The aim of our graduate program is to provide flexible graduate training which permits the attainment of several objectives. These objectives are (a) to train students to analyze problems in an independent and critical manner, (b) to impart mastery of the techniques necessary for creative study and research, (c) to assure an adequate comprehension of the content areas of psy­chology, (d) to provide adequate supervision of the student’s study and research, and (e) to require demonstration of each student’s ability to originate and execute creative research of high quality.

To fulfill these aims, the student must select a problem within an area of specialization. Eventually, the student must acquire knowledge in sufficient depth to pursue independent research. Hopefully, sufficient breadth will be maintained to gain insight into a particular specialty from knowledge in other areas.

Although course work, with lectures and reading lists, may be an efficient means to quickly acquaint the student with a broad range of material, graduate training only begins there. Training in the ways of a professional psychologist can only come about by doing what a psychologist does: searching the literature, reading critically, planning and conducting research projects, and writing and speaking coherently. The graduate program outlined in this manual emphasizes these activities.

Successful graduate training depends upon the mutual education of students and faculty working together, with common interests and respect for one another. If this is to be achieved, it is essential that the students and faculty know one another. For this reason, the graduate program in this department places heavy emphasis on the student’s academic advisor. Although a student should feel free to change an advisor as interests develop or change, it is essential that the student recognize that it is advantageous to make developing interests and competence well-known to the advisor. Given the realities of academic life, the burden of initiating communication will usually fall on the student. Through interchanges between the student and advisor, both should mutually advance their knowledge.

The program has been developed to meet the objectives stated above, and it is based on a
philosophy similar to that conveyed by the paper
entitled “Education for Research in Psychology” in the April, 1959, issue of the American Psychologist. The summary paragraph reads as follows:

“In conclusion, therefore, we say that research is learned by doing and taught mainly by contagion. Research must first be going on if there is to be research training. What formal courses are offered is no index of a department as regards such training: the only adequate index is the eventual productivity of the individuals that the department produces. Apprenticeship is, we believe, the most important part of education for research in psychology; the professor who hires a graduate student as research assistant takes on the primary teaching responsibility for that student, a responsibility which both he and his department must recognize. Finally, we are opposed to any attempt to standardize training programs for research, irrespective of whether the attempt is at the formal level of forcing uniformity between universities or at the less formal level within a department where uniformity may be imposed on all students whether or not they are being trained for research. (p. 179)”

An aspect of apprenticeship not indicated above is conveyed by the following paragraph: “The preceding paragraphs have concerned the dyadic relation of apprentice to senior investigator. But there is another kind of experience which is important: that involving the relation of the student to other graduate students. This latter relation is responsible for much of the training which the individual receives and has one important advantage compared to the former. Although the ideal relation of senior researcher to apprentice is probably one of social equality in which one is senior only because he possesses skills and experience that the other does not yet share, this relation is very difficult to achieve between senior professor and first-year graduate student. But with other graduate students the neophyte comes closer to feeling that he is one of a group of equals, sharing the same concerns. With them, he is apt to be less diffident in trying out his ideas, wild though they may be. (p. 177).”




The Graduate Division requires that each department have an overall department Graduate Advisor who bears responsibility for administering the Department’s graduate program and providing liaison with the Graduate Division. The Graduate Student Affairs Officer assists the Graduate Student Advisor. The departmental Graduate Advisor does not have the responsibility for providing individual advising for every graduate student except for procedural matters. Academic advising is handled by each student’s faculty advisor.

The departmental Graduate Advisor is responsible for reviewing the cumulative program and progress of each graduate student once each quarter to ensure that any aspect of inadequate progress or other difficulty receives appropriate attention by the student and the faculty advisor. The Graduate Advisor must also sign most of the official forms and petitions required during the course of graduate training.


Entering graduate students are assigned an academic faculty advisor by common agreement of the faculty members in the student’s Area. This initial assignment of an incoming graduate student to a faculty advisor is made on the basis of the match between the student’s and the advisor’s research and professional interests. The graduate student has the primary responsibility for her/his success in graduate school, including determining that all requirements have been faced and passed satisfactorily, but the student’s faculty advisor will be an important source of guidance and advice on graduate program matters.

The primary responsibility of the faculty advisor is to guide the professional development of the graduate student, rather than being simply an evaluator of the student’s completion of course work, etc. This translates into several duties including, but not limited to (a) ensuring that the student takes the courses that are most appropriate to her/his professional and research interests, (b) ensuring that the student obtains appropriate research experience, (c) monitoring the student’s performance as a teaching or
research assistant, and (d) seeing that the student attains familiarity with the skills required for a research career in psychology, such as publishing articles in professional journals and applying for extramural grants.

