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Advising Support During COVID-19

The Psychology Advising Office is available to help with your advising needs. During this time of social distancing, we are working remotely (per campus guidelines) to help answer your questions. Please review the information below to see how our advising team can support you during this time.


Virtual Advising Center:

We ask that during this time, you please prioritize using the Virtual Advising Center for your quick questions as well as questions that may not require an immediate response. Our goal is to respond to all VAC messages within 2-4 business days; however, more complex questions may take longer. We ask that you check out our Frequently Asked Questions page prior to sending your VAC messages to see if your question has already been answered.

Zoom Drop-In Advising: 

If you have a question that you would prefer to talk through, we encourage you to visit our Zoom Drop-in Advising.  The Psychology Student Affairs office is currently understaffed but we are in the process of onboarding two new advisors to help support students. During this transition, we will only be offering Drop-In Advising. We hope to bring back individual appointments before the end of February 2021. Please continue to check our website for updates. 

  • Drop-In Advising will take place during the following times:
    • Mondays from 12:00pm-3:00pm PST
    • Wednesdays from 12:00pm-3:00pm PST
    • Thursdays from 8:30am-10:30am PST
  • Please follow these instructions during drop-in advising hours:

Taking Fall 2020 Courses Pass/No Pass

The Academic Senate is offering undergraduate students a one time only option to retroactively change grading options from Letter to Pass/Not Pass in Fall 2020 classes. In an effort to alleviate some of the academic stress on students during this time, the Psychology Department has agreed to the following Fall 2020 guidelines:

  • Psychology Dept. Majors: Students may take any number of lower-division (LD) and upper-division (UD), including psychology (PSYC) courses, as Pass/No Pass to fulfill Psychology major course requirements.
    • This includes all areas: Natural Science, Formal Skills, Computer Programming, Statistics, Core, Core Specialization, Research, Specialization, Electives.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) MajorStudents may take any number of lower-division (LD) and upper-division (UD) courses, including Psychology (PSYC) courses and Cognitive Science (COGS) courses, as Pass/No Pass to fulfill the CBN major course requirements.
    • This includes all areas: Natural Science, Formal Skills, Computer Programming, Statistics, CBN Core, UD CBN courses, Research, UD PSYC courses.  
  • Business Psychology MajorStudents may take any number of lower-division (LD) and upper-division (UD), including psychology (PSYC) courses and Business Management (MGT) courses, as Pass/No Pass to fulfill Business Psychology major course requirements.
    • This includes all areas: Natural Science, Formal Skills, Computer Programming, Statistics, Business Fundamentals, Psych Business Core, Additional Psych Cores, Business Management, Research, Additional Business Psyc Electives, additional Psych Elective.
  • Psychology Minor: Students may take any number of lower-division (LD) and upper-division (UD) psychology (PSYC) courses as Pass/No Pass to fulfill Psych Minor course requirements.
This allowance is allowed for Fall 2020 only. **Note: the Fall 2020 policy is different than the policy implemented for Spring 2020 (the Spring 2020 policy will not be changed).

A link to an online submission form will be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar (deadline Jan. 29). Undergraduate student petitions or paperwork should NOT be submitted to the Psychology Department. This process runs through the Office of the Registrar.

For additional important considerations, such as how these P/NP units will apply towards the maximum 25% allowed, how financial aid packages or future plans may be impacted, be sure to review all the information on the student affairs website. Students are responsible for the information, considerations, paperwork, and their academic record for the FA20 P/NP process. 

Forms and Petitions

Psychology Undergraduate Student Petition Form

Course pre-approval and petitions (for classes to count toward major/minor requirements)

  • Please use the above petition form for both pre-approve and petition courses to count toward majors and minors. You will be contacted in the Virtual Advising Center within 3-5 weeks with the result of your petition.

Other forms and paperwork that need an Advisor's signature (double majors, appeals, university exceptions, study abroad, and other forms)

  • Please use the above petition form, ensure your form is completely and correctly filled out. You may be contacted in the Virtual Advising Center or to set up a Zoom appointment to go over your form. You should hear back from us within 7-14 business days for most petitions, but completing your forms may take longer due to the volume of petitions received.

B.S. Research Papers

Submit your B.S. Research papers by 3 pm on Thursday of Finals Week of your graduating quarter using Psychology B.S. Research Paper Submission form.

Taking Spring 2020 Courses Pass/No Pass

During the Spring 2020 quarter, the Academic Senate has approved letter grades as well as Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grades to be taken in undergraduate courses. In an effort to provide students with flexibility during this time, the Psychology Department has agreed to the following Spring 2020 guidelines:

  • Psych Dept. Majors: A maximum of 2 UD psychology courses (PSYC 100-193) may be taken as Pass/No Pass.
    • UD psychology major courses include Core, Specialization, Research, and Psych Elective areas (all majors).
    • CBN majors: this applies to either PSYC or COGS courses and the UD CBN Elective area.
    • Business Psych majors: this applies to either PSYC or MGT courses and the Business Management and Business Psych areas.
  • Psych Minor: A maximum of 2 UD psychology courses (PSYC 100-193) may be taken as Pass/No Pass.
  • PSYC 60: Statistics (or equivalent) may be taken as P/NP for all psych dept. majors and minors. Business Psych majors: MGT 16, MGT 18 may be taken as P/NP.

