Degree Timeline, Course Checklists & Core Courses

Degree Timeline

First & Second Years:

In general, the first two years of graduate work are designed to provide the graduate student breadth of knowledge in the field of psychology with a more focused, intensive coverage of theories and research than would have been received in an undergraduate program. A three-course statistics sequence and first-year research project provide basic research knowledge for use in subsequent years. The second year of the program provides more specialization in the student's major and minor areas, more advanced quantitative courses, and development of the student's own research program.

Third Year:

The third year consists primarily of advanced seminars, and in some areas, completion of C-Exam requirements. A large portion of the student's time should also be devoted to research with greater specialization leading toward the development of a dissertation problem. Students typically complete major and minor area course requirements by the end of the third year.

Fourth & Fifth Years:

The Preliminary Oral Qualifying Examination (Prelims): This exam must be completed no later than the Spring Quarter of the fourth year. All course requirements and written qualifying examinations must be completed prior to taking the oral qualifying exam. A doctoral committee of at least four faculty members is appointed.

Final Oral Exam/Doctoral Dissertations: It is a strong tradition in the department that the doctoral dissertation concern itself with original investigation of an empirical character. The specific form and content of the dissertation proposal and of the final dissertation filed with the University should be worked out in consultation with your dissertation committee advisor and your doctoral committee.

Sixth Year:

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed by the end of the sixth calendar year following admission.

Course Requirement Checklists

Please visit the site below to access the appropriate course checklist for your area. You can use these documents to track you progress through the program. As always, please consult the Graduate Handbook for the most detailed information.

Area Specific Course Requirement Checklists (UCLA Logon Required)

Core Course Information

  1. Core courses should be constructed as lecture courses not seminars. They should not be based on student presentations.
  2. Core courses, with the exception of the five week BNS 205 modules, should include at least two different methods of evaluations (e.g. midterm and final examinations, paper and final examination, reading notes and final examination).
  3. Feedback on performance in core courses should be given at both midterm and course end, with the exception of 205 modules, for which midterm feedback is not required.
  4. No more than eight core course units are to be offered each year.