How to Apply

Apply for Admission to the Psychology Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. Admissions Requirements - Fall 2022

Application Deadline - December 1, 2021  

The Fall 2022 application will be available in September at: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/apply

***GRE SCORES ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR FALL 2022 ADMISSIONS!***

 

Note: We DO NOT offer a stand-alone Master's program or a Clinical/Counseling Psychology program. Applications are only accepted for the Ph.D., but it is possible to earn a Master's along the way.

APPLICATION PROCESS AND TIMELINE:

Overview: New graduate students are admitted directly into faculty laboratories, so it is essential for prospective students to contact faculty directly about openings and research interests (see below for advice). After the December 1st deadline, applications are reviewed by individual faculty, who nominate prospective students to the admissions committee for interviews, which occurs in January. The majority of students selected for interviews have at least some email contact with potential faculty mentors before applications are submitted.  

Application Process

  • December 1, 2021 Submit your Application for Admission!
  • December 5, 2021 All materials due (TOEFL/IELTS test scores, transcripts, recommendation letters)
  • December 23, 2021 Interview invitations will be emailed to interview candidates (interviews are required for admission)
  • January 2022 Interviews will be conducted remotely via Zoom
  • February 28, 2022 Admissions offer letters sent via email
  • March 15, 2022 Final admissions decisions sent to unsuccessful applicants.
  • April 15, 2022 Decision deadline – let us know if you accept our offer of Admission!

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

The Psychology graduate office will be closed December 18, 2021 through January 2, 2022. During this time you may not be able to reach the Psychology Graduate Program or the Office of Graduate Studies for information regarding your application status. Please be patient, we will do our best to promptly respond to your inquiries once the office has reopened on January 3rd.

Application Requirements

THE GRE REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN WAIVED FOR FALL 2022 ADMISSIONS! Applicants will NOT be asked for GRE scores in the application. Applicants with GSR scores will not be able to upload them.

We do not have any course pre-requisites. An MA is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students must have a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in the Ph.D. and the University requires a 3.0 GPA. In exceptional cases where the applicant has additional skills this requirement can be waived.

International Students – May need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam and request results to be sent to UC Davis. See below for information on whether you need to take one of these exams.

Please see additional University application requirements here: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/admissions/admission-requirements

Area of research and preferred faculty mentor(s)

The Psychology Ph.D. is a mentorship program, in which students perform research with a faculty mentor. You can list up to 6 faculty as possible mentors. It is beneficial for you to have email contact with one or more potential faculty mentors before the application deadline. This helps you to learn more about their research and gives them a more interactive way to get to know you. To see a list of our faculty, please click the "People" link on the top blue banner. Then go to "Faculty" and click the box for your area of interest. "Affiliated Faculty" are also members of the Psychology Graduate Program and can accept Psychology Ph.D. students as well.

After you have identified faculty whose research closely matches your own interests, it’s a good idea to contact them by email to express your interest in joining the lab. A common approach is to write 1-2 paragraphs describing your research interests and why you think you would be a good fit to work with the faculty member. Including a resume or curriculum vitae is a great way to let faculty review your training and experience. See this webpage for tips on how to write a curriculum vitae. We suggest you begin this process in September or October.

GRE Scores

THE GRE REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN WAIVED FOR FALL 2022 ADMISSIONS! Applicants will NOT be asked for GRE scores in the application. Applicants who already have GRE scores will not be able to submit them.

Transcripts

We do not require official paper transcripts, however we will need to see unofficial transcripts from all academic institutions you have attended and listed on your application. You can upload the unofficial transcripts directly into your application. Please follow the instructions in the application or in the confirmation email that will be sent to you after you submit your application. More information can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies here: https://grad.ucdavis.edu/admissions/admission-requirements/submitting-your-transcripts

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. It’s best if you can request letters from people who know you well, and can give specific examples of qualities that you have that make you a good candidate for our program. Your recommenders will be contacted directly by the University to upload their letters. Unfortunately, we do not currently support document agencies such as Interfolio. The recommender must upload the letter directly via the link provided to them.

It is suggested that you contact recommenders at least one month in advance of the due date. At least one recommendation should be from someone with an academic title (professor, lecturer, research professional). Providing your letter writers with a copy of your CV and statement of purpose/personal history statement can make it easier for them to prepare your letters.

Statement of Purpose

Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis. (Maximum 4000 characters, including spaces)

  • preparation and motivation may include your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, studio projects, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
  • interests, specializations, and career goals may include your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area/s of specialization, and professional objectives.
  • fit may include how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of your graduate program at UC Davis. Please identify specific faculty within your desired graduate program with whom you would like to work and how their interests match your own.

Personal History and Diversity Statement

The purpose of this essay is to get know you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education. This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in the Statement of Purpose.  (Maximum 4000 characters, including spaces)

Application Fee

$120 for U.S. applicants or $140 for international applicants. 

UC Davis offers application fee waivers to applicants who have participated in specific graduate preparation programs (see Graduate Preparation Program Fee Waiver page for a list of qualifying programs). Applicants who are affiliated with these programs must indicate their participation AND must provide the name and contact information for their program coordinator in the relevant section of the online application system to receive a fee waiver.

International Applicants

English language testing is required, not just for international students, but for all applicants whose native language or primary language of instruction is not English.  UC Davis accepts both the TOEFL and IELTS examinations.  For more information about these tests, please go to the TOEFL/IELTS Requirement section.