The student’s faculty advisor normally will be closely involved in the student’s research program. Generally, there will also be faculty members other than the student’s advisor who share some of the student’s interests or who have skills and experience in which the student is interested.

Students are encouraged to seek out such faculty and to ask their advisor about other faculty who could be of special benefit to their academic and professional development. These faculty may also be appropriate for the three-member committee which must be established to guide a student’s research in the first two years (described in a later section).

The student’s faculty advisor will assume major responsibility for the student’s academic progress, including the primary responsibility for evaluating annually the student’s progress. But, the student may designate additional faculty members with whom she or he has worked to serve as auxiliary evaluators during the annual evaluation process.

A Co-Advisor is necessary when:

A student must appoint a secondary advisor if (1) the student’s advisor is in another Area (e.g., a Cognitive student has an advisor in Social/Personality); and (2) the student has not Advanced to Candidacy. This secondary advisor must be from the Area in which the student will take qualifying examinations and will report to the Area on matters concerning the student’s progress as part of the annual evaluation process, monitor the student’s progress toward qualifying exams, and typically serve on the student’s qualifying examination committee as Co-Chair (with the student’s primary research advisor).


We strongly emphasize that the initial assignment of students to advisors is only provisional. Based on the limited knowledge of new students contained in application materials or obtained during interviews, faculty advisors select students to work in their labs, and Area faculty determine that this assignment is appropriate. However, the student should feel free to request a change in advisor at anytime. Such changes occur routinely for a variety of reasons, including matters of student and faculty interest, personality incompatibilities, etc.

Changing an advisor is not difficult, but proper protocol should be followed. First, the proposed new advisor should have sufficient interest in the student’s research and professional interests and must also agree to become the student’s advisor. Then, the student should notify the departmental Graduate Advisor in writing, copying the new and former advisors.

Should the student change to an advisor in another Area (e.g., a Cognitive student changes to an advisor in Social/Personality), some special procedures apply. If the change is made before the student has passed qualifying examinations, then the student may either (a) switch Areas, taking qualifying examinations in the new advisor’s Area or (b) remain in her/his initial Area, taking qualifying examinations in this initial Area. If option (b) is chosen, a secondary advisor from the Area in which the student will take qualifying examinations also must be appointed (see previous section). If a change of advisor occurs after the qualifying examination is passed, then no special procedures are needed as all further progress is monitored by the dissertation committee.




The Graduate Division requires that students maintain a “B” average to maintain “satisfactory progress.” In courses taken on an “S/NC” basis (Satisfactory/No Credit), an “S” is required. (An “S” requires work equivalent to a grade of “B”)
The Psychology Department requires that each student earn a “B” average in the 211-212-213 sequence and in the student’s area core courses, with no grade lower than “B-“.

To qualify for and retain a Teaching Assistantship, a 3.00 GPA is required; for a Research Assistantship, a 3.00 GPA is required; for a Fellowship, a 3.00 GPA is required. In all cases, satisfactory performance of the relevant duties is also required.


The Teaching Assistant Development Program (TADP) administers a process whereby TAs are evaluated by the students on line for her/his sections. The rating portion of the student evaluations is tabulated by the TADP; the student types written comments, if any, on line. Copies are distributed to the TA, the TA’s faculty advisor, and the Graduate Advisor. Please retain your copies; you will need them when you apply for teaching positions.

Course instructors provide information about T A performance to the Graduate Advisor. When necessary, the Graduate Advisor notifies students and their faculty advisors of issues meriting their attention.


As required by the Graduate Division, the department faculty formally evaluates each student’s progress each year. Steps involved are as follows:

  1. Request for identification of secondary advisors and corrections on a summary sheet of requirements distributed to graduate students.
  2. Distribution of corrected summary sheets and evaluation rating forms to primary advisors and, if any are identified, secondary advisors. The advisor is to discuss the completed evaluation rating form with the student, which both must sign. The student may submit rebuttal comments separately.
  3. The faculty in each Area then meets to evaluate the progress of all students in the Area, using the evaluation rating forms, teaching assistant evaluations, progress in course work, etc. The Area then prepares an evaluative paragraph for each student. The paragraph is included in a draft evaluation letter which also covers objective facts, such as courses taken and grades received.
  4. The entire faculty then meets (usually during finals week in June) as a committee-of-the- whole, reviews the draft evaluation letters, and modifies them if necessary.
  5. The final version of the evaluation letter is distributed to the student, the student’s advisor, the Graduate Division, and the student’s file.


