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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. 

Psych Department Approval, Restrictions, or Prerequisites

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" or "O" next to the course number on TritonLink.

  • "D" =  Department Approval: Students must obtain clearance from the department using the EASy system.
  • "O" = Major students only: The course is restricted to Major students only.


EASy System

Please allow 7 business days to process EASy requests. We do not rush EASy processing due to a student's enrollment appointment. Our office processes EASy requests as they are received in the system.

The following courses have additional steps to enroll in:

  • PSYC 111A/BThese courses permit those students who have applied and been accepted into the Psychology Honors Program priority to enroll. Students who are accepted into the program will be given authorization to enroll in the course the first week of the WI23 quarter by the Psychology Honors Staff Advisor. EASy requests will not be approved. Students who are not part of the Psychology Honors Program but are interested in PSYC 111A will need to email the instructor (and Cc: on the first day of WI23 classes detailing their Statistics background and reason for wanting to take the class. All individual EASy requests prior to the first day of WI23 classes will be denied.
  • PSYC 115A: The 2022 Winter PSYC 115A Application deadline has passed and the application is now closed.
  • PSYC 115B: This class is part of a course sequence. No students will be allowed to join the sequence during Spring quarter. If you have not completed all prerequisites for this course (PSYC 115A), please do not request authorization to enroll as it will not be approved.
  • PSYC 116A/B/C: Students will need to obtain clearance from the instructor after an application and interview process. The PSYC 116 2022-2023 Cohort Application is now closed. The deadline was April 24, 2022 11:59pm. 
  • 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 118: Students will need to obtain clearance from the department using the EASy system. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, at least C in PSYC 60 (or equivalent).
  • PSYC 193 (lecture-based): See "(Quarter) PSYC 193/193L and Other Prerequisites" drawer below. 
  • PSYC 193L (research course): See "(Quarter) PSYC 193/193L and Other Prerequisites" drawer below.
  • PSYC 195, or AIP 197): 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 before 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.

Winter 2023 PSYC 193/193L, 71, 131, 175 Prerequisites

PSYC 193 Lecture-based Courses

PSYC 193 (A00): Clinical Concept. Personality (Chapman): This course examines theoretical explanations for personality development and personality assessment. It also explores how these theories are used by clinical psychologists to conceptualize and guide mental health treatment. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, PSYC 100 or PSYC 168.

PSYC 193 (B00): Sleep and Learning (Rickard): This course explores the role of sleep in memory, inference, creativity, and problems solving.  Students will learn about the basic properties of sleep and human memory, then read and discuss primary papers in the literature. Each student will present a summary and critique of at least one paper. The final exam will involve a written paper, under Dr. Rickard’s guidance, in which the student will describe a new experiment that addresses some remaining issues in the literature. This course will hone critical thinking and writing skills and will allow the student to achieve expertise in scientific literature. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing and PSYC 60 or equivalent.

PSYC 193 (C00): Emotions in Animals (Harris): Do dogs display jealousy when they lose their owner's affection? Are humans the only animal that experiences empathy and compassion? What are the nonverbal displays of emotions in different animals (e.g., victory squeal in dolphins)? In discussing these types of topics, we will seek to understand how and why some animal species developed particular emotions, as well as how similar emotions function in different species. This is a small seminar-style course that focuses on emotions in several nonhuman animal species, including contrasting/comparing such states with emotions in humans. Given that there are no long formal lectures, students are required to read the articles before class and come prepared to participate in discussing the assigned readings. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing and PSYC 153 are highly preferred. Students interested in this course must complete the survey at EASy requests will not be approved. 

PSYC 193 (D00): Educational Psychology (Pilegard): What do we know about how students learn, and what does that tell us about how to design effective instruction? Topics will include principles of learning in subject matter areas, motivation, development of learning and thinking strategies, individual differences, and classroom processes. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing.

PSYC 193 (E00) Applied Cognitive Psychology (Schill): This course will delve into how cognitive psychology can be used to inform and solve real-world problems. Lectures and discussions will center first around understanding psychological concepts such as memory, attention, perception, and decision-making and subsequently focus on assessing their role in influencing real-world behaviors, global issues, and public policy. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing.

PSYC 193L Research Lab-based Courses

PSYC 193L (A01): Science of Mind and Sci-Fi Lab (Barner): What is thought, and how do we know other humans have it? How were linguistic and written symbols that express thought created in human history? How are these symbols acquired by children in human development? Can we study non-linguistic thought? We will explore the nature of thought and its relation to language and other external symbolic systems by investigating the development of symbolic systems in human learners and in human cultural history and by engaging in thought experiments guided by fictional readings in science fiction. Every week groups of 2-3 students will lead a discussion, each choosing one academic paper to discuss from the list. The goal of the class will be to work in small groups to write a hybrid fiction/non-fiction essay exploring a counterfactual that relates to symbolic thought and language. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing and PSYC 60 or equivalent. Open to the following Department of Psychology majors only: PC26*, PC28, PC29, PC30, PC31, PC32, PC33, PC34, CG32.

