Program Requirements for Psychology

Applicable only to students admitted during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Psychology

College of Letters and Science

Graduate Degrees

The Department of Psychology offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Psychology.

Admissions Requirements

Master’s Degree

Advising

Upon admission to graduate status, each student is assigned an adviser on the basis of the student’s interests as indicated in the application. At the beginning of each fall quarter until Advancement to Candidacy (ATC), all students are required to meet with their adviser to discuss their academic year enrollment plan and to secure their adviser’s endorsement of that plan. The academic year plan will ensure that the advisers provide guidance and support for all course requirements. Students who would like to change advisers may request to do so. Students are evaluated annually, in the spring of each year, by the chair of the major area until they have completed the program. Students who are not making satisfactory progress in the program are notified in writing.

In addition, each spring quarter, areas are required to conduct a comprehensive review of all graduate students in their program. Each student receives from the area a written evaluation letter. Each fall quarter, students in their fourth and sixth year in the program complete progress reports, which are reviewed by their adviser, the area chair, and the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies.

Areas of Study

Not applicable.

Foreign Language Requirement

None.

Course Requirements

The M.A. degree requires nine graduate courses (36 units). This course work must include Psychology 250A, 250B, 251A, 251B, 251C, and 16 units from major courses required for the doctoral degree. Up to four units of 596 may be applied toward the 36 unit requirement. In addition, the Psychology 251C research project must be completed. All courses must be taken for a letter grade except 251A, 251B, and 596 are S/U grading. Courses in the 300 or 400 series may not be applied. Any undergraduate deficiencies must be cleared before the M.A. degree is awarded. Students who have earned a previous Master’s Degree in Psychology are not permitted to earn a duplicate Master’s Degree in Psychology at UCLA.

Teaching Experience

All students will be introduced to teaching through an introductory teaching assistant position during one quarter of the first year of matriculation in the degree program. All students are required to take Psychology 495A in the first quarter they serve as a teaching assistant (in the first year of matriculation in the degree program), and 495B in the second quarter they serve as a teaching assistant (no later than end of fourth year prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy). 495A and 495B are S/U grading and must be passed with a S grade.

Field Experience

Not required.

Capstone Plan

Students must complete an individual research project which demonstrates their knowledge of relevant scientific literature and their ability to design and conduct a research project and write a complete research report. Students must enroll in Psychology 251A, 251B, and 251C consecutively, beginning in the winter quarter of the first year and concluding in the fall quarter of the second year.

Thesis Plan

None.

Time-to-Degree

Students are expected to complete the master’s requirements within four quarters of full-time graduate study.

DEGREE NORMATIVE TIME TO ATC (Quarters) NORMATIVE TTD

MAXIMUM TTD

M.A. 4 4 6

Doctoral Degree

Advising

Upon admission to graduate status, each student is assigned an adviser on the basis of the student’s interests as indicated in the application. At the beginning of each fall quarter until ATC, all students are required to meet with their adviser to discuss their academic year course enrollment plan and to secure their adviser’s endorsement of that plan. Students who would like to change advisers may request to do so. Students are evaluated annually, in the spring of each year, by the chair of the major until they have completed the program. Students who are not making satisfactory progress in the program are notified in writing.

In addition, each spring quarter, areas are required to conduct a comprehensive review of all graduate students in their program. Each student receives from the area a written evaluation letter. Each fall quarter, students in their fourth and sixth year in the program complete progress reports, which are reviewed by their adviser, the area chair, and the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies.

Major Fields or Subdisciplines

Students are required to obtain a thorough background in research methodology and psychological theory by completing requirements for a major. Majors are offered in the following eight areas of psychology: Behavioral Neuroscience; Clinical; Cognitive; Developmental; Health; Learning and Behavior; Quantitative; and Social Psychology.

In addition, students admitted in either the Behavioral Neuroscience or Cognitive Areas may elect to major in Cognitive Neuroscience. Students who select this option remain in their area of admission for administrative purposes. Students admitted in the Cognitive Area may elect to major in Computational Cognition. Students who select this option remain in the Cognitive Area for administrative purposes. Adding a minor area of study will be optional.

