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, GRE General test scores, 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 the behavioral neuroscience specialization, a strong background in biology or biochemistry is essential.

Applicants with a combined GRE score (verbal and quantitative) of 308 or above and either 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 will be admitted for Fall 2020 only.
  • We do not offer a terminal Master’s degree program.
  • The deadline to submit your application and all supporting documents for the Psychology Graduate Program is Sunday, December 1, 2019.
  • The application portal will be closed December 1, 2019.
  • Please allow up to 5-7 business days for your application tracker to be updated after your application is submitted.

We cannot offer admission to a prospective graduate student until the UCR Graduate School Application is complete and all required documents are received. Specific guidance regarding the required essays and letters of recommendation can be found here.

All required application materials (including transcripts) should be mailed to:

UCR PSYC Dept. – Kirsten Alonso
1111B PSYC Building
900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521

A. Transcripts of all post-secondary work:
The Psychology Department requires transcripts from all institutions attended previous to applying to our graduate program. Please do ONE of the following:

  1. Upload unofficial transcripts to your application under “Additional Program Requirements” section.
  2. Email your unofficial transcript to, using the subject line “Last Name, First Name – Transcript” (i.e, Garcia, Gwen – Transcript).
  3. Mail your official transcripts to the following address:

    UCR PSYC Dept. – Kirsten Alonso
    1111B PSYC Building
    900 University Avenue
    Riverside, CA 92521

    If you are extended an admission offer, we will need your official transcripts in order formally admit you.

B. Official GRE Scores:
The Psychology Department requires the General GRE but not the Psychology GRE. Please note: UCR’s GRE Institution code is 4839.

C. GRE Score Report:
An unofficial Student GRE Score Report is available on the ETS website here. Upload your unofficial student GRE Score Report, preferably in Adobe PDF format, as a supplemental file in the online application. This is needed in case of delay from ETS, and to know exam percentiles, which are not downloaded into the UCR system.

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

E. 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.

F. Three letters of Recommendation:
Letters should be submitted through your online application and should be provided by individuals (typically professors and research supervisors) who can speak to your preparedness to conduct research.

G. 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 you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact:

Kirsten Alonso, M.S – Graduate Student Advisor