College of Letters and Science / Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Department Requirements

College of Letters and Science departments generally set two types of requirements that must be satisfied for award of a degree: preparation for the major (lower-division courses) and the major (upper-division courses). Departments also set requirements for minors and specializations.

Preparation for the Major

Admission to a major may require completion of a set of courses known as preparation for the major. Some majors admit applicants to premajor status until requisite courses are satisfactorily completed. Students in life sciences majors must complete a set of preparatory courses known as the Life Sciences core curriculum. Each department sets its own preparation for the major and eligibility requirements; see the Curricula and Courses chapter.

The Major

A major in the College consists of a group of coordinated upper-division courses and is designated as departmental, interdepartmental, or individual. Each course applied toward the major and preparation for the major must be taken for a letter grade unless otherwise stipulated by the department. Students who have been away from UCLA for several terms should consult with their major department or curriculum adviser concerning the requirements under which they are to graduate.

Each department sets its own major requirements; see the Curricula and Courses chapter.

Departmental Majors

A departmental major consists of a minimum of 36 upper-division units and a maximum of 60 upper-division units. The majors are established and supervised by campus departments.

Interdepartmental Majors

An interdepartmental major consists of a minimum of 48 upper-division units and a maximum of 75 upper-division units, of which no more than 32 units may be coursework in one department. The programs are administered by interdepartmental committees made up of faculty whose membership is determined by research interest, not by departmental affiliation. By cutting across the usual lines of departmental division, a field is studied from the perspectives of different disciplines, and a greater degree of program flexibility is achieved.

Individual Capstone Majors

If students have some unusual but definite academic interest for which no suitable major is offered at UCLA, and have completed at least three terms of work (45 units minimum) at UCLA with a grade-point average of 3.4 or better, they may petition for an individual capstone major. The consent of College Honors Programs and the assistance of a faculty adviser are required. Individual majors must be approved by the vice provost for undergraduate education.

The individual major must consist of at least 48 and no more than 60 upper-division units, a majority of which must be in departments offering a major in the College. A capstone senior thesis of at least 8 but no more than 12 units is required. For details about individual majors, contact Honors Programs, A311 Murphy Hall.

Double Majors

Students in good academic standing and on track to graduate on time may be permitted to have a double major, consisting of majors from two departments within the College. Both majors must be completed within the maximum limit of 216 units, and students must obtain the approval of both departments and the College.

With few exceptions, double majors in the same department are unacceptable. No more than 20 upper-division units may be shared by both majors.

Minors and Specializations

Students may choose to pursue a minor to complement their major program of study. Minors consist of no fewer than seven courses (28 units) and no more than nine courses (36 units). Some minors also have admission requirements.

The Computing specializations are sequences of supplemental courses that enhance work in a major.

See the list of undergraduate minors and specializations in the Majors and Degrees section; descriptions are in the Curricula and Courses chapter.