Application & Instructions

The deadline to submit the application and all supporting materials (e.g. letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.) for Fall 2023 admission for the Clinical area only is November 1, 2022. The deadline for all other areas (Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive, Developmental, Health, Quantitative, and Social) is December 1, 2022

If you have specific questions about the online UCLA Graduate Division application, please email the UCLA Graduate Division Admissions Office at

Please note there is no departmental application. The only application you need to complete is the online UCLA Graduate Division Application. Applications are accepted once a year for the Fall quarter only. 

Be sure to read Information for Prospective Students and Preparation prior to submitting your application!  In addition, be sure to visit the link to the specific program to which you plan to apply for additional information. 

You may only apply to one of the seven areas in the Department of Psychology: Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Health, Quantitative, and Social.

We do not offer rolling admissions or early acceptance into our program. We do not accept current graduate students transferring directly into our program. Applicants who are currently enrolled as graduate students elsewhere must apply and have their materials reviewed with the rest of the applicants that apply. 

Please note that a writing sample is not required but can be submitted through the online UCLA Graduate Division Application. Applicants to the Quantitative program should view the fifth bullet point below.


Behavioral Neuroscience Area: Avi Adhikari, H. Tad Blair, Aaron Blaisdell, Dean Buonomano, David Clewett, Michael Fanselow, Adriana Galván, Alicia Izquierdo, Katherine Karlsgodt, Barbara Knowlton, Hakwan Lau, Martin Monti, Lara Ray, Dario Ringach, Jesse Rissman, Stan Schein, Ladan Shams, Melissa Sharpe, Kate Wassum, Andrew Wikenheiser

Clinical Area: Denise Chavira, Michelle Craske, Tiffany Ho, Katherine Karlsgodt, Anna Lau, Lauren Ng, Jennifer Sumner

Cognitive Area: Idan Blank, Alan Castel, Patricia Cheng, David Clewett, Keith Holyoak, Phil Kellman, Barbara Knowlton, Falk Lieder, Zili Liu, Hongjing Lu, Martin Monti, Jesse Rissman, Stan Schein, Ladan Shams, James Stigler

Developmental Area: Bridget Callaghan, Erica Cartmill, Adriana Galván, Andrew Fuligni, Catherine Sandhofer, Jennifer Silvers, James Stigler

Health AreaJulienne Bower, Theodore Robles, Jennifer Sumner, Annette Stanton, A. Janet Tomiyama, Patrick Wilson

Quantitative AreaHan Du, Craig Enders

Social Area: Tiffany Brannon, Naomi Eisenberger, Yuen Huo, Kerri Johnson, Benjamin Karney, Martie Haselton, Matthew Lieberman, Carolyn Parkinson, Efren Perez


Applicants that are invited to interview will be notified through email about two weeks prior. Interviews will be conducted virtually. Check back in December for schedule of interview dates. Applicants that are not offered admission to our program for Fall 2023 will be notified by email no later than April 15, 2023. 


A) Statement of Purpose & Personal Statement:

The Statement of Purpose and Personal Statement must be submitted electronically through the UCLA Graduate Division Application.

Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose: Your statement can be up to 1000 words in length. Please state your purpose in applying for graduate study. Describe your scholarly and research area(s) of interest, experiences that contributed to your preparation in the field, and your plans for your future occupation or profession. Briefly describe experiences that have prepared you for advanced study or research, and provide any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study. You are encouraged to indicate specific research interests and potential faculty mentors.

Guidelines for the Personal Statement: Your statement can be up to 500 words in length (approximately 1 page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font). Describe how your background, accomplishments, and life experiences (those not already described in your Statement of Purpose) led to your decision to pursue the graduate degree for which you are applying. Include any educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. In addition, please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that will allow the department to evaluate your contributions to the University’s diversity mission. Contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms, such as efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service that addresses the need of a diverse population, or research that explores inequalities.

Additional Essays: Applicants to the Quantitative area must provide a supplementary essay up to 1000 words describing their research interests in more detail. Supplementary essays are available in the ‘Psychology’ section of the application once you select ‘Psychology PHD’ under ‘Plans for Graduate Study’.

