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Transfer Student Frequently Asked Questions

What Psychology majors are available to me, and what are the requirements?

Please check the requirements for your preferred major before enrolling in classes. The following classes must be completed:

  • Lower-division Requirements (see major requirements for acceptable courses)*:
    • 2 (B.A. majors) or 3 (all other majors) Natural Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Neuroanatomy)
    • 1 Research Methods course + 1 (B.A. majors), 2 (B.S. majors), or 3 (Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience majors) additional Formal Skills courses (Calculus courses for all B.S. majors, Calculus or Logic for B.A. majors)
    • 1 Programming course
    • 1 Statistics course
  • Research Requirements:
    • 2 lower or upper-division research courses (for B.S. majors only; see individual major for details)
  • Upper-division Requirements (an upper-division Major GPA of at least 2.0 is required for graduation):
    • 4 Psychology** Core courses (101-108; please see individual major requirements)
    • 8*** Psychology Elective courses (distributed according to individual major requirements and numbered 110-193; PSYC 195 and AIP 197 may each be used once toward Elective requirements)

*Business Psychology majors have additional lower-division Business Fundamentals courses as well as specific sets of courses from which to choose for their upper-division coursework.

**Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience majors require a mix of Psychology and Cognitive Science classes in both Core and Elective areas. Please see the major sheet for a list of accepted courses.

***Business Psychology majors must complete 3 courses from a Business Psychology course list, 3-4 courses from a Business Management course list, and 1 additional Psychology class.

How do I choose the best major for me?

We encourage you to research the major options listed on our website and compare them to your graduate school and career goals. You should also look at classes that are of interest to you. Students may change major tracks within Psychology at any time. For more help choosing a major and classes, please see our Career Guide.

You may need to declare your major on TritonLink after classes begin. You will need to first choose Psychology and then choose your degree track. You can switch between the degree tracks in the future.

What classes should I take during my first quarter?

We recommend starting with 3-4 courses during your first quarter at UC San Diego. You should work on completing your lower-division (LD) requirements and Psych Core courses first.

  • If you have completed your Statistics course requirement and ALL of your LD major courses:
    • 2 PSYC Core Courses (#100-108)
    • 1-2 College Requirement Courses
  • If you have completed your Statistics requirement and SOME of your LD major courses:
    • 1-2 LD Major Courses (prioritize PSYC 70)
    • 1-2 PSYC Core Courses (#100-108)
    • 1 College Requirement Course
  • If you have completed SOME of your LD major courses but have NOT completed your Statistics requirement:
    • PSYC 60
    • 1 LD Major Course
    • 1 PSYC Core Course (#100-108)
    • 1 College Requirement Course

If you have declared a Psychology major upon acceptance to UC San Diego, you should expect to hear from the Psychology Department via the New Triton Advising site before your enrollment date. If you have not declared a Psychology major, or have not heard from the Psychology Department by two to three days before your enrollment date, don't hesitate to contact us via the New Triton Advising site for assistance.

But I want to take a Psych Elective course (110-193). Why can't I?

It may be possible for you to take a Psych Elective course (PSYC 122-193). Still, we recommend that transfer students complete their lower-division (LD) major and upper-division (UD) Psych Core requirements before taking any Psych Elective courses to ensure they are well prepared for electives.

How can I get help planning my courses?

Please see all major requirements for our degrees and contact the Psychology Advising Office with any questions you may have. If you are interested in looking at a 2-year transfer plan, please see the Academic Plans webpage. This will include information for both your Psychology major of choice and your specific College requirements.

All the courses I want/need to take are full! What can I do?

Please put yourself on the waitlist for the full course(s) and look for alternative courses that have open seats, especially if you need to be a full-time student (enrolled in at least 12 units). Chances are good that space will open up for you in Psychology Core courses and lower-division courses. Also, you can speak with the Psychology Advisors for suggestions.

Will I need to take lower-division (LD) courses

You may, even if you’re IGETC certified. All Psychology majors are required to take two (for B.A. students) to three (all B.S. students, including CBN) quarters of Natural Science and two (for B.A. students), three (for B.S. students), or four (for CBN students) Formal Skills courses, one Computer Programming course, and one Statistics course. Business Psychology majors must also take two lower-division (LD) Management classes. If you have not completed all of these courses at your Community College, you will need to finish them during your time at UCSD. Check your Degree Audit on TritonLink to see whether you’ve completed all of your lower-division (LD) requirements.

But I took a course at my Community College that I think should fulfill my lower-division requirements. How can I get it to count?

Check your Academic History. If your course is showing up in the list of transferred courses but only has the designation “LD” in the right-hand column, your course has only transferred in as lower-division credit.

  • If you believe that your course should count toward your Psychology Department requirements, check ASSIST for equivalency first. If your class is listed on ASSIST, please send the appropriate department’s advising office a message via the Virtual Advising Center or New Triton Advising site noting the class and that it’s listed on Assist.
  • If your course is not listed on Assist, you must fill out an Undergraduate Student Petition form (found on TritonLink or our website) and submit it to the department corresponding to your original course. For example, you will submit your petition to the UCSD Math Department if it is a Math course. You will submit it to the UCSD Biology Department if it is a Biology course.

