Applicants are evaluated on several criteria by a faculty committee. Decisions are based primarily on transcripts, test scores, past research, the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Employment experience and other personal and professional activities are taken into account. It is very important that the students' experience and interests match the resources, opportunities, and research activities available within the UCSC program.
We Value Inclusion
The selection committee is concerned with the composition of incoming classes, seeking students with diverse and complementary backgrounds and interests. Applications from minority students are particularly encouraged (see Graduate Opportunity and Diversity Enhancement Fellowship Programs).
The Psychology Department recognizes the advantages of broadening one's perspectives and experiences at graduate school. Thus, we encourage psychology majors who were undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz to consider applying to graduate school elsewhere. However, UCSC students who wish to apply will receive full consideration.
Additional Guidelines For Our Research Areas
Most applicants to the cognitive area have undergraduate degrees in psychology, but the cognitive faculty consider applicants with other relevant undergraduate backgrounds as well.
Applicants to the developmental area should have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline and have completed courses in general psychology, developmental psychology, and statistics.
Applicants to social area should present a record of course work equivalent to an undergraduate major in psychology. A broad major covering a variety of subareas is preferred to a narrow concentration. Because of the interdisciplinary focus of the program, applications from those who have majored in other social sciences and related areas are also encouraged.
Duplication of Higher Degrees
It is campus policy to prohibit the pursuit of duplicate advanced degrees. Applicants may petition the graduate dean for an exception.
Students are offered admission with a designated faculty mentor. We recommend that interested applicants read the research interests of each faculty member on the faculty department web page, Get to Know Our Faculty, to determine which one(s) are conducting research in the area they are interested in. If they see a potential match with their own research interest, they can contact that faculty member via letter, email, or telephone to explore possibilities.