Ucla Psychology Phd Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Are your GRE scores where they need to be to get you accepted into one of UCLA’s graduate programs? What are the average UCLA GRE scores of accepted students? In this post, we will discuss the Ucla Psychology Phd Acceptance Rate, ucla psychology admission requirements and ucla psychology graduate program.

If you want to go to grad school at UCLA, you need to know what GRE scores admissions officials are expecting to see on your application. This guide goes over average GRE scores for a variety of UCLA grad programs. We also discuss how different grad programs are ranked at UCLA, how you can calculate your UCLA GRE goal scores, and how important GRE scores really are for getting into UCLA.

UCLA’s Psychology Ph.D. program is a highly competitive program and has a low acceptance rate of about 25%. Each year, the department receives in excess of 1,000 applications and admits approximately 40 students.

Applicants who are accepted are typically at the top of their class, have excellent undergraduate GPAs and GRE scores, and have letters of recommendation from professors or employers who know them well.

UCLA’s Psychology Ph.D. program has been ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2002, with research that focuses on a wide range of topics including judgment, reasoning, perception, learning and memory, developmental psychology, social psychology, personality theory and measurement, clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience and biological bases of behavior as well as psychological disorders such as depression/anxiety disorders and substance abuse problems.”

ucla psychology admission requirements

Ucla Psychology Phd Acceptance Rate

UCLA is one of the country’s highest-ranked public schools, and it has strong grad programs in a number of areas. For STEM, its medical-related grad programs are especially highly-ranked. The school has four hospitals on two campuses, as well as nearly 200 community clinics. UCLA also has multiple liberal arts programs ranked among the best in the country.

Eleven of UCLA’s grad school programs have been ranked within the top ten in the country by US News:

  • Education (#1)
  • Medical Schools: Primary Care (#4)
  • Medical Schools: Research (#8)
  • Clinical Psychology (#1)
  • English (#6)
  • Fine Arts (#2)
  • History (#9)
  • Mathematics (#7)
  • Psychology (#3)
  • Public Health (#10)
  • Sociology (#8)

UCLA’s education and clinical psychology programs are particularly well regarded, and both are ranked #1 in the country in US News’ 2019 grad school rankings.

Although UCLA doesn’t have quite the reputation of the Ivy Leagues, it’s a very highly-ranked school, and for undergraduates, it was the most applied to school in 2017/2018. Competition to get accepted into UCLA’s grad programs is often tougher than competition for most similar grad programs at other schools because many California students want to take advantage of UCLA’s in-state tuition, so UCLA sees more applications than average.

Quick side note: we’ve created the world’s leading online GRE prep program that adapts to you and your strengths and weaknesses. Not sure what to study? Confused by how to improve your score? We give you minute by minute guide.

You don’t NEED a prep program to get a great GRE score. But we believe PrepScholar is the best GRE prep program available right now, especially if you find it hard to organize your study schedule and don’t know what to study.

Click here to learn how you can improve your GRE score by 7 points, guaranteed.

Average UCLA GRE Scores

How do UCLA average GRE scores of compare to average scores for all test takers? The national average for GRE test takers is a 153 on the Quantitative section of the GRE and 150 on the Verbal section. However, UCLA expects GRE scores higher than average, sometimes significantly higher (there is no minimum GRE score for UCLA grad programs).

The chart below shows the average GRE scores of accepted applicants for various graduate programs at UCLA. It also includes information on the average GPA of accepted students, the program’s acceptance rate, and its ranking by US News. UCLA grad programs that don’t accept GRE scores but require scores from a different standardized test (such as the law school and medical school ) aren’t included in this chart, but the Anderson School of Management, which accepts either GMAT or GRE scores, is included.

Not every UCLA grad provided this information. If a program or school you want to apply to in isn’t included below, you can look for a similar program in the chart to get a general idea of the UCLA GRE scores you would need.

ProgramAverage GRE Quant ScoreAverage GRE Verbal ScoreAverage Analytical Writing ScoreAcceptance Rate of ProgramAverage GPA of Accepted StudentsUS News Rank
Anderson School of Management1671625.021%3.7616th
Clinical Psychology1601634.70.4%3.811st
Computer Science (Master’s)1681564.0`14%3.7513th
Computer Science (PhD)1681573.514%3.7513th
Public Health(Master’s)1551574.051%3.6310th
Public Health (PhD)1571584.03.7810th
Public Policy (Master’s)1571585.039%3.518th

What Is a Good GRE Score for UCLA?

There is no minimum GRE score for UCLA, but what is considered a good score if you hope to get into the school? As you saw in the chart above, average UCLA GRE scores depend on which program you’re applying to. The average scores range from 156 to 163 for Verbal and 155 to 168 for Quant.

