Frequently Asked Questions



Are there any independent study courses for non-degree seeking students?

We do not have any independent study courses for non-degree seeking students.

I would like to prepare for graduate admission by auditing some of your graduate courses. Is this possible?

We do not allow auditing of our graduate courses by anyone not enrolled in a UC graduate program.

Do you offer a Master's in Psychology?

Although we do not offer a general Master degree in Psychology, our department now offers an online Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology. For more information about this program, please visit

What is required for admission to your graduate program?

In our admissions process we view applicants holistically and do not consider any aspect of an applicant’s record (grades, GREs, prior research experience, letters of recommendation) in isolation. Every application is reviewed by at least two faculty, and we carefully consider whether the applicant would be a good “fit” with what our program has to offer. The competitive applicant typically demonstrates strong academic credentials, a desire to conduct research, a solid interest match with one or more of our tenure track faculty members, and a commitment to diversity and creating an inclusive environment in the academy. Although the profile that is described is the "typical” admit, not all students we have admitted over the years fit that exact profile. Thus, a strong record in one area may be able to compensate for weakness in another area. If an applicant looks promising, they will usually be invited for an interview, usually the mid/end of January (the Winter prior to Fall admission).

Are students admitted to work with a specific faculty member?

We do not follow a strict apprenticeship model in our department. Although students are assigned an advisor in their first year, they are not required to only work with that faculty member while enrolled in the program. In fact, although some students do only work with a single mentor, many others conduct research with several faculty members during their graduate career. You are welcome to include potential mentors of interest on your application to our department.

I am in the process of applying to your graduate program and want to set up an interview or meeting with a faculty member and/or a graduate advisor.

You are welcome to speak to our Student Affairs Office about your admission to UCI. If your application looks promising, you will be invited to our campus for an interview -- that won't occur until the mid/end of January (the Winter prior to Fall admission). At that time, you will have plenty of opportunity to meet with many faculty members and current graduate students in our program.

What are your prerequisite courses for admission to your graduate program?

We do not have any formal course prerequisites. Nonetheless, we certainly expect some familiarity with psychology so that we know that you have been exposed to the content of the field (and we know that you are clear what you are getting into!). Perhaps more importantly would be some research experience in psychology - that is very important to be competitive in the application process.

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology to apply to your graduate program?

No, this is not a requirement although it is important to have had some background in psychology; courses in research methods, critical thinking and statistics are also helpful. In addition, having research experience is  an extremely important requirement for successful admission into our doctoral program.

If you do not have a psychology background, and you would like to take some courses and/or garner research experience in psychology, you might consider our Post Bacclaureate Program.

Are interviews required as part of the admission process to the PhD Program in Psychological Science?

Yes, we do conduct interviews as part of the admissions process.  If your application is viewed as promising by our admissions committee, you will be invited for an interview (with in-person interviews likely to be held toward the end of January).


Is it possible to transfer in spring or summer quarters or just fall quarter? What are the deadlines?

We have a single admission date to our program. The application deadline is December 1st of the year prior to admission for fall quarter.

My application for admission was previously denied but I wish to re-apply. Must I submit my official transcripts, official GRE, TOEFL score report and 3 letters of recommendation again?. 

We do not keep admission materials, so if you were previously denied admission, you will need to submit all new materials and a new online application.

I am an international student. Can I still apply?

Yes. International students are eligible to apply and admitted students receive full financial support from UCI.


GREs are not required for the 2021-22 admissions cycle. They are optional, and scores will not be considered in initial admission decisions because some students were unable to take the exam, and others could only take the exam in sub-optimal conditions. However, for students who wish to include their scores to supplement their application, they are welcome to do so. We will consider scores as additional material. If you choose to include your GRE scores, you may do so by using the school code for UCI, 4859. 


I am interested in obtaining a degree in clinical or counseling psychology. Is that available at UCI?

The Psychological Science Department offers two separate Ph.D. programs, one in Psychological Science and one in Psychological Science with a concentration in Clinical Psychology. As with our other specializations, the clinical concentration is heavily research focused. If you have strong interests in the practice of clinical work and do not have an interest in psychological research, our graduate program may not be a good fit for you. 

For more information on the clinical area, please visit this link.

I want to become a Forensic Psychologist. Does your Ph.D. in Psychological Science offer a program or specialization in Forensic Psychology?

Our Ph.D. program does not offer a specialization in Forensic Psychology. However, our program does offers non-clinical training in Psychology and Law that can supplement students' training in a core specialization area. Although our Ph.D. program does not offer a specialization in Forensic Psychology, we do offer an online Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology program. 

For students pursuing the Ph.D. in Psychological Science with a concentration in Clinical Psychology, there may be opportunities for clinical training in forensics, such as practica (clinical training) placements. 

I have previous Master's credit (Master's degree in Psychology). Would this count towards a Ph.D. in Psychological Science?

Students' work in master's programs are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and in rare instances, some of the work may be applied to our requirements. Information regarding prior graduate courses and training can be submitted and will be reviewed by a Graduate Committee for consideration.

Do you offer financial assistance to students accepted into your graduate program (i.e., assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships)?

All students who are admitted to our program are provided with financial assistance that is awarded on a case-by-case basis, either through teaching assistantships, research assistantships or fellowships. If you are admitted to our program, you would be provided with full financial assistance.

How many hours (or years, usually) are needed for graduation?

A typical student completes our PhD program in 5 years.

Can your graduate program be completed on an evening/night or part-time basis?

Our Ph.D. Program is a full-time, day program. The vast majority of graduate courses are offered between the hours of 8am-6pm.

Can I select the faculty member I wish to serve as my primary mentor during my graduate career?

If you are accepted into our graduate program, you will be assigned a faculty mentor based upon mutual interests and availability. However, one of the advantages of our program is that we encourage our students to network with several faculty during their graduate career. This may mean that your initial faculty-student pairing may change as you move through the program. If there are specific faculty members that you are interested in working with, do indicate so on your application to the program.