Foreign Language Requirement

None.

Course Requirements

Students should refer to the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook available on the departmental web site for additional information on courses that can be applied toward the program requirements listed below.

General Course Requirements

All doctoral students must complete the following seven courses: Psychology 250A and 250B, which must be completed in the first year; 251A, 251B, and 251C, which must be completed by the end of the fall quarter of the second year; and 495A and 495B (for a total of 22 units). Depending on their major, students must complete an additional 20 to 38 units, for a total of 42 to 60 units of coursework. Courses must be passed with a letter grade of B or better, unless the course is only offered with S/U grading.

Students must enroll in one independent study course each quarter, beginning with Psychology 251A in the winter quarter of the first year. Students may select from the following independent study courses, depending on their stage in the program: Psychology 251A, 251B, 251C, 596, 597, 599. Beginning in the second year, students must take at least 4 units of Psychology 596, 597, or 599 each year.

Major Area Course Requirements

Behavioral Neuroscience. 8 units of behavioral neuroscience courses; Neuroscience M203; either Neuroscience M202 or Cellular Physiology portion of NS101A (via Psych 596); and 8 elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 212 is required for 6 quarters.

Clinical. Psychology 250C or substitute, 270A, 270B, 270C, 271A, 271D, 273A, 273B, 273C, 277A, 277B and two advanced clinical courses are required. Psychology 271BC are optional. Enrollment in Psychology 289ABC is required for 3 quarters.

Prior to the clinical internship, and in consultation with program faculty, students are required to take courses that enable them to meet the ‘Discipline-Specific Knowledge’ required for program accreditation by the American Psychological Association.

Practicum and Internship Requirements for Clinical Students: At least 500 hours of approved, supervised, pre-internship practicum (Psychology 401) are required, of which 150 hours must involve direct clinical service and 75 hours must be formal scheduled supervision. These hours are usually completed during the second through fourth years. All advanced students working with clients must enroll in Psychology 401 (one to four units). All students must take a second‐year practicum in the Psychology Clinic as well as a practicum in the third and/or fourth years at approved practicum sites outside of the Department or within the Psychology Clinic.

All clinical training must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training (DCT) while students are enrolled in the program. Students are discouraged from making independent arrangements for clinical training and are prohibited from providing direct clinical services in clinical settings not expressly approved by the DCT, including private practice psychological assistantships.

The equivalent of one-year’s full-time supervised internship (Psychology 451) in an acceptable setting approved by the faculty is required. This is usually taken in the fifth or sixth year. Students must enroll in at least 12 units of course work while on internship, including at least eight units in Psychology 451. Students should contact the Department for further information on internship, enrollment, and registration requirements.

Cognitive. 3 cognitive courses from Psychology 261-264, 4 units of methods, quantitative or programming and 8 elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 260AB is required for 2 quarters.

Cognitive Neuroscience. 8 units from cognitive courses, 4 units from behavioral neuroscience courses, Neuroscience M203 and 8 elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 212 is required for 6 quarters.

Computational Cognition. 2 cognitive courses from Psychology 261-264, Psychology 259 or 265, 2 courses from statistics and or computer science, and 4 elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 260AB is required for 2 quarters.

Developmental. Psychology 250C or substitute, 3 developmental courses taught by different faculty members and 2 courses which may be developmental or outside of the area and/or department. Enrollment in Psychology 241 is required for 8 quarters.

Health Psychology. Psychology 250C or substitute, Psychology 215AB, Psychology 218, another Health Psychology course and 4 elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 219 is required for 6 quarters.

Learning and Behavior. 8 units from learning and behavior courses, 4 units from behavioral neuroscience courses, Neuroscience M203 and 8 additional elective units. Enrollment in Psychology 212 is required for 6 quarters.

Quantitative. Psychology 250C, 255A, 256A, M257 and 258. Enrollment in Psychology 249 is required for 6 quarters.

