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Undergraduate Courses

Psychology at UC San Diego is a laboratory science. We are concerned with the scientific development of knowledge about human and animal behavior and thought. Accordingly, experience with experimental procedures plays an important role in the undergraduate and graduate training of students. All Psychology majors must learn experimental methods, including basic statistical techniques. 

How do I receive permission to enroll in a PSYC course I do not meet the requirements to take?

Adding a Course without Listed Prerequisites

  • If you are a 1st-year student* and have 0-59 completed^ units:
    • The department cannot clear you to enroll in ANY upper-division (UD) psychology courses.
    • You should be enrolling in lower-division major requirements, college requirements, and university electives.
    • If you are still interested in taking a Psych Core course after you have completed three quarters at UCSD, you may submit an EASy request. Final grades must be posted on your Academic History for courses from all three quarters. 
      • For example, you are a 1st-year student who started at UCSD in Fall 2020:
        • you have taken courses in FA20, WI21, and are in progress SP21
        • you will have at least 60 units completed at the end of SP21
          • once all your SP21 courses are completed and have a final grade posted, you may submit an EASy request to take a UD Psych Core course(s) in Summer Session and/or Fall 2021.
  • If you are a 2nd-year student**have 60-89.9 completed^ units, and in good academic standing:
    • The department may authorize you for one or two Psychology Core courses (PSYC 100-108).
    • If you have at least three Psych Core courses completed (final grades posted), you may submit an EASy request for an upper-division (UD) Psych Elective.  
    • If you are not in good academic standing, you are not eligible for any upper-division (UD) PSYC courses.
  • If you are a Transfer student and have at least 80 completed^ units:
    • If you are not able to enroll in a PSYC course on your own through WebReb, please submit an EASy request. Be sure to include why you are having trouble enrolling in the course and upload your unofficial transfer institution transcript.
  • If you are an Upper-Division student, have at least 90 units completed^, and would like to add a class without a required prerequisite course (I.e., PSYC 60, PSYC 70, PSYC 100, etc.)
    • You must have instructor permission and upload the correspondence into your EASy request.
    • If the instructor is not listed yet for the class, you will need to wait until the instructor is posted in WebReg.

EASy System

^Completed units: a student's unit count from courses they have already completed and received a final grade. In progress or planned courses, do not count towards this total.

*1st-year student: a student in their first full year of college, regardless of units from transfer courses, AP/IB credit, and completed UCSD courses.

**2nd-year student: a student in their second year of college.

Fall 2021 PSYC 193 and 193L Course Information and Prerequisites

Fall 2021

EASy System

PSYC 193 Lecture-based Courses

PSYC 193 (A01): Neuroscience of Decision-Making (Gremel)During this course, we examine how modern behavioral neuroscience theories and techniques are used to probe how the brain conducts decision-making. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, completion of PSYC 106 or instructor approval.

PSYC 193 (B01): Sexual Well-being (Dickenson): This course provides an overview of sexual well-being, based on the science of human sexuality, intersectionality, and the lived experience. Students are expected to engage critically and reflexively in topics related to sexual diversity, sexual orientation, gender, and race/ethnicity. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, completion of PSYC 60 (or equiv.), PSYC 70 (or equiv.), and PSYC 172. 

PSYC 193 (C01): Personality (Hanes): Personality refers to the patterns in individuals’ ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling, and the psychological mechanisms that drive these patterns. This course will examine methods of personality research, various approaches and theories (specifically: psychoanalytic, humanistic, trait, biological, learning, and cognitive approaches), as well as contemporary research in personality (e.g., personality change, personality judgment, and self-perception). PREREQUISITE: upper-division standing.

PSYC 193 (D01): Science & Fiction (Powell)When writers compose stories, they're conducting a sort of thought experiment: if people were placed in a particular world, how would they feel and respond?  Psychologists, on the other hand, perform actual experiments: we manipulate the conditions that people experience and measure how that affects their thoughts or behaviors. In this class, we will bring these two approaches together, reading short stories that propose some view on how the human mind responds to the world and then reading scientific articles that test related hypotheses with real people.  The goal will be to consider the strengths of each approach: psychological science helps us go beyond our intuitions and test theories about how the mind really works, while fiction encourages us to think through the consequences of our human psychology for our experiences of the world we inhabit. For Fall 2021, stories will come from Ted Chiang's book, Exhalation. PREREQUISITE: upper-division standing.

PSYC 193 (E01): Advanced Quantitative Methods (Vul): This course focuses on advanced statistical analysis, statistical graphics, probability, classical statistical methods, with an emphasis on the general linear model, and their implementation in R. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, the following courses with a B+ or better: Statistics, Research Methods, and a programming course in MatLab, Python, Java, or C++.

PSYC 193 (F01): Psychology of Music (Agrawal): Music is an extremely pervasive part of our lives. The goal of this class is to expose students to the diverse psychological dimensions of music in everyday experience. We will explore a number of fascinating questions, including: Why did humans as a species evolve to have music? How can music evoke powerful emotions in people? Can music be used as a tool to help people with certain medical conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease? What are the similarities and differences in music cognition across cultures? Does music make us smarter, healthier, & nicer people, as many popular press articles seem to claim? PREREQUISITE: upper-division standing.


PSYC 193L Research Lab-based Courses

PSYC 193L (A01): Behavior Modification Lab (Lacefield): This course is designed to augment training from PSYC 143 and PSYC 154 and provides an examination of theory, research design, and methods for behavioral modification research. Students design and execute a functional behavior analysis with another person or animal, culminating in a paper and poster presentation. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing and completion of PSYC 143 or PSYC 154.

