Information for Prospective Health Psychology Graduate Students at UCLA

Admissions Update [1/28/21]

We have completed our initial review of applicants to the Health Psychology training program and have extended interview invitations.  Our task was unusually difficult because of the very large number of exceptionally well-qualified applicants this year.  Our program received almost 100 applications, which represents a significant increase over prior years.  The difficulty of selecting candidates for the interview stage was further magnified given the overall excellence of the pool and the limited number of interview slots.

We are never able to admit or even interview all the applicants who we believe are qualified and talented. This year, we were able to invite fewer than 10% of applicants for interviews. Due to the high volume of applications, we unfortunately are not able to provide individualized feedback to applicants. Please be assured of our very best wishes and appreciation of your interest in our program.

Thank you for your interest in the UCLA Department of Psychology’s Health Psychology Graduate Program.

UCLA’s Psychology Department offers the Ph.D. degree, a five-year, full-time course of study. Students seeking a terminal M.A. degree, or limited or part-time status, are not considered. The degree is granted in eight specialty areas, one of which is Health Psychology. You may apply to only one area. The Fall 2021 deadline for Departmental applications and supporting materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, transcripts) is December 1, 2020 for Health Psychology applicants.

The following professors are accepting students for the 2021-2022 academic year: Julienne Bower, Annette Stanton, A. Janet Tomiyama, Jennifer Sumner, and Theodore Robles. Christine D. Schetter is available as a co-mentor.

The UCLA online Application for Graduate Admission needs to be completed in order to be considered for admission into the graduate program. The UCLA Application for Graduate Admission can be found here

Candidates applying for Fall 2021 admission must submit the following material through the online Application for Graduate Admission:

  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably from research psychologists).
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended.  

Please note that if you are recommended for admission and decide to accept the offer, you must submit final, official copies of your transcripts 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 the country- or educational system-specific guidelines here.

  • A Statement of Purpose. The Health Psychology Area Admissions Committee is very interested in your research experience and what kind of research you want to conduct in your graduate training that is relevant to health psychology 
  • International students must also submit a TOEFL score and a Financial Statement. Official TOEFL scores must be received from ETS by the application deadline.

Under normal circumstances, the GRE General Test would be required for all applications to the UCLA Health Psychology graduate program, and the GRE Psychology Subject Test would be recommended. However, in light of challenges posed by COVID-19, both the GRE General Test and the Psychology Subject Test will be optional for students submitting applications to our program in 2020 (i.e., for entry in Fall 2021). That is, students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program for the 2021-2022 academic year are not required to take the GRE or submit a GRE score report as part of their application. However, students may voluntarily submit GRE test scores and they will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE test scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores.  

Interviews are required for admission to the Health Psychology PhD program. This year, in light of COVID-19, virtual interviews will be conducted. A select group of Health Psychology Area applicants will be invited for virtual interviews with UCLA students and faculty on February 4 and 5, 2021. 

Candidate evaluations are handled by Faculty Area Admission Committees. Over each of the past three years, Committees across the department reviewed 799 to 857 applicants to form incoming classes of 37 to 40. As with any graduate program, GPA is important. The average overall undergraduate GPA for the past three years’ incoming classes is 3.74. University policy holds that an applicant must have a minimum GPA of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale)—or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used—in undergraduate study or in graduate level study, if any. 

Very careful consideration is also given to your Statement of Purpose, research experience, and letters of recommendation. An outstanding record in one of these areas—especially demonstrated achievement in research endeavors—may compensate for less outstanding performance in another. The Department seeks a diverse student body. The program gives special attention to applicants who may contribute to the social or cultural diversity of our student body.

 If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Emilia Ninova at

For questions about the Health Psychology program, please contact Prof. Julie Bower (Health Area Chair) or Prof. Janet Tomiyama (Health Area Admissions Chair) at  We look forward to receiving your application.