The components of a student’s progress in the
program may be summarized as 1) satisfactory progress in research, 2) satisfactory completion of core and breadth courses, 3) passing the qualifying examination in a timely fashion, and 4) participation in the intellectual life of the department, such as attending colloquia, brown­bag lunches, and the like. Based on an evaluation of the student’s work in all of these aspects of the program, one of the following determinations will be made:

  1. Satisfactory progress has been made and the student may continue in the Ph.D. program. Note that satisfactory progress is also a condition of continued financial support whether as a Teaching Assistant, Graduate Student Researcher, or as a Fellow.
  2. Satisfactory progress has not been made. The student may continue in the program, but financial support cannot be offered (usually until the deficiency is corrected).
  3. Satisfactory progress has not been made, but the student may complete work in the department for the Master of Arts degree only, if desired.
  4. Satisfactory progress has not been made and the student may not continue work in the department.



The Psychology Department expects the doctorate to be completed in five years. Normative time is defined by the Graduate Division as the length of the program as stipulated by the department (five years for Psychology) plus one “year of grace.” The five years may be roughly divided into three parts: 1) beginning research, breadth, core curriculum, and teaching requirements, 2) continuing research, preparation for the qualifying examination and application for advancement to candidacy, and 3) final research and writing the dissertation. Each of these parts has a specified time frame in which they are to be completed. The three parts are discussed in detail below and are followed by a chart which illustrates typical three-year course plans.


Committees are a fact of academic life; your progress through the program will be evaluated by various committees. Some are less formal departmental committees and some are very formal, approved – by – the – Graduate Division, committees. Bear in mind that any change in a committee, at any time, requires a repeat of the initial approval process.

Any forms you need are provided in both the hard copy and online versions of this Handbook, they are also located in the graduate mail room (Psychology 1111K) and, online at the Graduate Division website or will be provided to you by the departmental Graduate Student Affairs Officer.


Research, is an integral part of the entire program, and must not be overshadowed by the course requirements of the first two years. Students are required to demonstrate the ability to carry through to completion rigorous empirical research and to be active in research throughout their graduate career.

Professional Development

Satisfactory completion of one professional development course (PSYC 309A or PSYC 309B), or other professional experience, is required prior to obtaining the PhD.

Second-Year Research Project

All students are required to begin research in their first year in the graduate program, under the supervision of a three-person committee. The committee is to be chaired by the student’s advisor; the student and advisor will then select two others, at least one of who must be from the student’s core Area. The second-year project culminates in a paper and an oral presentation. The Second-Year Project must be completed prior to taking any portion of the Ph.D. qualifying exams. Students in the Social/Personality Area are required to complete the written paper of the Second Year Project on or before April 15th of their second year.

  1. The written report must be in professional journal format. The advisor should give at least preliminary approval to the paper before it is distributed to the other members.
  2. No later than May of the second year in the program, each student must make an oral presentation of the results of her or his research at a meeting of the core Area faculty and fellow students.
  3. The written report must be submitted to the three-person committee at least a month prior to the oral presentation.
  4. Performance on this assignment (and timely completion) will be an important component in the annual evaluation process.

Course Work – Years 1-3

Course work which is programmatically required includes the statistical-research procedures core, the teaching course, the Area cores, and further study. There is also an expected time frame within which these requirements are to be satisfied in order to make satisfactory progress and in order to be advanced to candidacy for the Master’s (if desired) and the Ph.D. Additionally, students take seminars as appropriate.

Students are expected to enroll in topical (content-oriented) seminars appropriate to their interests throughout their graduate careers and should consult their advisor for assistance in selecting seminars.

Year 1

PSYC 211, 212, 213 (for Neuroscience students, two of the three as specified by the advisor, but usually 211 and 212).

Teaching Course
PSYC 301, teaching, is taken in the fall quarter of your first year before your appointment as a Teaching Assistant.

Professional Development
PSYC 309A or PSYC 309B is usually taken during the first year, unless equivalent professional experience has been obtained or is pending.

Waiving the Stat Sequence

First-year students who believe they have already taken graduate ­level course work equivalent to PSYC 211, 212 or 213 and received a grade of B or better, may, with the approval of their advisor, ask a PSYC 211, 212, or 213 instructor to test their competency. Based on performance on the examination, if the instructor agrees that the student’s competency is adequate, the requirement will be waived.

Area Cores

Cognitive: PSYC 203A, 203B, 203C, 233 (three
of the four courses are usually taken in the first year)

Developmental: PSYC 207A, 207B, 207C, 208 (208 is offered every other year, so it is sometimes taken in the first year and sometimes in the second year).

Neuroscience: PSYC 200A, 200B, 200C

Social/Personality: PSYC 225, 226, 227

Year 2

Complete two or three further study courses (described below); take seminars as appropriate; area cores for the developmental and social/ personality areas are completed.

Year 3

Complete last two or three further study courses; take seminars as appropriate; form official Qualifying Committee in Fall quarter, develop a reading list, and complete the Qualifying Exams by the end of the academic year. (Further study should be completed not later than the quarter in which Quals are taken.)

