Skip to main content

Coursework and Milestones

All graduate students are expected to be full time students in residence for the 9 months of each academic year. Students are required to enroll in and attend Colloquia and Brown Bags in person each quarter they are registered as part of the department.

Students are expected to complete the required coursework, initiate and continue their research, communicate regularly with their faculty advisor, and meet all appropriate deadlines for Advancement to Ph.D. Candidacy. Should an advisor relationship end at any time, students have one quarter to secure a new department faculty advisor to continue in the program.

Key Program Reminders:

  1. Students must maintain a minimum of 12 units/quarter to be eligible for financial support
  2. Students are required to enroll in PSYC 500 under the respective course instructor every quarter they TA. Students are expected to complete each PSYC 500 course with a passing grade (S). Those with outside funding are required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 4 total TA assignments.
  3. Prior to advancement, students should enroll in Psychology 296 with their advisor(s) when they do not meet the minimum of 12 units/quarter. After advancement, students should enroll in Psychology 299 with their advisor(s) to ensure a full-time load.
  4. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or they will be placed on Graduate Division probation. Students with 12 or more units of "U" will have a hold placed on their accounts.
  5. Petitions for exceptions or extensions to deadlines may be approved for a good cause. Petitions must be submitted well in advance of a deadline to Graduate Affairs Committee for review.

1st Year

  • PSYC 201AB: Quantitative Methods, 6 units (FW)
  • PSYC 270ABC: 1st Year Project, 4 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 280: Colloquium, 1 unit (FWS)
  • PSYC 296 (pre-advancement): Research Practicum, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 500: TA Assignment, 4 units (Quarter of assignment)
  • Area Brown Bag as appropriate:
    • Cognitive Area - required to sign up for Cognitive brown bag, PSYC 275
    • CNS Area- required to sign up for CNS brown bag, PSYC 224
    • Developmental Area - required to sign up for Developmental brown bag, PSYC 242 (2 presentations per year)
    • Sensation & Perception Area - highly advised to sign up for Vision Journal Club, PSYC 223 (FW)
    • Social Area - required to sign up for Social brown bag, PSYC 274 (2 presentations in year 1)
  • Proseminar Requirement
    • At least 3 proseminars must be completed in the 1st year. In this instance, the fourth proseminar must be taken in the 2nd year. All 4 proseminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Advisor finalized by the end of Fall quarter
  • 1st Year Paper Proposal Meeting, DocuSign form required (W) (March 31st)
  • Presentation of 1st Year paper at Little APS (Saturday before finals week in Spring quarter)
  • 1st Year Checklist

2nd Year

  • PSYC 280: Colloquium, 1 unit (FWS)
  • PSYC 296 (pre-advancement): Research Practicum, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 500: TA Assignment, 4 units (Quarter(s) of assignment)
  • Area Brown Bag as appropriate:
    • Cognitive Area - required to sign up for Cognitive brown bag, PSYC 275
    • CNS Area- required to sign up for CNS brown bag, PSYC 224
    • Developmental Area - required to sign up for Developmental brown bag, PSYC 242 (2 presentations per year)
    • Sensation & Perception Area - highly advised to sign up for Vision Journal Club, PSYC 223 (FW)
    • Social Area - required to sign up for Social brown bag, PSYC 274 (2 presentations in year 1)
  • Proseminar if all four were not completed in 1st year. All 4 proseminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Approved Seminars
    • 4 approved seminars must be completed by the end of the 3rd year; note a maximum of 1 non-Psychology approved seminar can count towards this requirement. Three of your four seminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Qualifying Paper or Exam Proposal due October 1st
  • Qualifying Paper of Exam due April 30th
  • Data and Progress Update, Docusign form required (March 31st)

3rd Year

  • PSYC 280: Colloquium, 1 unit (FWS)
  • PSYC 296 (pre-advancement): Research Practicum, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 500: TA Assignment, 4 units (Quarter(s) of assignment)
  • Area Brown Bag as appropriate:
    • Cognitive Area - required to sign up for Cognitive brown bag, PSYC 275
    • CNS Area- required to sign up for CNS brown bag, PSYC 224
    • Developmental Area - required to sign up for Developmental brown bag, PSYC 242 (2 presentations per year)
    • Sensation & Perception Area - highly advised to sign up for Vision Journal Club, PSYC 223 (FW)
    • Social Area - required to sign up for Social brown bag, PSYC 274 (2 presentations in year 1)
  • Approved Seminars
    • Must complete 4 approved seminars by the Spring of the 3rd year; note a maximum of 1 non-Psychology approved seminar can count towards this requirement. Three of your four seminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Data and Progress Update, DocuSign form required (May 1st)

4th Year

  • PSYC 280: Colloquium, 1 unit (FWS)
  • PSYC 296 (pre-advancement): Research Practicum, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 299 (post-advancement): Independent Research, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • Area Brown Bag as appropriate:
    • Cognitive Area - required to sign up for Cognitive brown bag, PSYC 275
    • CNS Area- required to sign up for CNS brown bag, PSYC 224
    • Developmental Area - required to sign up for Developmental brown bag, PSYC 242 (2 presentations per year)
    • Sensation & Perception Area - highly advised to sign up for Vision Journal Club, PSYC 223 (FW)
    • Social Area - required to sign up for Social brown bag, PSYC 274 (2 presentations in year 1)
  • PSYC 500: TA Assignment, 4 units (Quarter(s) of assignment)
  • Constitute Dissertation Committee, requires Graduate Division approval. Contact Graduate Coordinator
  • Dissertation Proposal, Graduate Division form required. Contact Graduate Coordinator prior to meeting (International students: Must advance by Sept 1st before the start of the 4th year)
    • Dissertation committee must be formally approved by Graduate Division before dissertation proposal can be scheduled. The approval process takes on average of one month.
    • A registration hold will be put on your record if not advanced by Spring quarter of your 4th year.

5th - Nth Year

  • PSYC 280: Colloquium, 1 unit (FWS)
  • PSYC 299 (post-advancement): Independent Research, up to 12 units (FWS)
  • PSYC 500: TA Assignment, 4 units (Quarter(s) of assignment)
  • Area Brown Bag as appropriate:
    • Cognitive Area - required to sign up for Cognitive brown bag, PSYC 275
    • CNS Area- required to sign up for CNS brown bag, PSYC 224
    • Developmental Area - required to sign up for Developmental brown bag, PSYC 242 (2 presentations per year)
    • Sensation & Perception Area - highly advised to sign up for Vision Journal Club, PSYC 223 (FW)
    • Social Area - required to sign up for Social brown bag, PSYC 274 (2 presentations in year 1)
  • Data and Progress Update, DocuSign form required (May 1st) 
  • Dissertation defense, Graduate Division form required. Contact Graduate Coordinator prior to meeting
    • Students who have failed to complete requirements and defend their dissertation by the end of their 8th year will be terminated from the program.

* Extensions to deadlines may be approved for a good cause (such as changing research advisor). Any requests for exceptions or extensions to program requirements can only be approved by a formal petition submitted to the Department's Graduate Affairs Committee.

* During quarters in which there are job talks in lieu of colloquia, students are required to attend the job talks.

* Departmental Advancement Deadlines are extended two quarters for students enrolled in the Cog Sci Interdisciplinary Program. Please note that the total registered time limit for those in the Cog Sci Interdisciplinary Program however is 7 years, without a petitioned exception.