One (or more) of the courses I took at the Community College or my previous University is not showing up at all. What do I do?

Please contact the UCSD Office of Admissions office for correction of your record.

Which Math class should I take?

This depends on your math placement exam and your graduate school and career plans.

Students planning to earn a Psychology B.A. do not need to complete any calculus courses unless required by their college or indicated by their career or graduate school plans. Students planning to earn one of our Psychology B.S. degrees (including Business Psychology) must complete at least two-quarters of calculus (MATH 10 or 20 series) and may be required to complete more by their college. Students planning to earn the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience degree must complete one full year of Calculus.

Students are encouraged to enroll in the appropriate calculus level for their future graduate school and career plans. See your major, college advisors, and the Career Center, for additional assistance in choosing a math series. Please contact the Math Placement office for information on the Math Placement exam.

Degree Audit? Academic History? TritonLink? What are all of these things? What are these and how do I read them?

TritonLink is UCSD’s online enrollment and registration system. You can check your course history, enroll in classes, and find important forms here as well as take care of many critical tasks.

  • Your Academic History, found on TritonLink is a list of all of your courses that have transferred in to UCSD. Later, this will also list all of the courses that you take here. Your transfer record (near the top of the page) will list any courses that approximate exactly to UCSD’s courses in the right-hand column. Courses that don’t approximate are listed as “LD.” Courses that do will have a letter-and-number course listed below the “LD,” such as “PSYC 60” or “MATH 10A.”
  • Your Degree Audit can also be found on TritonLink. Click on Degree Audit on the left side of TritonLink, and then click on the “View Audit” button. This will be your guide to finishing your requirements at UCSD.
    • The left column is your major requirements – any questions you have in this column should be directed to the Psychology Undergraduate Advisors.
    • The middle column is your college requirements, and the right column is your University requirements. Any questions you have in either of these two columns should always be directed to your college (Revelle, Muir, Marshall, Warren, Roosevelt, Sixth, or Seventh).
    • Outstanding requirements are listed in red. You will see a notation of the number of courses still required.
    • Completed requirements and Work in Progress are listed in blue.

I noticed that the name of one of my required or elective courses is the same as something I took at my Community College. Do I still need to take it, or does the course I already took count?

Courses taken at a Community College will only count as lower-division (LD) courses. Even if you used the same book or had the same instructor, a lower-division (LD) course will never count toward an upper-division (UD) Psychology requirement (Psych Core or Elective). This is a policy throughout the UC and CSU Systems and may not be petitioned.

How can I set up an appointment to talk about my major or plan my courses?

As a new Transfer student, it is understandable that you would have a lot of questions about what courses to take and how to navigate the university. We suggest the following approach to finding answers:

  • First, review all the information in the New Transfer Students area of our website.
  • Register for our online Psychology Orientation.
    • Be sure to register for our Transfer Orientation option, as it includes additional transfer-specific information. 
  • Utilize New Triton Advising.
    • Our advisors will send messages to registered Psychology majors transferring this Fall.
      • Look for the welcome message in late June.
      • If you have met the July 1st deadline to send your transcripts to Admissions, you should receive a more detailed message with personalized course recommendations for your Fall enrollment on or before August 15th.
      • Students not currently registered as Psychology majors may send us a message in the New Triton Advising site to be added to our advising list.
    • Feel free to ask us clarifying questions in the New Triton Advising site; we'll happily answer. We request that questions about Fall enrollment be held until after we can review your transfer history and have given you our recommendations.

Do I need to come during advising hours?

Yes. We only answer advising questions during those hours. Keep in mind that incoming Transfer students may only receive advising via the New Triton Advising site.

Can I take any courses Pass/No Pass?

You may take any* lower-division (LD) courses for Psychology major requirements for Pass/No Pass except for Statistics. Statistics must be taken for a letter grade. All upper-division (UD) courses taken for Psychology major credit must be taken for a letter grade.

*Business Psychology majors must also take MGT 16 and MGT 18 for a letter grade.

Can I apply to the Honors Program if I’m a new transfer student?

Yes, you may. We recommend a minimum 3.5 transfer GPA and a grade of B or better in a Statistics class (taken at UCSD or a Community College), and two UD Psychology (PSYC) courses (taken at UCSD or an accredited 4-year institution), but all students interested in research are encouraged to apply. You will need to apply during November, but you will not be officially accepted into the program until after the Fall quarter grades are released.

There will be two Honors Information Sessions during the Fall quarter, and more information and the application will be available online.

I transferred from another four-year institution. Why does my Degree Audit say that I need to take all of my Psychology major courses still? I know I completed some!

You must petition for each course from another four-year institution that you wish to use toward your Psychology major at UCSD. A maximum of three upper-division courses (4 units each) from outside of UC San Diego may be used toward the majors within the Psychology Department. Still, transferring both upper and lower-division requirements from another four-year institution is possible. A syllabus and a separate petition form are required for each course. The Psychology Department's petitioning process can be found on our website. Courses from departments outside Psychology must be petitioned with their corresponding department. For example, you will submit your petition to the UCSD Math Department if it is a Math course. You will submit it to the UCSD Biology Department if it is a Biology course. Undergraduate Student Petition forms can be found on TritonLink.

For the answers to more frequently asked questions, please see our Psychology Resources.