Psychology / Undergraduate Study

Psychology BA

The Psychology major is the most general of the three majors and offers both broad and in-depth coverage of the fundamental and traditional areas of psychology. It provides students with a strong foundation for postgraduate education in psychology and can serve as excellent background to prepare them for further training in such fields as law, education, government and public policy, business, and many of the health-related professions. Its basic liberal-arts orientation also provides students with an excellent foundation for immediate postbaccalaureate careers in many areas, particularly ones in which an understanding of human behavior and its diversity of expression would be an asset.

The requirements described below represent the minimum requirements in satisfaction of the preparation and the major. Additional courses in psychology, statistics, and related sciences, as well as other types of research and fieldwork experiences, are highly recommended if students plan to pursue graduate work in psychology and related fields. Under special circumstances, graduate-level courses can be taken by undergraduate students, although such courses may not be applied toward degree requirements for the major. For additional information, contact the Undergraduate Advising Office.

Learning Outcomes

The Psychology major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated ability to design an experience in a field of psychology
  • Ability to formulate a hypothesis based on knowledge of current literature
  • Demonstrated application of principles of control groups and appropriate methodology
  • Demonstrated awareness of major research methods in chosen area of psychology
  • Demonstrated ability to apply appropriate statistical methods in analyzing data
  • Demonstrated ability to write up of results of an experiment
  • Ability to relate finding to current literature and interpret them in this context
  • Ability to discuss results in front of a group of other students
  • Ability to verbally communicate ideas motivating experiments
  • Ability to clarify experiment to those not familiar with the methods and answer questions

Psychology Premajor

Students need to file a petition in the Undergraduate Advising Office to declare the Psychology premajor. Psychology premajors can petition to declare the Psychology major once they have (1) satisfied all the preparation for the major requirements and (2) are accepted into the major through a competitive application process (for students who entered UCLA as freshmen) or file a petition to declare the Psychology major (for students who entered UCLA as transfers).

Preparation for the Major

Each of the following required courses must be taken for a letter grade (C or better in Psychology 10, 100A, and 100B, C− or better in the remaining courses): Life Sciences 1 or 7A or 15 or Physiological Science 3; Chemistry and Biochemistry 2 or 14A or 17 or 20A or Physics 1A or 5A or 10 or 11; one course from Mathematics 2, Program in Computing 10A, Statistics 10, or one term of calculus; one course from Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 22W, 23, 31; Psychology 10, 100A, 100B. Students cannot take Psychology 100B until they have passed course 100A with a grade of C or better. Psychology 100A and 100B are only open to students who have declared the Psychology premajor before the term in which they plan to enroll. It is recommended that students with no background in introductory statistics take Statistics 10 before enrolling in course 100A.

Students who repeat more than two preparation courses or any preparation course more than once are denied admission to the major.

Freshman Students

Students may declare the Psychology premajor once they have established a 2.5 grade-point average in at least one preparation for the major course.

Students must petition to declare the Psychology major and can do so once they complete all seven preparation for the major courses and submit an application to enter the major by the end of the fall quarter of their third year at UCLA. Admission into the major is based on student academic performance in the preparation courses. Students who have a grade-point average of 2.9 or higher in the preparation coursework and have met all other Psychology premajor requirements are guaranteed entry into the major after they submit the application by the above deadline. Students with a grade-point average between 2.5 and 2.89 in the preparation coursework enter a competitive application pool and are admitted only if there is space available in the major. Students with a grade-point average below 2.5 in the preparation coursework are not eligible to apply for admission to the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Psychology major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one biology course equivalent to Life Sciences 1 or 7A or 15 or Physiological Science 3, one general chemistry or general physics course, one philosophy course, one introduction to psychology course, and one course from statistics (recommended), finite mathematics, calculus, computer science theory, or computer programming in C++.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

After satisfying the preparation for the major requirements, students need to petition to enter the major at the Undergraduate Advising Office.

The Major

Required: (1) Five core courses, with at least two from each category and a fifth course from either category: (a) Psychology 110, 115 (or M117A, M117B, and M117C), 120A, 120B, and (b) 127A or 127B or 127C, 130 (or one course from 133A through 133I or 161), 135, 150; (2) one laboratory/fieldwork course from 101, 111, 116, 121, 126, 131, 136A, 136B, 136C, 151, 186A through 186D; (3) four additional upper-division elective courses (16 units) in psychology.

Students who complete Psychology M117A, M117B, M117C receive equivalent credit for course 115 and two upper-division psychology electives. All three courses must be completed to receive psychology elective credit.

Each upper-division course must be taken for a letter grade. A C− or better is required in each core course and in at least one laboratory/fieldwork course. Students must have a 2.0 grade-point average in all upper-division courses selected to satisfy major requirements.