Further Study

The further study requirement consists of five additional courses or seminars. This requirement is flexible in order to provide a choice of courses suitable for students in the different specialization areas within the Department. Courses can be in the Department of Psychology or in another department. They must be regular 3- or 4-unit courses or seminars, and at least 1 of the five courses must be a Departmental core course (see list under Year 1″ heading) outside the student’s area of specialization.

For a course to satisfy the further study requirement, approval must be obtained from your faculty advisor and the graduate advisor. (Form located in the graduate mail room). Once it has been signed, by your advisor and the graduate advisor, give it to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer. The form should be turned in during the quarter prior to taking the qualifying examination.

Students who have completed graduate-level course work prior to entering the UCR program may request that specific courses be accepted toward satisfaction of the further study requirement. The student should direct the request to her/his faculty advisor. It will then be reviewed by the Graduate Advisor, who will utilize procedures and standards typically applied to the preapproval of further study courses.

ICE – Intercampus Exchange Program

Occasionally, students may wish to take courses at another UC campus, either for further study  or for personal educational goals. ICE forms are available from the Graduate Division, and there is a deadline for applying each quarter..


In order to gain teaching experience, each student in the doctoral program is required to serve as a teaching assistant for three quarters. Teaching assistants work with a faculty member in an undergraduate class by preparing and grading examinations, reading papers, and conducting discussion and laboratory sections. Complete regulations governing the responsibilities of TAs is printed elsewhere in this handbook. The Teaching Assistant Development Program (TADP) of the Graduate Division manages the formal training (PSYC 301) required during your first quarter as a teaching assistant. After the formal training, the TADP staff is eager to provide assistance at any time you request it.

Graduate students are NOT permitted to sign any enrollment forms or to tell a student that she/he may enroll in a course.  Send students with problems to our Undergraduate Student
Advising unit.

Another kind of teaching experience is gained through directing the efforts of undergraduate students in the laboratory.


In addition to pursuing a doctoral degree in one of the core areas of Psychology, graduate students may qualify, under the direction of the Committee in Charge of the Quantitative Minor, for a Minor in Quantitative Psychology by completing the following requirements:

  1. PSYC 211, PSYC 212, and PSYC 213, with a grade of “A-” or better in each course, or passing an examination covering the three courses.
  2. Three advanced quantitative courses: PSYC 259 (with different subtitles) or other courses specifically approved by the Committee in Charge.
  3. Three quarters of PSYC 270.
  4. Successful completion of an oral qualifying examination based upon a paper written by the
    student on a quantitative topic.

A three-person faculty qualifying committee, approved by the Chair of the Committee in Charge, must grant prior approval of the topic of the paper and conduct the oral examination. The candidate and the committee will determine the format of the oral exam; a presentation in PSYC 270 based on the paper will satisfy the oral examination requirement. The candidate must complete a form for the Quantitative Minor signifying completion of all requirements



Brown Bag: PSYC 283 Brown Bag: PSYC 283 Brown Bag: PSYC 283
Stat Core: PSYC 211, 212, 213 Area Core: PSYC 233 2/3 Further Study
Area Core: PSYC 203A, 203B, 203C 2/3 Further Study
Research Tutorial: PSYC 296 Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Professional Development: PSYC 309A


Brown Bag: PSYC 284 Brown Bag: PSYC 284 Brown Bag: PSYC 284
Stat Core: PSYC 221, 212, 213 Area Core: PSYC 208 2/3 Further Study
Area Core: PSYC 207A, 207B, 207C 2/3 Further Study
Research Tutorial: PSYC 296 Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Professional Development: PSYC 309A


Brown Bag: PSYC 263 or 287 or 289 Brown Bag: PSYC 283 or 287 or 289 Brown Bag: PSYC 263 or 287 or 289
Stat Core: PSYC 211, 212 2/3 Further Study 2/3 Further Study
Area Core: PSYC 200A, 200B, 200C Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Professional Development: PSYC 309A


Brown Bag: PSYC 285 Brown Bag: PSYC 285 Brown Bag: PSYC 285
Stat Core: PSYC 211, 212, 213 2/3 Further Study 2/3 Further Study
Area Core: PSYC 225, 226, 227 Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Research Tutorial: PSYC 296
Professional Development: PSYC 309A



Although there is not a separate, terminal, Master’s program, students may apply for the Master’s degree at the beginning of the quarter in which the statistical sequence, the appropriate area core, two of the five further study courses, a minimum of 36 units in graduate status (18 units of which must be in graduate course work), and an oral exam are successfully completed.

NOTE: If you already have an M.A. degree in psychology, you are not eligible for a second one unless justification can be made on the grounds of dissimilarity of fields.


