscience: Matthew Walker, Richard Ivry, Sonia Bishop, David Whitney
Developmental: Arianne Eason, Alison Gopnik, Jan Engelmann, Silvia Bunge, Mahesh Srinivasan, Fei Xu, Celeste Kidd
Social-Personality: Serena Chen, Jason Okonfua, Iris Mauss, Dacher Keltner, Oliver John
GRADE POINT AVERAGES (GPA): For undergraduate programs using a 4-point grading scale, calculate and report:
- Advanced GPA (all courses completed after the second year).
- Cumulative GPA as shown on the transcript granted by the most recently attended undergraduate institution.
- GPA for courses in your major field of study.
- If your intended field of study at Berkeley was not your undergradutate major, calculate the GPA for all courses listed on your transcripts that relate to the field of study for which you are applying.
- Cumulative Graduate GPA, if applicable.
If your grades are not based on a 4-point scale, as is the case for most international students, report your cumulative undergraduate GPA as determined by your institution in the Other Scale GPA box.
A GPA calculation worksheet is not required.
TRANSCRIPTS: Do not send official transcripts to Graduate Division Admissions or the Department of Psychology. For the first round of application review, upload onto the application, scanned copies of unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended. Official hard copy transcripts are only required from applicants who are offered admission and enroll in the program.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Three letters of recommendation are required. Enter all requested information for each recommender. Be sure you have entered valid email addresses. Indicate whether you do or do not waive your right to read each letter. Click Send to Recommender for each recommender. They will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letter. Recommenders may upload their letters onto the application themselves or via a letter service. Letters can arrive after the application deadline but may not be considered if they arrive after our application reviews begin.
At least two of your recommenders should preferably be psychology faculty members or advanced psychology graduate students, but letters from recommenders in other discplines are acceptable. Each recommender should be familiar with your academic talent and abilities.
GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE): We require all applicants to take the GRE General test but do not have a minimum score requirement. The GRE requirement applies to all applicants, even if you have completed a master’s degree program or are in a master’s degree program that did not require the GRE General test for admission. We do not accept scores from tests taken before December 2013.
Scores from the GRE Psychology Subject test are not requested or considered in the application process. Clinical Science graduate applicants, though, are encouraged to take the Psychology subject test, because high scores from the test can help cover the APA breadth requirements if the test was taken before the start of graduate training.
Official scores must be sent directly to Graduate Division by Educational Testing Service (ETS). UC Berkeley's institution code is 4833. A department/major code is not necessary. Official GRE scores can arrive after the application deadline but may not be considered if they arrive after our application reviews begin.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Applicants who completed their undergraduate degree in a non-English speaking country fall under the English Language Proficiency requirement. There are three ways to prove language proficiency:
- Complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 90.
- Complete the IELTS exam with a minimum score of 7.
- Provide a transcript that shows at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better in residence at a U.S. college or university. Transcripts should be uploaded in the Academic History section.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The Statement of Purpose is required, usually about 1.5 to 2 pages in length, single-spaced, typed, and an important part of your application. Please describe the following:
- Your interest area in psychology; past research work and research interests for the future. You can include relevant coursework or reading, as they helped to generate your interests.
- Applied work experience: volunteer or paid work experience in a mental health or human services agency. (Required for Clinical Science applicants).
- Reasons for applying to UC Berkeley, including faculty member(s) with whom you wish to work.
- Plans for your future profession.
Graduate Division guidelines: Writing the Statement of Purpose.
PERSONAL HISTORY STATEMENT: The Personal History Statement is required, usually about 1.5 to 2 pages in length, single-spaced, typed, and an important part of your application. It should stand alone and not repeat your Statement of Purpose. In your Personal History Statement, please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include information about:
- How you have overcome barriers to access in higher education.
- Evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others.
- Evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education.
- Evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality.
- Evidence of your leadership among underserved populations.
Graduate Division guidelines: Writing the Personal Statement.
SUPPORTING MATERIALS: A resume or CV is required. Please do not include a picture of yourself. Other supporting materials are optional.
APPLICATION FEE: Submit your application and pay the fee by the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.