The process of selecting graduate students to participate in our program involves evaluating a student’s undergraduate grades, any appropriate work past the bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, and research experience.

The department only admits students if one (or more) of our faculty members indicate a willingness to serve as the student’s mentor. Therefore, we strongly recommend applicants to contact individual faculty members with whom they are interested in working to ensure the faculty member will be accepting students for the coming academic year, and to evaluate the degree to which the student’s interests map onto the faculty member’s program of research. Faculty names, contact information, and research areas can be found here.

Application requirements
Applicants are not required to have majored in psychology, but the equivalent (in knowledge) of a bachelor’s degree in psychology is recommended. For students interested in behavioral neuroscience specialization, a strong background in biology or biochemistry is essential. Beginning with the Fall 2023 admission cycle, the GRE is no longer required for admission to the program.

Applicants with an overall or major GPA of 3.5 or better have a higher rate of admission to our program.

If you feel that your interests reflect the department’s curriculum, and you have identified one or more potential faculty mentors, we encourage you to complete the official UCR Graduate School Application. This is the “official” application to the Psychology Department’s graduate program.

Please note:

  • Students are admitted for the Fall quarter
  • We do not offer a terminal Master’s degree program.
  • The application portal will open in early September for Fall Admission
  • The deadline to submit your application and all supporting documents for the Psychology Graduate Program is December 1st by 11:59 PM PST.
  • Please allow up to 5-7 business days for your application tracker to be updated after your application is submitted.

To apply for the graduate program, you will need to submit the online UCR Graduate School Application and upload all required documents into your application listed below. We cannot offer admission to a prospective graduate student until the application is complete and all required documents are received.

Specific guidance regarding the required essays and letters of recommendation can be found here. The application will ask which faculty member you are interested in working with, so please fill in this with the faculty member’s name.

A. Transcripts of all post-secondary work:
The Psychology Department requires transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

  • Please upload your transcripts to the Scholastic Information section under “Document Upload”.We only require UNOFFICIAL transcripts for the review of your application. If you accept an offer of admission, we will request official transcripts at that time in order to formally admit you to the program.

If you have an issue with uploading your documents, please email Sarah Turnbull at for further instructions and assistance.

B. Statement of Purpose and Personal History:
Two essays will be submitted through your online application. For more information, please visit this website.

C. Supplemental Fellowship Information Form:
Although optional, the department strongly encourages all domestic applicants to complete this supplemental information form in order to receive full consideration for merit- and diversity-based fellowship opportunities.

D. Three letters of Recommendation:
Applicants will be able to enter their recommenders’ information directly into our online application. Recommenders will be notified electronically and provided instructions on how to submit a letter online. All letters of recommendation must be received electronically so they are attached to the applicant’s file for review. Letters should be provided by individuals (typically professors and research supervisors) who can speak to your preparedness to conduct research. Letters of recommendation cannot be released to the applicant and cannot be forwarded elsewhere.

Please Note: We recommend submitting your application at least a week prior to the December 1st deadline to give your recommenders time to submit their recommendations for the review process.

E. Official TOEFL or IELTS Scores:
This applies only to international applicants from countries where English is not the primary language and who have not completed an advanced degree at an institution where English is the exclusive language of instruction. For more information, please visit this website. If required, please upload your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores preferably as a PDF format in the Test Scores section under “Document Upload”.

Please send any questions about the program, application process, and/or requested supplemental documents via email or mail to:

UCR PSYC Dept. – Sarah Turnbull, Graduate Student Advisor
1111B PSYC Building
900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521


Phone: 951-827-6306 (email is preferred)

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