REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTORAL DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY

For degree requirements prior to the 2015-16 catalogue year, please refer to this link: http://catalogue.uci.edu/previouseditions/

 Course work: Students must complete 12 courses distributed as follows:

Two (2) Cognitive & Brain Sciences Core Courses: PSYCH 210A-210B
Three (3) Quantitative Courses: PSYCH 203A and two of 203B, 203C, 203D, or 214
Two (2) Computational Methods Courses: PSYCH 205A and either 205B or 205C
Two (2) Cognitive Science Core Courses: PSYCH 211-219 module
Three (3) Electives Open


Students must fulfill the Ph.D. program's computer-programming language requirement.

Students are expected to enroll in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar (PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C) during all quarters in residence prior to passage of the advancement-to-candidacy examination. During the fall of the first year in the program, students should enroll in the Seminar in Professional Development (PSYCH 204A) and the Proseminar (PSYCH 202A) courses.

Second-year examination. During the first year, in consultation with their advisor, the student should establish an advisory committee consisting of three faculty members, including the advisor and at least one other Cognitive Sciences faculty member. The committee should meet with the student during spring quarter of the first year to determine the student’s area(s) of research interest and to identify the published literature with which the student must be familiar. At the beginning of the fall quarter of their second year, students will be required to take a second-year examination. It will involve (1) a critical review of work in the student's area of research interest, and (2) an oral examination by the student's committee members. Should the student fail the second-year exam, the student will be allowed to repeat the exam in the winter quarter. A subsequent failure results in the student exiting the program.

Make sure to complete and submit the Second-Year Examination form which can be found here.

Pre-advancement talk. Prior to advancement, usually in the third year, each student will give a talk to the Department faculty and students in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar (PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C). Each student is expected to carry out theoretical/empirical research during the first two years. By the start of the third year, each student should have completed a research project of a scope and nature that is potentially publishable in a professional journal. (Another forum for the pre-advancement talk may be substituted with the written approval of the Graduate Director.)  This talk is required prior to the student’s advancement to candidacy.

Advancement examination. The advancement examination consists of a written research proposal in NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship format, and an oral defense of the proposed research. The requirements for advancement are detailed below.

Dissertation. Students must submit a dissertation describing original publishable research and present a public defense of the dissertation as the final requirement of the Ph.D. program as detailed below.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONCENTRATION IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

Students can also pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. This is an interdisciplinary field which studies the relation between mind and brain. With the development of non-invasive functional brain imaging techniques during the last two decades, the integration of cognitive and neural models of information processing has become a major focus in the field, and a major growth area within the Department’s academic plan.

The program concentration is administered by the Department of Cognitive Sciences and coordinated by the Cognitive Neuroscience graduate director. Commensurate with the multidisciplinary nature of cognitive neuroscience, the Department expects to admit students with a variety of undergraduate educational backgrounds. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, undergraduate degrees in psychology/cognitive science, neuroscience, biology, computer science, mathematics, and engineering.

Course work. Students must complete 12 courses distributed as follows:

Two (2) Cognitive & Brain Sciences Core Courses: PSYCH 210A-210B
Two (2) Quantitative Courses: PSYCH 203A and one of 203B, 203C, 203D, or 214
One (1) Computational Course: PSYCH 205A, 205B, 205C
Two (2) Neuroscience Methods Courses: PSYCH 236, 265, 268A
Two (2) Neuroscience Courses: PSYCH 261-269 module
Three (3) Electives Open


Students must fulfill the Ph.D. program’s computer-programming language requirement.

Students are expected to enroll in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar (PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C) during all quarters in residence prior to passage of the advancement-to-candidacy examination. During the fall of the first year in the program, students should enroll in the Seminar in Professional Development (PSYCH 204A) and the Proseminar (PSYCH 202A).

Second-year examination. During the first year, the student in consultation with their advisor should establish an advisory committee consisting of three faculty members, including the advisor and at least one other Cognitive Sciences faculty member. The committee should meet with the student during spring quarter of the first year to determine the student’s area(s) of research interest and to identify the published literature with which the student must be familiar. At the beginning of the fall quarter of their second year, students will be required to take a second-year examination. It will involve (1) a critical review of work in the student’s area of research interest, and (2) an oral examination by the student's committee members. Should the student fail the second year exam, the student will be allowed to repeat the exam in the winter quarter. A subsequent failure results in the student leaving the program.

Make sure to complete and submit the Second-Year Examination form which can be found here.