Because of the dual purpose of the oral component of the Second-Year Project, the departmental form used to report on the Project will also serve as notification of completion of the M.A. orals, if applicable.



Preparation for the Qualifying Examinations will be guided by the student’s qualifying committee. Students are encouraged to discuss their examination preparation and performance with all committee members throughout the entire examination process, from committee appointment to advancement to candidacy. This should begin early in the third year.

All students are expected to take qualifying examinations and advance to candidacy not later than the end of the third year in the program.

  1. A Qualifying Committee must be nominated and approved no later than six weeks prior to the start date of the qualifying exams. Please e-mail this information to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer.
  2. The Second- Year Project must be completed prior to taking any qualifying examinations, written or oral.
  3. All required course work (stats core, Area core, further study) should be completed by the end of the quarter in which you take your Qualifying Examinations.
  4. Be prepared to nominate your dissertation committee within two days after passing your Quals.


The Committee consists of at least five people: the Chair, the Outside Member, and three others. At least half the committee must be from the Psychology Department; exceptions require a memo of justification.

The Chair will usually be the faculty member who has been serving as your advisor. They must be a member of the Riverside Academic Senate (that is, a Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor) and will normally be a member of the Psychology Department. (For all others, nominate with a co-chair, justify, and obtain a CV if not a member of any of the UC campuses).

The Outside Member must be a UCR Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor (a member of the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate) and must not have any formal affiliation (e.g., regular, joint, adjunct, or cooperating title) with the Psychology Department and for committees for the Systems Neuroscience Area, with the Neuroscience Graduate Program. The function of the Outside Member is to act as a proctor or impartial observer. Exceptions must be justified: Address a memo to the departmental Graduate Advisor explaining any exceptions. Reasons include particular expertise not otherwise available in your Area of study,

Other Members

  1. UCR Assistant, Associate, or full Professor. State department(s) affiliation.
  2. UCR Lecturer or Visiting title. State title, department(s), provides justification.
  3. UC System, but not Riverside Campus. State title, department(s) and campus affiliation; provide information to justify.
  4. Not Affiliated with any UC, but has Ph.D. Provide CV and complete information to justify.
  5. Anything else consult with the Graduate Student Affairs Officer.


The qualifying exam has two portions, a written exam and an oral exam. Both portions are administered and evaluated by the student’s qualifying examination committee.

The “Writtens”

The qualifying examination committee, in consultation with the student, selects the examination procedure to use. Two options are available:

The student may take a 2-day written examination based on a reading list approved by the student’s qualifying examination committee. The breadth and depth of such lists, and the degree to which assigned versus student-prepared lists are used are determined by the student’s committee, who prepare the written examination


The student may complete a substantial series of papers that might take the form of a research proposal, a state-of-the-field essay, or an integrative literature review. The committee, in consultation with the student, determines the particular form and topic to be addressed. Appropriate committee members are available to the student for consultation throughout the writing process,

The “Orals”

Regardless of the option selected for the written examination, the written product (examination or paper) is reviewed by the student’s qualifying examination committee and, if deemed satisfactory, the oral examination follows. The oral examination addresses issues raised in the written portion of the qualifying examination, but the scope of the oral examination is not limited by the contents of the written portion. Other topics within the students general field of study, as well as related fields may be covered in the oral examination in order to confirm the student’s readiness for advancement to Ph.D candidacy.

Immediately after the oral examination, the student will be informed if they have passed or failed. If the examination is failed, the committee has the option of recommending that it be retaken, providing the committee agrees that the overall performance warrants retaking the examination. The oral examination may be retaken only once. Students may request that the results of their candidacy exam be reviewed by the Program within one month of the exam date.

Advancement of Candidacy

The results of the Qualifying Examinations must be reported to the Graduate Division within two or three days, and the dissertation committee chair must be nominated (on the form) at this time.

The names of the proposed members of the dissertation committee are submitted to the Graduate Division on the same form and at the same time that the outcome of the Qualifying Examination is reported, as described previously. (The dissertation committee may be
changed later, if necessary, with reasonable justification.) See the procedures for nominating Qualifying Committee members; they apply also to Dissertation Committee nominations. A department form for listing the names of the nominees will be provided by Graduate Student Affairs Officer at the time of the Oral Examination.




Each student will, in consultation with their advisor, form a Dissertation Committee composed of a minimum of three members. The committee should be established before the dissertation problem is formally selected, although the student’s research work prior to advancement to candidacy may be used as a basis of the dissertation research itself.


The dissertation proposal is due in the fall of the 4th year in the program or the quarter following the completion of qualifying exams, whichever is later. The chair will then convene the committee to meet with the student and decide on the suitability of the proposal. It is expected that the dissertation will be completed no later than two years after advancement to candidacy.