B) Three Letters of Recommendation:

It is your choice who you would like to choose as your recommenders. Your letters of recommendation can be submitted electronically by your recommenders either before or after you submit the UCLA Graduate Division Application. It is also possible to send your letter of recommendation requests to your recommenders before you submit the application. Three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the UCLA Graduate Division Application. Letter of recommendation services such as your school’s career center,, etc. must also submit letters electronically through the UCLA Graduate Division Application for the letters to be accepted. It is possible to submit more than three (3) letters of recommendation through the UCLA Graduate Division Application. However, only three (3) letters of recommendation are required. The Letter of Recommendation Rating/Reference Form will only be sent to your recommenders when they submit your letters electronically through the UCLA Graduate Division Application.

C) Transcripts:

All applicants must upload transcripts with the application. Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable for review purposes. If you are recommended for admission and decide to accept the offer, you must submit final, official copies of your transcript for final approval of your admission by Graduate Division’s Graduate Admissions Office. Any discrepancies between the unofficial and official transcripts could lead to withdrawal of an offer of admission. International applicants must upload copies of original and translated international transcripts per country- or educational system-specific guidelines here: UCLA does not accept international transcripts evaluated or verified by a service such as World Education Services (WES). 

D) Test Scores:

Please note that starting Fall 2023 admission applicants are not required to take the GRE.

  • GRE General Test: Applicants for admission to our graduate program are not required to submit a GRE score report as part of their application package. Applicants may voluntarily submit GRE test scores and they will be reviewed as one part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores. During the 2020 and 2021 admission cycles combined, 25% of applicants to the UCLA Psychology graduate program submitted GRE General Test scores. The number of applicants that applied, submitted GRE scores, and the percentage of applicants that submitted GRE scores, organized by Area, can be found in the table below.
  • GRE Psychology Subject Test: Consistent with the policy of the UCLA Department of Psychology, applicants to the clinical psychology doctoral program at UCLA will not be required to take the GRE. The GRE Psychology Subject Test is not required and will not be used to make admissions decisions. However, students who score above the 70th percentile can use the GRE Subject Test to partially fulfill Discipline-Specific Knowledge requirements (e.g., cognitive, social) that are part of accreditation by the American Psychological Association. In this way, admitted students may be able to reduce the amount of, or more flexibly select, coursework needed to complete program requirements. Students may elect to take the GRE Subject Test after their admission into our program and all program requirements can be fulfilled without taking the test.
  • To ensure your official test scores are properly processed if you choose to submit them, please be sure the personal information provided in the UCLA Graduate Division Application matches exactly the information provided to the testing service. Do not wait for your test results to complete the UCLA Graduate Division Application. Educational Testing Service (ETS) sends scores electronically to UCLA. The institution code for UCLA is 4837. The department/major code is not necessary.  
  • Official GRE test scores cannot be more than five years old. If the GRE tests are taken more than once, the most recent scores are considered.
  • Quantitative program applicants: Quantitative psychology is by definition very reliant on quantitative skill sets which can be demonstrated in a number of ways: performance in mathematics courses, performance on the quantitative section of the GRE, and/or letters of recommendation speaking to your quantitative expertise. When reading applications we will look for demonstrated ability in quantitative skills, but this should not require a GRE score if other parts of your application speak to these skills. If you are unsure whether you should or should not include GRE scores in your application to UCLA, please feel free to contact the quantitative area faculty.
  • TOEFL or IELTS EXAM: INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS whose first language is not English must submit an official TOEFL (Test of English As a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life and the language of instruction (i.e., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempted from both the TOEFL/IELTS requirement and the English as a Second Language Placement Examination. The minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores are 560 on the paper and pencil test, 220 on the computer-based test, or 87 on the internet-based test (TOEFL/IBT), or overall band score of 7.0 (IELTS). TOEFL and IELTS test scores are valid for only two years. Educational Testing Service (ETS) sends scores electronically to UCLA. The institution code for UCLA is 4837. The department/major code is not necessary. Please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for GRE and TOEFL test scheduling, registration, and information. Visit the Educational Testing Service web site at or call them at (510) 873-8100 (West Coast) or (609) 771-7100 (East Coast). IELTS is administered by local IELTS test centers throughout the world. Applicants should consult for the nearest IELTS test center.