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Transfer Students

A Guide for Prospective Transfers

You’re strongly encouraged to check out the Admissions Transfer page and review the admission requirements to plan your college coursework around them and maximize your chances for admission to UC San Diego. Also, check out Admissions Events for applicants and prospective students. See also our psychology major transfer preparation page.

For the majors within the Psychology Department:

  • Plan ahead and complete as many courses as possible to prepare for the lower-division portion of the Psychology Major.
  • If you are coming from a California Community College, visit the ASSIST website to find out how your coursework might transfer to UC San Diego.

Please see all major requirements for our degrees and contact the Psychology Advising Office with any questions you may have.

Prospective Transfer Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer in as a Psychology major?

YES. None of the majors in the Psychology Department at UC San Diego are capped or impacted. If you are accepted to UC San Diego, you can be a Psychology major. In order to be accepted for admission as a Psychology major, you must meet the minimum requirements to do so, but there is no separate application process.

Which courses should I take in preparation for the major?

Majors within the Psychology Department at UC San Diego do not require any lower-division general psychology courses. Instead, we require coursework in Natural Science, Formal Skills, Computer Programming, and Statistics to give you a strong background in the skills you’ll need to understand and perform psychological experiments. Check ASSIST for specific classes offered at your college and compare those to the listed major requirements for your chosen major.

Do I need to finish all the lower-division coursework before transferring?

While it’s recommended that you finish as many of the lower-division requirements as you can before transfer, it is not a requirement for admission. The lower-division classes are still required in order for you to graduate, so you will need to complete them at either UC San Diego or at your current college. You should aim to complete at least three foundational courses for major preparation. We recommend you look at our major transfer preparation page.

How does IGETC affect my Psychology major requirements?

IGETC certification specifically exempts you from some or all of your lower-division General Education college and University requirements. It does not have any effect on your Psychology major requirements. If you have completed IGETC but have not finished all of your lower-division Psychology major requirements, you will still need to do so in order to graduate with a degree in Psychology from UC San Diego.

I heard that UC San Diego has a research focus, but I want to do Counseling in the future. Is UC San Diego still a good choice for me?

While UC San Diego and the UC system, in general, have a strong research focus, Psychology majors at UC San Diego prepare students for a number of careers and graduate programs, including those in Counseling, Human Resources, Social Work, Healthcare, and Criminal Justice. Keep in mind that Undergraduate education is designed to give students a broader overview of their field, while Graduate education narrows a student’s focus; if you wish to be a Counselor or Therapist, or to have several other related careers, you will need to complete a Graduate degree after you complete your B.A. or B.S.

What Psychology degrees are available to me?

Our department offers ten degrees in Psychology, including general B.A. and B.S. degrees and six B.S. specializations, as well as a Business Psychology degree in partnership with the Rady School of Management and a joint degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. Any of these degrees are available to you as an incoming transfer student, and you should choose the one that best matches your future career goals and interests.

I am considering Medical School or another Health Professional School; is Psychology a good fit for me?

We think that majors within the Psychology department are exceptional choices for students considering degrees in Healthcare! Our majors offer flexible requirements, interesting courses, internships and research, study abroad opportunities, and more! Many of our lower-division course requirements overlap with Health Professional School prerequisites, and our majors also help you prepare for the Behavioral Sciences section of the MCAT.

It is important to plan ahead if you want to keep your options open for Health Professional School in the future; we recommend that you complete as many of our transfer preparation courses (lower-division major requirements) as possible and that you consider completing the maximum number of prerequisites for your health professional school as well, as it is not possible to complete all Medical School prerequisites, for example, on campus at UC San Diego after transfer without going over your maximum units.

For Medical School, this usually includes:

  • 1 year of General Chemistry with lab
  • 1 year of General Biology with lab
  • 1 year of Organic Chemistry with lab
  • 1 year of General Physics with lab
  • 2 Calculus courses
  • 1 Statistics course

For more information about Health Professional Schools and additional guidance, please contact the pre-health advisors at your Community College or visit

I have more questions!

Don’t hesitate to contact us directly if you have anything else you’d like to discuss. Remember, we don’t directly admit students, so we can’t answer admissions questions, but we’d otherwise be happy to hear from you!