Some UCLA programs have higher average Quant scores than Verbal scores (typically STEM programs), while other programs have higher average Verbal scores.  For example, UCLA’s Master’s in Computer Science program has an average Quant score of 168 but an average Verbal score of 156. This makes sense since, as a STEM-focused Master’s program, you’ll be using math skills more than verbal skills. In general, Analytical Writing scores are not that important for grad school admissions, so worry the least amount about that section.

In order to determine the UCLA GRE scores you should set as your goal, first find the average GRE scores for the program you want to apply to in the chart above. If your program isn’t listed in the chart, look at the GRE scores of the closest program to it, or look up GRE scores of programs with a similar US News ranking. Then, add 2-3 points to both Verbal and Quant scores. Those are your goal scores.

For example, if you want to get a Master’s in Urban Planning at UCLA (which doesn’t list average GRE scores), you can look at similar UCLA programs, such as their Master’s in Public Policy program (Q=157, V=158). It’s not a perfect comparison, but since they focus on similar topics, are both within the Luskin School of Public Affairs, and have similar admissions guidelines, you can expect average GRE scores to be similar for both. Add two points to each to get your goal scores of 159 for Quant and 160 for Verbal.

If you’re applying to a UCLA program that doesn’t have the GRE scores of any similar programs listed in the chart above, you can find GRE scores of similar programs at different schools and make your estimate from that. For example, if you want to get a Master’s in Sociology at UCLA, you’d find schools with sociology graduate programs ranked similarly to UCLA’s program (ranked 8th). UNC Chapel Hill’s Sociology Master’s program is ranked 6th, just above UCLA’s, and its average GRE scores are 160 for Quant and 162 for Verbal. Northwestern’s Master’s of Sociology program is ranked 10th, and its average GRE scores are 160 for Quant and 164 for Verbal. Now find the average of those scores and add two points. This gives you 162 for Quant and 165 for Verbal as your goal scores to get into UCLA’s Sociology program.

Adding a few points to the average GRE scores of accepted students ensures that your scores will be high enough above the average to strengthen, not weaken, your application. However, it doesn’t set your goal so high that you’re spending too much time preparing for the GRE at the expense of other areas of your application.

How Important Are GRE Scores for Getting Into UCLA?

Now you have a good idea of what GRE scores are considered “good” for different UCLA programs, but how important is your GRE score for getting into UCLA? In general, for programs the require GRE scores, your scores are a key part of your application, but they aren’t the most important piece of information admissions teams review, and even perfect GRE scores won’t be enough to get you admitted to UCLA if your application is weak in other key areas.

Most graduate programs, including those at UCLA, care more about your undergraduate transcript, the research or work experiences you’ve had, your personal statement, and your letters of recommendation than what you got on the GRE. Schools feel that these are a better way to get to know who you are and what your chances of succeeding at their school are.

Spend more time improving those areas of your application as opposed to spending all your time aiming for perfect GRE scores. Additionally, if you have low GRE scores but are exceptional in other areas, such as research or work experience, you still have a solid chance of getting into UCLA. For example, look at the data for the Clinical Psychology program in the chart above. This program has an extremely low acceptance rate (0.4%!), but its average GRE scores, 160 for Quant and 163 for Verbal, aren’t incredibly high. This means the school is looking at factors beyond top GRE scores when making admissions decisions.

However, if you have a score that’s significantly below the average score of admitted students for that program, it may make the admissions committee doubt if you’ll be able to succeed at UCLA. So spend time preparing for the GRE, but don’t neglect other areas of your application. Your time will be better spent creating an application for UCLA that’s strong across all the key areas.

Summary: UCLA Average GRE Scores

Knowing average UCLA GRE scores can help you know what scores to aim for and how much you need to study for the GRE. There is no minimum GRE score for UCLA, but some programs post the average GRE scores of accepted students. For example, average UCLA MPH GRE scores are 157 for Quant and 158 for Verbal.

Many programs don’t post their UCLA average GRE scores, but you can get an estimate by looking at the average GRE scores of similar programs at UCLA or by looking at the average GRE scores of similarly-ranked programs at other schools. Your GRE goal scores for UCLA should be 2-3 points higher than the average GRE score for both the Verbal and Quant sections. This ensures your GRE scores are high enough to be a strength on your application.

However, your grad school application to UCLA is much more than just your GRE scores. You’ll also need a strong college transcript, excellent letters of recommendation, and relevant research/work experience in order to be a standout applicant and be accepted to UCLA.