After Advancement to Candidacy, funds are available through the Graduate Division to aid in dissertation research. There are quarterly application deadlines. Application information may be obtained at


A student who has completed all degree requirements except for the final defense and filing the dissertation may use Filing Fee Status in the quarter in which the dissertation will be filed instead of paying full registration fees. When a student applies for filing fee status, it is expected that a draft of the dissertation has been read and approved by the dissertation committee, that only minor revisions need to be made, and that no more than 12 hours of faculty time will be required. A candidate on filing fee status cannot be employed using any student employment title. A candidate on filing fee status is not entitled to student privileges at the University nor, except for the libraries, use of University facilities. Health insurance may be purchased through the Student Health Center.

When you receive notification that your application has been approved, follow the instructions provided for payment of Filing Fees. Do not enroll in any units. Wait until you receive a bill reflecting the filing fee as the amount due before you pay your fees. The fee is in lieu of enrollment fees. The application is available online from the Graduate Division.

Only one quarter on filing fee status will be approved; the Graduate Division makes no exceptions. Students who fail to complete their programs in the quarter on filing fee status must enroll and pay full registration fees the following quarter.


A Final Defense of the dissertation is required by the Graduate Division. The Final Defense usually is held before the final draft of the dissertation is prepared so that any recommendations made by the dissertation committee may be incorporated in the final version. The procedure and form of the Final Defense in the Psychology Department is similar to the oral examination for Quals. The dissertation committee is the defense committee.

NOTE: Sometimes an emergency substitution on the Committee at the time of Defense may be necessary. Approval prior to the Defense is required.

Any member of the Academic Senate may attend. You may invite guests, if you wish. Consult with the Graduate Student Affairs Officer so that a room can be reserved and the paperwork will be available for signature.

Signature Page of Dissertation For the Graduate Division copies of the dissertation, have your committee members sign the two signature pages (on acid-free paper) at the time of the Defense.


Instructions for preparing your dissertation for filing will be sent to you by the Graduate Division at the time you advance to candidacy. The Graduate Division holds a dissertation preparation workshop once a quarter. Announcements are posted and/or e­mailed.

The Psychology Department requires 4 copies of your dissertation. The Department will bind its four copies. One is for the Goldman Library and the other copies are for your committee chair and members. (If your committee includes more than three people, please make additional copies for them; the Department will hard bind these as well.)




Academic Student Employees (ASEs) are included in an agreement reached between the University and the United Auto Workers covering terms and conditions of employment for teaching assistants, readers, tutors and other specified ASEs. (Graduate Student Researchers are not covered under this agreement.) Complete details are available on the web at:


To be employed as a TA, GSR, or Reader, students must be enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 units). Other than during quarter breaks and summer, students may not be employed more than a total of 50% time, with out prior approval. Fellows may not be employed more than 25% time and must have permission from the Graduate Dean. Appointments during the summer and appointments over 50% automatically become subject to Medicare and UCRS (retirement) withholding. However, when you leave UCR, you can apply to have the UCRS funds returned to you.

Minimum GPAs. Teaching titles, e.g., Teaching Assistant, Associate-In, require a minimum GPA of 3.0. Graduate Student Researchers and Readers must hold a minimum GPA of 3.00. With justification, the Graduate Division may permit reappointment for one quarter while the GPA is improved to meet the minimum. Minimums for Fellows vary and will be stipulated by the granting agency.

Job Performance. As well as being in good academic standing, adequate performance of duties as a T A or Reader is a requirement for continued support. Refer also to the Teaching Assistant Evaluation section under the heading, Evaluations.


All graduate students who desire support as a Teaching Assistant or Reader, and who have a GPA of at least 3.0, should complete a T A request form. (Copies are placed in mailboxes before the start of each quarter; both students and instructors are asked for preferences.

All assignments are for a single quarter, including assignments to courses that are a part of multi­quarter sequences. TA assignments are made by the Graduate Advisor. Instructor preferences, student preferences, students’ areas of expertise, and teaching evaluations (after the first quarter) are all taken into account. The TA assignment process attempts to maximize the overall quality of instruction throughout the entire curriculum. In addition, to have high priority for summer TAships after the 4th or 5th year, students must have applied for either internal or external fellowships or research grants.

There are two types of schedule conflicts that the Department accepts responsibility for avoiding: (1) a conflict between the Teaching Assistant course assignment and a required graduate course; and (2) a conflict between course assignment and certain constraints externally imposed by the Teaching Assistants research activity (e.g., a school provides access to subjects only on Tuesday afternoons). In such instances, such potential conflicts should be noted on the Teaching Assistant course request form, with explicit mention of impacted courses. If a Teaching Assistant assignment inadvertently creates the type of conflict noted above, an appropriate adjustment will be made by the
Graduate Advisor whenever possible.

