Our graduate program's greatest strengths are its flexibility in meeting the intellectual needs of individual students, the high level of cooperation and collaboration that exists within the graduate student community, and interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship. Our annual departmental research conference provides an opportunity for graduate students to present their research to faculty and other students. Psychology and many other programs bring eminent scholars to campus, giving graduate students an opportunity to hear and meet with leading psychologists and figures in related disciplines. Graduate students in psychology can choose from a wide array of intellectual and research opportunities. Faculty in psychology have affiliations with a number of exciting campus institutes and interdepartmental programs, including the California Regional Primate Research Center, UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, Animal Behavior Graduate Group, Ecology Graduate Group, UC Davis Humanities Institute, Women's Studies, Child and Human Development Graduate Groups, Early Childhood Laboratory, Center for Mind and Brain, and the Center for Neuroscience. Faculty and student participation in campus-wide programs add to the intellectual diversity of the department.
Enrollment is limited to ensure that we can maintain a flexible, research-oriented program and close faculty-student contact. It is desirable for applicants to have a good general background in at least one area of psychology.
The academic requirements for the doctorate include successful completion of several graduate seminars and graduate statistics courses, a written preliminary examination, a pre-dissertation research project, an oral qualifying examination, and an acceptable doctoral dissertation.
All first-year students take Psychology 200 which provides an introduction to the research interests and activities of the faculty. At the beginning of the second quarter each student, with the aid of the Graduate Adviser, selects an Individual Advising Committee. The Individual Advising Committee is responsible for guiding the student through the course work, reading, and research required to achieve the background in general psychology needed for professional competence in the student's area of special interest.
In addition to research skills, students are encouraged to develop teaching skills. A two-quarter course is offered to advanced graduate students which includes instruction on preparation of teaching materials, course organization, and teaching of an introductory psychology class. Students who have completed this course and have passed the oral qualifying examination may be invited to teach psychology courses.