PSYC 193L (B01): Cognition Lab (Lowe): In this course, we will examine and discuss the literature on various 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. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, completion of PSYC 105, or instructor approval. Open to the following Department of Psychology majors only: PC26*, PC28, PC29, PC30, PC31, PC32, PC33, PC34, CG32.

Additional Courses

PSYC 71: Laboratory in Psychological Research Methods: This course provides hands-on research experience. Lecture topics will include experimental and nonexperimental designs, research ethics, data analysis, and causal inference. Students will design original research projects, collect and analyze data, and write a full APA-style report, including a brief literature review relevant to their design. This course builds on PSYC 70 by applying design principles to students’ own research questions and ideas. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, PSYC 70 or COGS 14A. Open to the following Psychology majors only: PC26*, PC28, PC29, PC30, PC31, PC32, PC33, PC34, CG32.

PSYC 131: Scientific Racism: Genetics, Intelligence, and Race (Anagnostaras): This course provides a background into the origins and implementation of scientific racism, especially since the nineteenth century. Topics may include race/ethnicity and genetics, intelligence, nationalism, criminality, human performance, and morphometry. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing. Open to the following Department of Psychology majors only: PC25, PC26*, PC28, PC29, PC30, PC31, PC32, PC33, PC34, PC35.

PSYC 175: Science of Mindfulness (Dobkins): This is a seminar course that requires a solid understanding of statistics and research methods. PREREQUISITES: upper-division standing, at least B- in PSYC 60 (or equivalent) and at least a B- in PSYC 70 (or equivalent). Experience reading and evaluating scientific papers and interest in self-exploration and well-being preferred. The most recent syllabus for PSYC 175 (Winter 2022) can be found here:


* The Psychology minor also uses the PC26 code, but it is to signify the student’s minor code. Psych minor students are not eligible for Psychology research lab courses or PSYC 131 as they are for Psych majors.

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 0-65 completed^ units:
    • The department cannot clear you to enroll in ANY upper-division (UD) PSYC courses.
    • You should be enrolling in lower-division major requirements, college requirements, and university electives.
  • If you are a 2nd-year student**, have 45-75 completed^ units, and in good academic standing:
    • The department cannot clear you for ANY upper-division (UD) PSYC courses.
  • If you are a 2nd-year student**, have 76-89.9 completed^ units, and in good academic standing:
    • The department may authorize you for one or two Psych Core courses (PSYC 100-108). During 1st and 2nd passes, our office will review up to two EASy requests for Psych Core courses. Any additional Psych Core EASy requests submitted prior to the end of 2nd pass will be denied.
    • 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, and you meet all the course prerequisites, 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^, but are not a Psychology/CBN Major, and would like to add a class without a required Major code (e.g., PC25, PC28, PC32, etc.):
    • The department cannot clear you for the course as it is closed to major students only.
  • If you are an Upper-Division student, have at least 90 units completed^, are a Psych Minor (PC26), and would like to add a class without a required Major code (e.g., PC25, PC28, PC32, etc.):
    • The department cannot clear you for the course as it is closed to major students only. The PC26 code is for both the Psych Major and Psych Minor. If you see a notation that a PSYC course is only open to the following major codes and it lists PC26, it refers to the PC26 Psych BS major only. PC26 Psych minors are not included.
  • 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 (e.g., PSYC 60, PSYC 70, PSYC 100, etc.):
    • You must have the instructor's permission and upload the correspondence into your EASy request. Instructor permission does not guarantee a seat in the course.
    • If the instructor is not listed yet for the class, you will need to wait until the instructor is posted in WebReg.

EASy System - please allow 7 business days to process EASy requests. We do not rush EASy processing due to a student's enrollment appointment. Our office processes EASy requests as they are received in the system.

^Completed units: a student's unit count from courses they have already completed (AP, transfer, UCSD) and received a final grade. In-progress or planned courses do not count toward 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.

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.

Concurrent Enrollment Students

How do I obtain approval for psychology courses as a Concurrent Enrollment or University & Professional Studies student? Please see our webpage with detailed information on our process.

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. If permission is given, there must be an open seat in the course (course may not be full or have a waitlist). 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 Petitions webpage for more information. This includes courses from other 4-year American and Study Abroad institutions. 

If this is 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.

Note: Psychology course offerings are subject to change.