It may happen that Teaching Assistant responsibilities of particular courses conflict with student schedule constraints other than those noted above. In such circumstances, students are encouraged to note such potential conflicts on their Teaching Assistant request form, but the department cannot guarantee a Teaching Assistant assignment that satisfies the student’s schedule constraint. Alternatively, students may refuse the Teaching Assistant appointment, but the department then accepts no responsibility for offering alternative employment or support.


A Teaching Assistant is not responsible for the instructional content of a course, for selection of student assignments, for planning of examinations, or for determining the quarter grade for students. Neither is the T A to be assigned responsibility for instructing the entire enrollment of a course or for providing the entire instruction of a group of students enrolled in the course. The T A is responsible only for the conduct of recitation, laboratory, or quiz sections under the active direction and supervision of a regular member of the faculty to whom final responsibility for the course’s entire instruction, including the performance of Teaching Assistants, has been assigned.

The duties of Teaching Assistants, as defined by the Graduate Division, are as follows. Departments or instructors wishing to supersede any of these rules should inform their T As in writing, with copies to the Graduate Division and Dean of the College.

  1. Attend, to the extent required by the department, all meetings of the class for which the T A is doing lecturing, laboratory work, section discussions, or grading of papers or examinations.
  2. Consult with the professor in charge of the course as to grading policies, course content, and procedures.
  3. Attend all meetings of classes, sections, and laboratories for which the T A is personally responsible. Failure to meet regularly scheduled classes for which the T A is responsible constitutes a dereliction of duty and may be grounds for termination of employment. If there is a good reason for absence, the T A must inform the instructor and arrange for a substitute.
  4. Make proper and thorough preparation for each class, laboratory, or discussion section for which the T A is responsible.
  5. Assign the amount of written work proper to the lab or discussion sections for which the T A is responsible; read and grade the written work thoroughly and rapidly.
  6. Post office hours of at least one hour per week per discussion or laboratory section (depending upon the course), and hold those office hours without fail.
  7. Report grades accurately and on time to the instructor in charge of the course.
  8. Give grade books or computerized scoring sheets to the instructor in charge at the end of the academic quarter.
  9. Maintain a professional attitude toward all students in classes at all times. The moral and ethical standards of behavior for faculty instructional procedures apply equally to Teaching Assistants.
  10. Return any and all books, which the department provides for your use while a T A.


The title Reader is given to a student employed for the ability to render diverse services as a course assistant, which will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations. A Reader will not be given the responsibilities customarily accorded a Teaching Assistant. Readers are usually provided for classes, which have an enrollment over 75 and no discussion sections.


The Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) title is used for employees hired on a research grant. A minimum 3.0 GPA must be maintained.




Regular Student Status, meaning you are eligible for full University services and can be employed in student jobs (assuming you are otherwise qualified!), means that regular full fees have been paid and you are enrolled in 12 units. Other statuses, e.g., Filing Fee, In Absentia, etc., may limit or end your eligibility.

In Absentia Registration

A student engaged in graduate study or research outside the State of California for an entire quarter ordinarily is eligible to register in absentia, at a reduction of one-half of the Registration Fee. Students eligible for this status will normally be advanced to candidacy for the doctorate or pursuing a Masters degree by writing a thesis. This form is available online from the Graduate Division. Include the date you advanced to candidacy. The petition must be signed by the departmental graduate advisor.

Leave of Absence

An absolute maximum of up to three quarters of leave may be approved by the Graduate Division.


Whenever you have a name, phone, or address change, the Student Information System (SIS) must be updated by you online through PAWS. If you are also a UCR employee (TA, GSR, etc.), please notify the Graduate Student Affairs Officer so that the Payroll/Personnel System (PPS) is updated. E-mail is great for this.


Communication within the Department and across the campus is accomplished primarily via e-mail.


To establish residency you will need to talk to the residence affairs officer in the Office of the Registrar.
Indications of your intent to make California your permanent residence can include the following:

  1. registering to vote and voting in California elections;
  2. designating California as your permanent address on all school and employment records, including military records if you are in the
    military service;
  3. obtaining a California driver’s license or, if you do not drive, a California identification card.
  4. obtaining California vehicle registration;
  5. paying California income taxes as a resident, including taxes on income earned outside California from the date you establish residence;
  6. establishing a California residence in which you keep your personal belongings.

Documentary evidence is required, and all relevant indications will be considered in determining your classification. Your intent will be questioned if you return to your prior state of residence when the university is not in session.


Departmental practice is to support all satisfactorily progressing graduate students in the first through fifth years. The department plans to continue this practice in future years to the extent that available resources continue to make it possible.
Satisfactory progress includes completion of the Second- Year Project by the end of the second year, completion of the Qualifying Exam by the end of the third year, and approval of a dissertation proposal by the end of the fourth year.

