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Student Success

2018 Graduate2018 graduatesgraduate and faculty

We strive for each student to achieve success in relation to his or her goals, and we are extremely proud of what our students have achieved.


Every PhD graduate since 2015 has co-authored at least 1 publication by graduation, with a mean of 3.6 (range 1-11) publications per student. Between 2015 and 2018, our PhD students collectively co-authored 102 publications (ave. 34 per year). This research has been published in top-level journals, such as Cognition, Emotion, Health Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and Psychological Methods. A list of recent graduate student publications is provided here.

Conference Presentations

Our PhD students frequently present their research at top national and international conferences in their fields, including meetings of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the Society for Research in Child Development. A list of recent graduate student presentations is provided here.

Degree Completion

An important indicator of student success is students' ability to complete their Ph.D. in a reasonable time frame. Of 31 graduates thus far, 28 (90%) have finished in 6 years or less. Nationwide, the median time to degree is 7.3 years for a Ph.D. in Psychology. Thus our students substantially outperform the national average. Since the formal approval of our Ph.D. program in 2011, our graduation rate is 77%, which also exceeds the national average of 65% for psychology doctoral programs.

Post-Graduation Employment

Ph.D. graduates' first positions post-degree (updated August 2018)

Type of position



Tenure-track faculty position


Brigham Young University, California State University-Northridge, Occidental College, California State University-Fresno

Post-doctoral Fellow


New York University, Northwestern University, Penn State University, Stanford University, UC Merced, UC San Francisco (2), UC San Diego, University of Manitoba, Vrije Universiteit (the Netherlands);

University researcher


Jacobs University (Germany), Washington University, UC Merced, University of Chicago



California State University-Stanislaus (2), UC Merced (3), Butte College (CA)

Public or non-profit agency researcher


Alliance for Community Research and Development (Merced); Merced County Department of Public Health (2); National Board of Osteopathic Examiners, Chicago; Public Health Institute, Oakland

Commercial/industry researcher



Re-specialization trainee


Alliant University-CSPP San Francisco


Updated 2021