The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences is a top-ranked experimental psychology program. The National Research Council’s 2011 ratings placed the program between the 15th and 19th percentile of the 185 nationwide psychology programs it reviewed. Faculty members include prominent scholars working in four graduate research training areas:
- Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology
- Neuroscience and Behavior
- Social Psychology
The Ph.D. program in Psychological & Brain Sciences is designed to be completed in five to six years. During the first year, students complete a core set of courses designed to provide comprehensive coverage of theoretical and empirical issues in psychology and gain research experience under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Beyond the first year, students participate in advanced courses and seminars in which specialized topics are considered on more intensive levels. Students become skilled researchers as they obtain experience working in one or more faculty laboratories. Coursework, independent study, and research activities typically become more specialized as students progress through the program, culminating in comprehensive candidacy examinations and the completion of a doctoral dissertation. There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree in Psychological & Brain Sciences at UCSB.
The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences does not admit for a Master’s degree. Admission is to the Ph.D. program only.
The graduate program is large enough to field a full range of graduate courses and seminars, but small enough to provide a sense of community and a high level of faculty attention per student. There are currently 28 full-time faculty members supervising approximately 70 graduate students. This excellent student-to-faculty ratio ensures an enriched and personal graduate experience where each student works closely with a faculty mentor. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers not only a quality research-oriented program, but one whose graduates have been highly successful in the competition for academic, private sector, and post-doctoral positions.