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:

For an overview of curriculum please visit our program information in the UCI catalogue

Application Requirements 

Psychological Science applicants will complete an online application via SLATE. Below are the components/steps of the online application. 
PLEASE NOTE - UCI has multiple psychology programs, 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.

  1. Statement of Purpose. 
    • Indicate your area of interest (Affective Science, Developmental, Health or Social/Personality) in your statement and if you wish to pair an area of interest with a concentration in Psychology & Law. Your statement should describe your background, research experience, current and future research interests, future goals, and how you see yourself fitting in our department. 
  2. Personal History Statement. 
  3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UCI is: 4859. Please visit the Graduate Division Website for more information.
  4. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended after high school. Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts directly into the online application.
  5. Submit your non-refundable application fee ($120 for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents, and $140 for all other applicants). The application fee can be paid by credit card only; checks will not be accepted.
    • Fee waivers are available are available to qualified domestic applicants only. Eligibility to apply for a fee waiver is determined by program participation, US veteran status, or demonstrated financial need based on information requirements specified on the application.
  6. Three letters of recommendation. Paper LORs will not be accepted. They must be uploaded digitally. These letters should speak to your academic and/or professional achievement, describe your strengths and weaknesses, and comment on your character, integrity and motivation are especially useful. Additional information regarding letters of recommendation can be found here.
  7. International students must meet English language proficiency requirements for admission and may also need to meet proficiency requirements in order to serve as a Teaching Assistant (most students serve as a TA). Submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score is highly encouraged at the time of application. 

Program Duration

The normative time-to-degree is five years. 

Financial Support

We offer five years of guaranteed support, which includes tuition, most fees, and a stipend. Funding comes from a variety of sources, including teaching assistantshipsgraduate student research assistantships, and fellowships

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

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