Practicum Requirements for Quantitative Students: After completing the following courses: 250A, 250B, 250C, M257, 255A, 256A, 258, students are required to enroll in the quantitative psychology practicum Psych 430 for 2 quarters. The practicum serves as a hands-on statistical consultation training for graduate students. Practicum activities include a weekly meeting with a faculty supervisor, consultation with researchers in the psychology department, and outside time spent preparing for and following-up on consultation meetings.

Social. Psychology 250C or substitute, Psych 220A, Psych 220B and 3 additional courses in consultation with adviser. Enrollment in Psychology 226AC is required for 5 quarters.

Minor Area Course Requirements

Students are not required to complete a minor. However, three optional minors are available for students who are interested: Diversity Science, Health, and Quant. Students may also petition to create an individualized minor program of study.

Diversity Science. Psychology 295 and two additional courses.

Health Psychology. Psychology 215A, two quarters of 219, and two additional health psychology courses.

Quantitative. Three quantitative area courses. One quarter of Psychology 249 must be completed.

Teaching Experience

All students will be introduced to teaching through an introductory teaching assistant position during one quarter of the first year of matriculation in the degree program. All students are required to take Psychology 495A in the first quarter they serve as a teaching assistant (in the first year of matriculation in the degree program), and 495B in the second quarter they serve as a teaching assistant (no later than end of fourth year prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy). 495A and 495B are S/U grading and must be passed with a S grade.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass university written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations, the University Oral Qualifying Examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to university requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.

All committee nominations and reconstitutions adhere to the Minimum Standards for Doctoral Committee Constitution.

The qualifying examination consists of two parts: a Comprehensive Examination (C-Exam) administered by the major area, and the University Oral Qualifying Exam. The C-Exam administered by the major area examines in breadth the student’s knowledge of the major field. For information about each major area’s examination, refer to the Graduate Student Handbook. All Ph.D. requirements besides the dissertation, including the C-Exam administered by the major area, must be completed before students are allowed to take the University Oral Qualifying Examination Students are expected to complete the Oral Qualifying Examination no later than spring quarter of the fourth year of the program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are advanced to candidacy and awarded the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.

Final Oral Examination (Defense of the Dissertation)

The Final Oral Examination is required for all students in the program. Students are expected to complete the Final Oral Examination no later than spring quarter of the sixth year of the program.

Time-to-Degree

The normative time-to-degree for doctoral requirements is six years (18 quarters). Students are required to complete various stages of the program as follows:

  • Course Work Requirements: Prior to taking the University Oral Qualifying Examination.
  • Comprehensive Examinations: Students should refer to individual area guidelines in the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook.
  • University Oral Qualifying Examination: No later than spring quarter of the fourth year of the graduate program.
  • Final Oral Examination: No later than spring quarter of the sixth year of the graduate program.
  • Degree Requirement Completion: All requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including the filing of the dissertation, must be completed within six calendar years of the date of admission to the graduate program.
DEGREE NORMATIVE TIME TO ATC (Quarters) NORMATIVE TTD

MAXIMUM TTD

Ph.D. 12 18 27

Academic Disqualification and Appeal of Disqualification

University Policy

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for academic disqualification from graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing academic disqualification of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Special Departmental or Program Policy

In addition to the standard reasons noted above, a student may be recommended for academic disqualification if the student receives two grades of B-, one grade lower than B- in the core program, or does not meet the time requirements for completion of the core program. Such cases are considered by the Graduate Studies Committee. If a recommendation for academic disqualification is approved by the Department Chair, the recommendation is sent to the Graduate Division by the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies.

Area committees may also recommend that a student be academically disqualified. Grounds for a recommendation for academic disqualification include: a pattern of unsatisfactory performance in other course work; and failure of a qualifying examination. A recommendation for academic disqualification also may be initiated by the Graduate Studies Committee for insufficient progress toward the Ph.D. degree, as evidenced by a failure to obtain the degree within six calendar years following matriculation. If approved by the Department Chair, a recommendation for academic disqualification is sent to the Graduate Division by the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies.

Students are informed in writing by the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies when actions concerning them are under consideration by the Graduate Studies Committee. A student may appeal a recommendation for academic disqualification to the Department Chair.