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Psychology B.S. (PC26)

The B.S. in Psychology is designed to provide broad knowledge across sub-disciplines in Psychology. With an emphasis on statistics and research methods, this major includes a research requirement that can be satisfied through independent research or lab classes. 

Major Requirements

  • Courses towards the major must be taken for a letter grade. The only exceptions are natural science, computer programming, formal skills, PSYC 195, AIP 197, PSYC 99, and PSYC 199.
  • A maximum of three upper-division (UD) courses toward the major may be taken outside of UC San Diego.
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.0 in the upper-division (UD) major courses is required for graduation.

Lower-Division (LD) Requirements (32 units)

Experimental psychology uses scientific tools and concepts: knowledge of formal systems such as logic or calculus, probability theory, computer science, chemistry, biology, physics, and statistics. Accordingly, students in upper-division (UD) courses must have an adequate background in these topics.

Lower-division (LD) courses for the major should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. These requirements will guarantee an adequate background for the topics of the upper-division (UD) psychology courses.

3 Natural Science Courses (choose three of the following)

  • BILD 1, 2, 3, 10, 12**, 20, 26 (BILD 22 is NOT accepted)
  • CHEM 4*, 6A, 6B, 6C, 11*, 12, 13
  • COGS 17**
  • PHYS 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 10, 11
  • PSYC 2**

*Only one of CHEM 4 or 11 can be taken for credit.
**Only one of BILD 12, COGS 17, or PSYC 2 may be counted towards this requirement.

3 Formal Skills Courses

  • PSYC 70 (preferred) or COGS 14A
  • MATH 10A or 20A
  • MATH 10B or 20B

1 Computer Programming Course (choose one of the following)

  • COGS 18*
  • CSE: 5A, 6R, 7*, 8A, 8B, 11, 12
  • CSS 1*
  • ECE 15*
  • MAE 5, 8*
  • BILD 62^

*Students who plan to pursue research careers in Psychology or related fields will find these courses critical to their success.

^Students who take BILD 62 need to send a VAC message to Psych Advising to apply it to their degree audit.

1 Statistics Course (choose one of the following) - Statistics must be taken for a letter grade.

  • PSYC 60 (preferred)
  • BENG 100
  • BIEB 100
  • COGS 14B
  • ECON 120A
  • MATH: 11, 181A, 183, 186

Research Requirements (8 units, 2 courses)

2 Research Courses (choose two of the following courses)

  • Research Lab Courses:^ PSYC 71, 81, 114, 115B, 116C, 117, 118, 121, 140, 193L, 194ABC*
  • Independent Research:** PSYC 99 or 199

*Successful completion of PSYC 194ABC fully satisfies the research requirement.

B.S. Research Paper (may be titled "Research Experience")

^Students who use at least one of the Research Lab courses from the list above, do not have to submit a B.S. Research paper to the Psychology Advising Office.

**Students who satisfy their research requirement using 8 units of PSYC 99 or PSYC 199 are required to submit a B.S. Research paper to the Psychology Advising Office to fully satisfy their B.S. major requirements. You can learn more about the B.S. Research Paper Guidelines on our website.

B.S. Research Paper section on your Degree Audit: must be manually cleared by a Psychology advisor; therefore, even if you are not required to write a B.S. Research paper, this section will not be marked complete until after one of the advisors reviews and approves your Degree and Diploma Application (DDA).

Upper-Division (UD) Requirements (48 units)

4 PSYC Core Courses (choose four of the following)

  • PSYC 100, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 108 

8 PSYC Elective Courses (choose eight of the following)

  • PSYC 100 – 193

*Students are allowed to use one 4-unit PSYC 195 and/or one 4-unit AIP 197 (must be pre-approved through Psychology) toward the upper-division (UD) PSYC Elective requirement. Please send a Virtual Advising Center (VAC) message to have these courses applied to your degree audit.

*Graduate courses (2XX) are not generally accepted for credit towards the major, but petitions for exceptions will be considered.