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):
    • 3 Natural Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)
    • 2 (BA majors), 3 (BS majors), or 4 (Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience majors) Formal Skills courses (Research Methods, Math, and/or Logic)
    • 1 Programming course
    • 1 Statistics course
    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)
    • 2 Psychology Research courses (BS majors only)

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 that you start with no more than three courses during your first quarter at UC San Diego. You should work on completing your Lower Division requirements and Core classes first.

  • If you have completed your statistics requirement and ALL of your LD major courses:
    • 2 PSYC Core Courses (#100-108)
    • 1 College Requirement Course
  • If you have completed your statistics requirement and SOME of your LD major courses:
    • 1 LD Major Course
    • 1 PSYC Core Course (#100-108)
    • 1 College Requirement Course
  • If you have completed SOME of your LD major courses but NOT completed your statistics requirement:
    • PSYC 60
    • 1 LD Major Course or 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 Student Site/Enrollment Advising Center 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, please contact us via the New Student Site for assistance.

But I want to take a higher-level class!

It may be possible for you to take an elective, but we recommend that transfer students complete their Lower Division and Upper Division Core requirements before taking any elective classes to ensure that they are well prepared for electives.

All the courses I want/need to take are full!

Please put yourself onto the waitlist for the full class(es) and look for alternatives. Chances are good that space will open up for you in Psychology Core classes and in Lower Division classes.

Will I need to take Lower Division classes?

You may, even if you’re TAG/IGETC certified. All Psychology majors are required to take three quarters of Natural Science and two (for BA students), three (for BS students), or four (for CBN students) Formal Skills courses, one Programming course, and one Statistics course. 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 requirements.

But I took a course at my Community College that I think should fulfill my Lower Division requirements!

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 Student Site noting the class and that it’s listed on Assist.
  • If your course is not listed on Assist, you will need to fill out an Undergraduate Student Petition form (found on TritonLink or our website) and drop it off at the department corresponding to your original course.

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

Please contact the Admissions office for correction of your record.

Which Math class should I take?

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

Students planning to earn a Psychology BA 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 BS degrees must complete at least two quarters of calculus (MATH 10 or 20 series), and may be required to complete more by the their college. Students planning to earn our Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience degree will need to complete one full year of Calculus.

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

Degree Audit? Academic History? TritonLink? What are all of these things? How do I read them? Help!

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 classes on the right-hand column. Classes that don’t approximate are listed as “LD.” Classes 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 Department 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, or Sixth).
  • 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 class I already took count?

Classes taken at a Community College will only count as Lower Division courses. Even if you used the same book or had the same instructor, a lower division course will never count toward an Upper Division Psychology requirement (Core or Elective). This is a policy throughout the UC System and the CSU system and may not be petitioned.

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

The Psychology Department offers advising services in-person, online, or via phone. You may contact us via phone or the Virtual Advising Center/New Student Site at any time. Please allow up to 72 hours (longer on weekends and holidays) for a response.

In-person advising can be done on a walk-in basis only during our advising hours (Monday through Thursday, 9-11 am and 1-3 pm). We are able to assist you at our advising window with little to no waiting. We do ask that you review your major requirements and come prepared with questions.

Course plans may be reviewed with a major advisor at any time during walk-in hours. Please come prepared with your proposed plan (see the back of your major sheet, available for pickup at the Advising office or download on your major's page, for general plans).

Do I need to come during advising hours?

Yes. We only answer advising questions during those hours.

But how about if I just have a form to drop off?

Please bring it during normal advising hours. We will review it with you to ensure its completeness.

Can I take any courses Pass/No Pass?

You may take any remaining Lower Division courses except for Statistics for Pass/No Pass. Statistics must be taken for a letter grade. Upper Division courses must be taken 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), but all students are encouraged to apply. You will need to apply during November, but you will not be officially accepted into the program until after Fall quarter grades are released.

There will be an Honors Information at the beginning of October 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 will need to petition for each course from another four-year institution that you wish to use toward your Psychology major at UCSD. A minimum of 9 four-unit letter-graded upper-division Psychology courses must be taken at UCSD in order to graduate with a Psychology Major, but it is possible to transfer both Upper and Lower Division requirements from another four-year institution. A syllabus is required for each course, as is a separate petition form. Courses from departments outside Psychology must be petitioned with their corresponding department. Undergraduate Student Petition forms can be found on TritonLink and here.