All other psychology major and minor upper-division (UD) courses are still required to be letter-graded. This allowance of two UD psychology courses as well as PSYC 60 (MGT 16/18) taken as P/NP is allowed for Spring 2020 only.


What does this mean for me as a student?

To learn about taking lower-division non-psych courses as P/NP to fulfill your lower-division psych major requirements, please visit the following website and click on your psych major.

Here are some examples of how this could apply to you:

  • A Psych BS major takes PSYC 60 and PSYC 101 as P/NP during SP20. The student earns a “Pass” in both courses. The student may use both courses towards their psych major requirements.
  • A Clinical Psych BS major takes PSYC 102 and PSYC 124 as P/NP during SP20. The student earns a “Pass” in both courses. The student may use PSYC 102 towards the UD Core area and PSYC 124 towards the UD Specialization area of their psych major.
  • A CBN BS major takes PSYC 106 and PSYC 122 as P/NP in SP20. The student earns a “Pass” in both courses. The student may apply PSYC 106 towards the CBN Core area and PSYC 122 towards the UD CBN Elective area of their CBN major.
  • A Psych minor has already completed PSYC 1 ("A-") and PSYC 100 ("Pass") during FA19. The student enrolls in SP20 PSYC 168 and PSYC 190, graded P/NP and earns “Pass” in both courses. The student can apply both SP20 psych courses towards the minor- for a total of three UD Psych courses (PSYC 100, PSYC 168, PSYC 190), graded P/NP, being used towards the psych minor.

Possible Consequences of Taking a FA20 and/or SP20 Courses P/NP

What should I consider before taking a course Pass/No Pass instead of a letter grade?
  • Students should carefully consider taking additional units under the assumption they will need to devote less time to each course if it is graded P/NP. The expectation is students will apply the same amount of time and energy towards each enrolled course regardless of how the course is graded. If adequate time is not planned for each course, a student could easily find themselves overwhelmed at the amount of work required for the quarter.
  • Students who plan to retake a course to replace a previously earned grade, must retake the course using the same grading method. If the previously earned grade was a letter grade (“D”, “F”), the course must be retaken using the same grading format. For example, a student who took FA19 PSYC 70 and earned an “F,” would have to retake WI20 PSYC 70 as letter-graded (P/NP is not an option).
  • Students who plan to apply for postgraduate study. Graduate, medical, and other professional schools may not accept a grading option of P/NP for some courses. Students will need to check with the specific graduate/professional school they are applying to and inquire what courses are required to apply and if those courses can be graded as P/NP. 
  • Students who are veterans and receive financial assistance need to check with their campus Veterans Affairs liaisons to determine how taking a course as P/NP will impact their financial support.
  • Student-athletes should check with their athletic advisor (Mary Angell or Katie McGann) to ensure a student's SP20 coursework and/or GPA will still meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
  • Students trying to raise their GPA, especially in an effort to return to good academic standing. Students who need to raise their GPA above a 2.0 to be in good standing or for purposes of financial aid may be harmed in taking P/NP grades.
  • Students maintaining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. In addition to GPA, a student must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP). Students are still considered to be making SAP according to the standard “PACE formula” even if they get a C-, D+, or D. For example: If a student with 15 units received 10 (C)’s and 5 (C-)‘s, they would be fine in terms of GPA and SAP. The same student receives 10 (C)’s and 5 NP’s would show a lack of SAP and may have issues with financial aid. Students should always check with the UCSD Financial Aid Office to verify how taking courses as P/NP would impact their aid.
  • Students should consider the grading scale for Pass (“A”-”C-”) and No Pass (“D”-”F”) courses. The Psychology Department accepts grades of “D” or better for our major and minor requirements. Therefore, a student who takes SP20 PSYC 102 as letter-graded and earns a “D” will be able to use this course towards their psych major or minor requirements. However, if the same student takes SP20 PSYC 102 as P/NP, they will earn an “NP” and will not be able to use the course towards their major or minor requirements. Students are still required to earn at least a 2.0 GPA in the Psych Dept. majors and minor. 
    • Exception: "D" grades do not apply to the Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience major. Students must earn a "C-" or better for courses to apply to their CBN major. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of potential unintended consequences. Students who are uncertain of the effects of this decision are encouraged to seek guidance from their academic advisors to understand the full implications of their choices.

For additional important considerations, please review all information sent from the Registrar's Office on Tues. Dec. 22, 2020, Subject: Additional information about P/NP grading options for Fall 2020. 

Computational Social Science (CSS) Minor

Please visit the CSS minor webpage for more information.

OSD Exam Accommodations

We will not be providing any in-person exams for psychology or computational social science (CSS) courses through Fall 2020, including for final exams. You should instead work directly with the teaching team for your psychology or computational social science course(s) to receive your exam accommodations for this quarter. You do not need to submit the exam request Google Form for psychology or CSS exams through Fall 2020.

Our Psychology Student Affairs Office is still available to support you throughout the quarter.  We have remote advising services available for students (see above).  We will also continue to monitor the inbox to ensure that any questions or concerns that you have regarding your OSD accommodations can be answered in a timely manner. If you have not already, we also highly encourage you to review the central campus' OSD website for updates to campus-wide OSD policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
*** To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, practice social distancing. ***