Financial support comes in the form of fellowships, scholarships, traineeships, teaching and research assistantships, fee fellowships, and out-of-state tuition grants as well as a small travel award when you are accepted as an official presenter at a conference (one a year). (Tuition grants are for first-year students only.) The health insurance fee (GSHIP) is covered for students appointed as TAs or GSRs. Once a year, students are required to complete the Free Federal Student Financial Aid Application. As a condition of support, students are expected to seek and apply for fellowships and scholarships, for which they are eligible throughout their careers as a graduate student.


You will be issued keys to the building, your office space, the Xerox room, Goldman (PSYCH 3210), and any other area authorized by the Department or your advisor. A $20.00, one-time-only deposit is required. It will be returned when you turn in all your keys. Generally, graduate students do not have access to the Business Office except during regular office hours.

The building is locked on weekends and at night. Under no circumstances are you to prop open locked doors or allow persons unknown to you into the building when it is locked. The neuroscience lab and computer teaching lab, must be kept locked at all times. We are not a guarded/gated campus, so always be aware of your personal security and the security of your belongings.


Office space is currently provided for all graduate students in their faculty advisors lab. Offices are provided for teaching assistants during office hours.


How do I sign up for fellowship direct deposit? Student Business Services (SBS) handles direct deposits (DD) for disbursements. The student must authorize a direct deposit by completing and returning to the SBS office the form that is available in SBS, the Main Cashier’s Office or at

How do I sign up for salary direct deposit? This will be done when the department hires you.

You will surely be receiving some kind of check through UCR during your time in the program, e.g., fellowship stipend or T A or GSR salary. For those moving from a fellowship to a salaried position, note the difference between a stipend received near the beginning of the month for expenses (fellowship) and a salary paid at the end of a month’s work (TA,GSR). There will be at least one payday between the final stipend check and the first paycheck.

Immigration laws require that everyone show proof of citizenship within three working days of their initial employment; you will be told how to do this.

Currently payday for Stipends and Fellowships are paid quarterly.

Payday is the first of the month, whether you are appointed at a straight percentage of time (TA, GSR) or hourly (Reader). Payday is the first of the month unless the first falls on a weekend or holiday; then it is the previous working day, except for the December paycheck.

When you go on payroll, you will be asked to designate where your check should be sent. SUREPAY, the electronic deposit system, is the preferred method of payment. SUREPAY electronically deposits your check in almost any banking institution. Alternatively, you may have a paper check sent to the Psychology Department Business Office.


When you are employed at UCR during the summer and whenever employment is 50% or more, there are obligatory retirement and other with holdings. Upon leaving UCR, you may request the return of any retirement contributions. The Graduate Student Affairs Officer has the benefits booklet (UBEN 200, UCRS Distribution Kit for Non-exempt Student Employees) or you may print it from the Human Resources web site:


Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units each quarter for full-time status. Most graduate students have some portion of their fees covered by financial aid sources (e.g., the health insurance fee when appointed as a TA or GSR). Financial aid is disbursed only to enrolled students. There is a $50 late payment charge when fees are not paid on time. This late fee will come from your pocket even if your fees are paid in part or in whole by a fellowship or partial fee remission. The late fee will not be waived if fees could not be disbursed because you were not enrolled.

Particularly during the first three years in the program, students are expected to routinely consult with their advisors prior to selecting courses.

The Department’s Graduate Student Affairs Officer will distribute enrollment materials and
specific instructions each quarter. Direct all questions regarding enrollment procedures to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer.


The criteria for the exclusion of income earned as a TA or GSR or Fellow are fully explained in IRS Publication 520, Tax Information for U.S. Scholars, available online at


For your convenience, you will be given an access code number for the photocopier. Keep it secure. You will be charged on a monthly basis for all copies made on your number (6 cents a side, but subject to change). If you are asked by an instructor to make more than 10 copies for distribution in class, consult with the staff in the Department Office PSYCH 1111 first. We have less expensive means than the copier for making larger numbers of copies. You will be personally charged if you copy class material of over 10 copies without authorization by Psychology staff, not the instructor. If the cost of a copying task is to be charged to a grant, make sure you write it on the log. Copying costs are billed to you by the department and must be paid in a timely manner or you will lose your copying privileges. Please read carefully the Xerox instructions that will be given you with Your Xerox code.


The Graduate Departmental Forms are located in the Graduate Mail Room. At some point, you may need a Graduate Division form in order to request or extend a Leave of Absence, to apply for Filing Fee Status, etc. Graduate Division forms are available on the Graduate Division web site. Go to http//, click on Publications and Forms.



A number of resources to support graduate student success, health and well-being are available at UCR with a selection of links below:

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