Pre-advancement talk. Prior to advancement, usually in the third year, each student will give a talk to the department faculty and students in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar (PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C). Each student is expected to carry out theoretical/empirical research during the first two years. By the start of the third year, each student should have completed a research project of a scope and nature that is potentially publishable in a professional journal. (Another forum for the pre-advancement talk may be substituted with the written approval of the Graduate Director.) This talk is required prior to the student’s advancement to candidacy. 

Advancement examination. The advancement examination consists of a written research proposal in NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship format, and an oral defense of the proposed research. The requirements for advancement are detailed below.

Dissertation. Students must submit a dissertation describing original publishable research and present a public defense of the dissertation as the final requirement of the Ph.D. program as detailed below.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE

NOTE: Although the Department does not have a terminal master's program, students may earn an optional master's degree as part of the Ph.D. program.

Students enrolled in the Psychology program may earn an M.A. degree in Psychology by completing the following requirements: The student must (1) complete the required course work as outlined above; (2) present a talk and submit an approved paper, both based on empirical/theoretical research, as described above; and (3) fulfill a computer-programming language requirement by completing satisfactorily the computational research methods sequence (PSYCH 205A-PSYCH 205B) or by demonstrating proficiency in use of a programming language for cognitive sciences research as assessed by two faculty members and approved by the Graduate Director.

Students enrolled in the concentration program in Cognitive Neuroscience may earn an M.S. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience by completing the following requirements: The student must (1) complete the required course work as outlined above; (2) present a talk and submit an approved paper, both based on empirical/theoretical research, as described above; and (3) fulfill a computer-programming language requirement by completing satisfactorily the computational research methods sequence (PSYCH 205A-PSYCH 205B) or by demonstrating proficiency in use of a programming language for cognitive sciences research as assessed by two faculty members and approved by the Graduate Director.

To download the Master's Degree Form ("Master's Thesis Signature Page/Report on Final Examination for the Master's Degree"), click here.  

 

JOINT M.S. DEGREE IN STATISTICS / PH.D. IN PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM

Effective Fall 2016, students who are admitted into the Ph.D. Program in Psychology or in Psychology with a Concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience are eligible for the joint M.S. in Statistics / Ph.D. in Psychology program. NOTE: Students who are admitted into the joint program are not eligible to receive either the M.A in Psychology or the M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience. 

During the first year, Ph.D. students interested in pursuing the joint program will enroll in STATS 210 and either STATS 202 or STATS 211 which fulfill the quantitative requirement in the Ph.D. program. In Winter quarter of the first year, interested Ph.D. students may submit an application to the joint M.S./Ph.D. program.

The application consists of:

  1. A copy of the original application to the Department of Cognitive Sciences' Ph.D. program including transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.
  2. A letter from the Cognitive Sciences' Department Chair recommending the student for the joint program in Statistics/Psychology.
  3. A letter of approval from the School of Social Sciences' Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.


The Department of Statistics will review the application to determine whether the student is adequately prepared for the M.S. in Statistics component.

Upon admission into the joint program, the student is expected to complete the comprehensive exam for STATS 210-211-212 or STATS 210-202-203 following the Spring quarter. In the Fall of Year 2, the student will enroll as a Masters in Statistics student through the Department of Statistics, and complete the remaining coursework and comprehensive exam. During this year, the student will continue to receive financial support from the School of Social Sciences as outlined in the original admission letter.

After successfully completing one year in the Statistics program, the student will enroll in the Cognitive Sciences Ph.D. program in Year 3, and complete the normal requirements for the Ph.D.

Course work for the M.S. in Statistics:

Intermediate Probability & Statistical Theory STATS 200A-200B-200C
Statistical Methodology STATS 202, 203, 210
Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis STATS 205
Three (3) quarters of Seminar in Statistics STATS 280
Two (2) other elective graduate courses offered by the Dept. of Statistics Open
NOTE:
  • STATS 211 and 212 may be substituted for STATS 202 and 203.
  • At most, one of the two elective courses may be STATS 299, but only with prior approval of the Department Graduate Committee.