  1. Do you offer a Masters degree in Psychology?
    No. The Department of Psychology only offers a Ph.D. program. A Master’s only program does not exist.
  2. Do you need a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree to apply?
    No. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is not required to apply to our program, but it is required to enter our program. For domestic applicants, a Master’s degree is not required to apply to or enter our program. For international applicant educational requirements, please see https://grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ACADRECS.HTM.
  3. Do you offer a degree in counseling/therapy?
    No. This is a research-oriented program that aims to train researchers who will expand the body of scientific knowledge upon which the discipline of psychology rests. If you are seeking training as a psychotherapist or a career in counseling psychology, this may not be the program that fits your interests.
  4. Do you offer a graduate degree in Forensics? Industrial/Organizational Psychology?
    No, we do not offer a degree in these areas.
  5. When is the application deadline for Fall 2021 admission?
    December 1, 2020.
  6. How do I apply?
    The application for Fall 2021 admission is now available at https://grad.ucla.edu/apply. Please pay particular attention to the Application Instructions.
  7. How many students apply for admission?
    For the entering class of Fall 2020, the admissions committee reviewed 857 applications.
  8. How many students enroll each year?
    Enrollment varies each year. There are 40 incoming students in Fall 2020.
  9. Can I apply to the program for entry beginning Winter or Spring Quarters?
    No, we only accept applications for entrance in Fall quarter.
  10. Can I attend part-time?
    No, this is a day-time, full-time program and has no provision for part-time or limited status students.
  11. What is the length of the program?
    The program is described as a six-year program. However, it is flexible enough to permit considerable individual variation.
  12. Is an interview required as part of the admission process?
    The behavioral neuroscience, clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, learning & behavior, quantitative, and social areas do conduct interviews as part of their applicant evaluation process.
  13. Must I have been a Psychology major to be eligible to apply?
    No, you do not need to have been a psychology major to apply to the program. However, ideal preparation for the Ph.D. program consists of a solid background of coursework in the realm of psychology, including lab courses and classes in statistics and research methods. A broad knowledge of mathematical, biological and social sciences is also recommended.
  14. Are there any minimum GPA or GRE score requirements?
    The graduate division stipulates that you must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to be eligible to apply. There are no minimum scores cut-offs for the GRE.
  15. Do I need to take the GRE Psychology Subject Test?
    Under normal circumstances, the GRE Psychology Subject Test would be required for all applications to the Clinical area. However, in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19, the GRE Psychology Subject Test will be optional for students submitting applications to our program in 2020 (i.e. for entry in Fall 2021). Applications will be accepted without GRE Psychology Subject Test scores. However, applicants offered admission to the Clinical program may be advised to take and submit GRE Psychology Subject Test scores prior to starting the program in Fall 2021. For details, see the Clinical area website. If you are applying to Behavioral Neuroscience, Learning and Behavior, Quantitative, or Social, the subject test is NOT required. If you are applying to Health, the subject test is not required but recommended. If you are applying to Developmental, the subject test is not required but is recommended for applicants who did not major in Psychology or a closely related discipline. If you are applying to Cognitive, the subject test in Psychology or other fields related to cognitive psychology is not required but encouraged. 
  16. What materials must I submit in order for my application to be complete?
    1. UCLA Graduate Division Application for Graduate Admission along with an application fee of $120 (for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) or $140 (for all other applicants) 
    2. Statement of Purpose & Personal Statement
    3. At least 3 letters of recommendation
    4. TOEFL or IELTS Exam (if applicable)
    5. Unofficial transcripts from each school (community college, college, university) you have attended; Official transcript is required if applicant is offered admission
    6. CV 
  17. Is funding or financial aid available?
    Upon admission, the Department strives to provide some type of funding for every student either through fellowships, stipends, training grants or program-related employment (i.e. teaching or research assistantships). Candidates are also strongly encouraged to apply for extramural awards, such as fellowships from the NSF, APA, Ford Foundation and Javits Foundation. Please see Fellowships & Other Support for more information.
  18. What career(s) do most graduates from this program go into with their degree?
    Graduates of this Ph.D. program are trained for careers in both academic and applied settings-for positions at universities and colleges, research and government organizations, and business and industry.
  19. If I take the GRE test more than once, will you average my test scores or pick the highest scores from each test?
    No. We accept the most recent GRE scores from the test you have taken. We do not average the scores or pick the highest scores. Official scores for the GRE Psychology subject test can not be more than five years old.
  20. How do I contact professors in the program about their research interests?
    If you are interested in the research interests of a certain professor in our department, view the faculty page on our website at /faculty.
  21. Does the department offer group information sessions or tours?
    The department does not offer group information sessions or tours. However, UCLA does offer tours of the campus.
  22. Does the department offer an online program or online classes?
    No. This is a full-time campus based program which requires the physical presence of the student.
  23. Can I get my application fee waived?
    Yes. Please see Tuition, State Residency, Application Fees, Deferrals, and Waivers for more information.
  24. Is there support available for the cost of the GRE test?
    Yes. ETS, the testing service that administers the GRE test, offers a fee reduction program. Find out more at https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees/reductions. 

ucla psychology graduate program

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is a large public research university in Los Angeles, California. It offers a large number of degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level in a wide variety of disciplines.

The Psychology Department at UCLA has been ranked highly by US News & World Report, which named it among the top five psychology departments in the country for both its clinical and social psychology programs.