Ph.D. Program Overview

The Ph.D. program provides students with a strong foundation in theory, research methods and advanced statistics, as well as in the classic and contemporary issues.

Students collaborate with faculty on research from the very beginning of their graduate training and are encouraged to gain research experience with more than one faculty member. As student’s interests and skills develop, they pursue more independent research projects.

With 31 full-time faculty to serve as mentors for approximately 70 graduate students, our students enjoy the benefits of a program with an excellent faculty-to-student ratio and with a strong sense of community. Since students work closely with faculty throughout their graduate careers, they regularly have opportunities to co-author conference presentations, journal articles, and book chapters.


Ph.D. students select a primary (major) specialization in one of the following four core areas:

Admission Requirements (see also FAQs below)

  1. A complete online application, which includes a Statement of Purpose and a Personal History Statement.
  2. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended after high school. Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts directly into the online application.
  3. Three letters of recommendation. Paper LORs will not be accepted. They must be uploaded digitally.
  4. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UCI is: 4859. Please visit the Graduate Division Website for more information.
  5. If you have not earned a diploma or advanced degree within a country where English is the primary or dominant language, then you are required to submit English-proficiency test scores. Please visit the Graduate Division website for more information.
  6. Submit your non-refundable application fee ($120 for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents, and $140 for all other applicants). Please note that the application fee can be paid by credit card only; checks will not be accepted.


Application Process


When completing your application, be sure to select the following:

UCI has multiple psychology programs, so please be sure to select the correct program to avoid a delay in processing your application. If you are interested in Cognitive Neuroscience, please visit the School of Social Sciences.
*Please note that this program will be changing its name in the near future to Psychological Science to reflect the new Department name. Please choose Psychology & Social Behavior for the Fall 2019 application cycle.

If you would like additional information, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact us here.

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