Three (3) additional elective courses will be fulfilled by taking courses that are offered by the Department of Cognitive Sciences. These three electives must be selected from the following two areas and will fulfill requirements for both programs:

Computational Methods PSYCH 203C, 205A, 205B, 205C, 214, 237 
Neuroscience Methods PSYCH 236, 265, 268A

 
The entire program of courses must be approved by the Statistics Department Graduate Committee. Students with previous graduate training in statistics may petition the Committee to substitute other courses for a subset of the required courses. Students are required to pass a written comprehensive examination ordinarily at the end of the first year covering the material in either STATS 202, STATS 203, and STATS 210 or STATS 210, STATS 211, and STATS 212. At the end of the 2nd year, the student will pass a written comprehensive examination covering the material from STATS 200A-STATS 200B-STATS 200C

Course work for the Ph.D. in Psychology:

Students must complete nine (9) courses distributed as follows:

Cognitive and Brain Sciences Core Courses PSYCH 210A-210B
Two (2) Computational Methods Courses PSYCH 205A and either 205B, 205C, or 214
Two (2) Cognitive Science Core Courses PSYCH 211-219 module
Three (3) Electives:  
 One (1) Technical Elective selected from:

Computational Methods: PSYCH 203C, 205A, 205B, 205C, 214, 237
Neuroscience Methods: PSYCH 236, 265, 268A

 Two (2) Other Electives Open


Students must fulfill the Ph.D. program's computer-programming language requirement.

Students are expected to enroll in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C during all quarters in residence prior to passage of the advancement-to-candidacy examination. During the fall of the first year in the program, students should enroll in the Proseminar in the Cognitive Sciences (PSYCH 202A).

Second-year examination. During the first year in the Ph.D. program, the student in consultation with their advisor should establish an advisory committee consisting of three faculty members, including the advisor and at least one other cognitive sciences faculty member. The committee should meet with the student during spring quarter of the first year to determine the student's area(s) of research interest and to identify the published literature with which the student must be familiar. At the beginning of the fall quarter of their second year in the Ph.D. program, students will be required to take a second-year examination. It will involve (1) a critical review of work in the student's area of research interest, and (2) an oral examination by the student's committee members. Should the student fail the second year exam, the student will be allowed to repeat the exam in the winter quarter. A subsequent failure results in the student leaving the program.

Make sure to complete and submit the Second-Year Examination form which can be found here.

Pre-advancement talk. Prior to advancement, usually in the third year in the PhD , each student will give a talk to the department faculty and students in the Cognitive Sciences Research Seminar PSYCH 201A-PSYCH 201B- PSYCH 201C. Each student is expected to carry out theoretical/empirical research during the first two years. By the start of the third year, each student should have completed a research project of a scope and nature that is potentially publishable in a professional journal. (Another forum for the pre-advancement talk may be substituted with the written approval of the graduate director.) This talk is required prior to the student's advancement to candidacy.

Advancement examination. The advancement examination consists of a written research proposal in NIH NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship format and an oral defense of the proposed research. The requirements for advancement are detailed below.

Dissertation. Students must submit a dissertation describing original publishable research and present a public defense of the dissertation as the final requirement of the Ph.D. program as detailed below.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY

The requirements for advancement to candidacy are (1) the student must meet the requirements listed above for the appropriate Master's degree; (2) the student must, in addition, form a five-member faculty committee selected according to Graduate Division policy. The committee will examine the student on a topic which is determined in consultation with the committee. A written document describing the student’s work on this topic must be submitted to the committee prior to advancement. The student must demonstrate an understanding of the background and issues for the research topic and show sufficient preparation and creativity to undertake planning for a dissertation project (e.g., by describing a possible experimental design or outlining a possible theoretical development); and (3) students are required to advance to candidacy by the end of the fall quarter of their third year in the program.

To download the Advancement to Candidacy Form ("Ph.D. Form I - Advancement to Candidacy Ph.D. Degree"), click here

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PH.D.

The requirements for the Ph.D. degree are (1) the student must formally present and defend a written dissertation proposal to a committee of at least three members selected according to Graduate Division requirements. The dissertation proposal presentation may take place as part of the examination for Advancement to Candidacy, in which case, that five-member committee will approve the dissertation proposal; (2) the proposal must be approved prior to the final dissertation defense (usually at least three months before to allow time for the candidate to incorporate suggestions and changes required by the committee); (3) prior to the approval of the final version of the dissertation the student is expected to defend the dissertation in a public colloquium announced with at least one week’s notice; and (4) all requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be fulfilled within three years after advancement to candidacy.

To download the Dissertation Form ("Ph.D Form II - Signature Page/Report on Final Examination for the Ph.D. Degree"), click here.

The normative time for advancement to candidacy is three years. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is five years, and the maximum time permitted is six years.

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