PSYC 193L (B01): Cognition Lab (Lowe)In this course we will examine and discuss the literature on a variety of cognitive topics, including attention, perception, memory, and decision-making, focusing on theories and computational models designed to explain these phenomena. Students will complete an original research project that tests and/or expands upon a theory or model in the field of cognition, including a poster presentation and an APA-style paper. PREREQUISITE: upper-division standing, completion of PSYC 105 or instructor approval.

Specific PSYC courses that have a restriction or prerequisite

Adding a Course that Requires Approval

Some of our courses require special approval due to enforced prerequisites, instructor approval and/or department approval to enroll. To identify special approval courses, look for a "D" next to the course number on TritonLink.

EASy System

The following courses have additional steps to enroll:

  • PSYC 111A/B: Students interested, who are not part of the Honors Program, will need to email the instructor and Cc: on the first day of classes detailing their Statistics background and reason for wanting to take the class. Students who are not in the Psych Honors Program will not be authorized to add PSYC 111A/B until the first week of classes and are not guarantee enrollment in the course.
  • PSYC 116: Students will need to obtain clearance from the instructor after an application and interview process. The PSYC 116 2021-2022 Cohort Application has been closed for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • PSYC 117: Students will need to obtain clearance from the instructor after an application and interview process. Please visit the PSYC 117 course website for more information. Note: It is common for students not to get authorized for this class until the first week of classes.
  • PSYC 193 (lecture-based): Students will need to obtain clearance from the department using the EASy system.
  • PSYC 193L (research course): Students will need to obtain clearance from the department using the EASy system. These courses may also have prerequisites courses.
  • PSYC 195, or AIP 197) should check the appropriate pages on our website before enrolling, and/or discuss their plans with the Advising Office first.
  • PSYC 196: Students will need to obtain clearance from a faculty research mentor and the department using the EASy system prior to enrolling in the course.

For students who are interested in the above courses, our office encourages students to enroll in a full load of courses (12+ units) during their 1st and 2nd pass. IF the student is authorized for one of these courses, students can change their class schedule at that time.

Enrollment appointments, account "Holds," 1st/2nd pass limits

For general enrollment and registration information, including how to find your enrollment appointment, what is 1st & 2nd pass, account holds, how to add/drop a course, using the WebReg system, etc., visit the following university webpages.

Do you "save" seats for students who need a course to graduate?

Our office does not hold or guarantee seats to students nor do we "jump" students higher on a course waitlist. The seat/waitlist # students obtain during their registration appointment is what they have, regardless of class standing or graduation term.

If you need a specific PSYC course and/or a Psych Research lab, our office highly recommends using your 1st pass to enroll in the course. If there is not an open seat, you should consider adding yourself to the waitlist (TritonLink waitlist information).

I have questions about the waitlist process

Frequently asked questions about the waitlist process:
  • Students are not able to add themselves to a course waitlist until 2nd pass.
  • Waitlists are automatically managed by the Registrar's office, and the department does not have the ability to override the list for any reason.
  • As of the second pass you can be enrolled in and waitlisted for a total of 19.5 units.
  • If adding a student to a class would increase the student's number of units to 22 or more, the automatic waitlist will bypass the student.
  • Students may only waitlist for a single section of any course at one time.
  • Students who drop or are administratively dropped from full classes must add themselves to the end of the waitlist. 
  • Students who are on the waitlist for a course are encouraged to attend the course from the first day in case a spot in the course becomes available. In this case, the student should be as prepared as the students who are enrolled in the course.
  • If you've been added to a course from the waitlist, allow 24 hours to be added to the course's Canvas page. If, after 24 hours you still do not have access, let the instructor know to ask ACMS to give you access to the course.

After the waitlists have stopped running automatically, students may be added to the class as space becomes available on a first come-first served basis using the EASy system Late Add request. TritonLink will not continue to update after Thursday night of the second week, so course waitlists may be inaccurate. 

What if I want to add a course after week 2?

To add a course after Friday of week 2, the course needs to have an open seat and you must have the instructor's permission. Students will use the EASy system to request a Late Add, instructor permission must be uploaded to the justification section. If a seat becomes available, our office approves enrollment on a first come-first served basis.

Prior to enrolling in a course late, please speak with the course instructor about whether you have missed too much course work. It is the student's responsibility to catch up on missed course material on their own; instructors are under no obligation to help students learn what they have missed. In addition, instructors are not obligated to allow students to submit homework nor take quizzes/exams that have already been due.

Can I "Audit" a psych course?

Please note, many instructors do not allow students to audit their courses.

The instructor must give permission for a student to audit a course. The instructor is not obligated or expected to provide any assistance, resources, or time outside the classroom to a student auditing a course. This includes but not limited to office hours (both instructor and TA), grading, or providing feedback on assignments. Students auditing a course are not allowed to be present on quiz or exam days to ensure the security and academic integrity of the quiz or exam. University policy on auditing a course.

How do I approve a course from another institution?

Students may be able to petition courses taken elsewhere for Psychology major/minor credit. Please see our Course Pre-approval and Petitions page for more information. This includes courses from other 4-year American and Study Abroad institutions. 

If this in regard to a California Community College course, please review first as you may not need to submit a petition if the course has already been evaluated for transfer articulation.

What if I have been accused of Academic Misconduct?

If you were accused of academic misconduct, please visit the Academic Integrity website for detailed information on the process and support you can receive as a student.

A student acting in the capacity of an instructional assistant (IA), including but not limited to teaching assistants (UGIA/TA), readers, and tutors, has a special responsibility to safeguard the integrity of scholarship. In these roles, the student functions as an apprentice instructor, under the tutelage of the responsible instructor. An IA shall equitably grade student work in the manner agreed upon with the course instructor. An IA shall not make any unauthorized material related to tests, exams, homework, etc. available to any student.

2021-2022 planned PSYC course offerings

Note: Psychology course offerings are subject to change.