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Graduate Program

Prospective PhD Students

Current PhD Students

History and Overview of the Program

The San Diego campus of the University of California was formally established in 1958 around the nucleus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It has since become one of the most renowned research universities in the United States. The Department of Psychology was formed in 1965 and first admitted graduate students in 1966. For the 2021/2022 academic year, there are 79 graduate students in the Department's doctoral program. As of June 30, 2021, 426 doctoral degrees have been awarded.

The Department remains committed to the belief that the best training for a career in psychology, even one in clinical psychology, is a strong background in Experimental Psychology. As such, conducting experimental research is the primary activity of graduate students in our program.

Each graduate student in our Department works closely with one or more faculty advisor(s) throughout their graduate career, in an apprenticeship system that distinguishes our Department from others. Our graduate students are actively involved in research design, implementation, analysis, and publication processes, and they are treated more like colleagues than students. 

Graduate students in our program start off by conducting a year-long independent research project, which serves as a major criterion in the evaluation of our first year students. In addition to conducting well-supervised, original research in their respective labs, our students take classes (seminars and proseminars), teach and mentor undergraduate students, participate in lab meetings and journal clubs, and attend Department-sponsored events, such as Brown Bag meetings and our Colloquium Speaker Series.

Our Department and the greater University are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all our members. Click on the following links to read our Department Climate Statement, and the UC San Diego Principles of Community.