Psychology at UCSD is a laboratory science. We are concerned with the scientific development of knowledge about human and animal behavior and thought. Accordingly, experience with experimental procedures plays an important role in the undergraduate and graduate training of students. All Psychology majors must learn experimental methods, including basic statistical techniques. Students in the honors program must take laboratory courses and also do a year-long undergraduate thesis.
Petitioning Courses for Psychology Majors and Minors
Students may be able to petition courses taken elsewhere for Psychology major/minor credit. Please see our Course Petitions page for more information.
Experimental Subject Requirement
Students enrolled in lower division psychology courses must serve as experimental subjects for three hours per course. The requirement is intended to be a positive educational supplement to the course work. Part of each experimental session will be devoted to an explanation and discussion of the purpose and nature of the experiment. This usually will be done at the end of the experimental session. Students always have the right to discontinue participation at any point in any study. Students who are unable to participate or who choose not to participate will be provided alternate service assignments which are designed to serve similar educational goals. For more information contact the Psychology Student Affairs Office.
Lower Division Classes
1. Psychology (4)
This course provides an overview of the basic concepts in Psychology. Topics may include human information processing, learning and memory, motivation, development, language acquisition, social psychology and personality.
2. General Psychology: Biological Foundations (4)
This course provides an introductory survey of the relationship between human behavior and brain function. Specific areas of emphasis include vision and other sensory processes, memory, motivation, attention and cognition.
3. General Psychology: Cognitive Foundations (4)
This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of cognitive psychology. Topics include perception, attention, memory, language and thought. The relation of cognitive psychology to cognitive science and to neuropsychology is also covered.
4. General Psychology: Behavioral Foundations (4)
This course provides an introduction to behavioral psychology. Topics include classical conditioning, operant conditioning, animal learning and motivation and behavior modification.
6. General Psychology: Social Foundations (4)
This course provides an introduction to social psychology. Topics may include emotion, aesthetics, behavioral medicine, person perception, attitudes and attitude change, and behavior in social organizations.
7. General Psychology: Developmental Foundations (4)
This course provides an introduction to theories and research results in developmental psychology, covering infancy through adulthood.
60. Introduction to Statistics (4)
This course provides an introduction to both descriptive and inferential statistics, core tools in the process of scientific discovery and the interpretation of research. Recommended to complete during a student's 2nd year. This course must be taken for a letter grade.
70. Research Methods in Psychology (4)
This course provides an overview of how to choose appropriate research methods for experimental and non-experimental studies. Topics may include classic experimental design and counterbalancing, statistical power, and causal inference in experimental and non-experimental settings. Prerequisite: Psychology 60 or equivalent.
87. Freshmen Seminar (1)
The Freshman Seminar Program is designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments and undergraduate colleges, and topics vary from quarter to quarter. Enrollment is limited to fifteen to twenty students, with preference given to entering freshmen. Prerequisites: Freshman standing or consent of department.
90. Undergraduate Seminar (1)
This seminar introduces the various subdisciplines in psychology and their research methods, and also explores career and graduate school opportunities. This includes informal presentations by faculty, graduate students, and other professionals.
99. Independent Study (2 or 4)
Independent study or research under direction of a member of the faculty. Students may enroll in Psychology 99 up to three times for a total of twelve units maximum. (P/NP grades only) Prerequisites: lower-division standing, completion of at least 30 units of UCSD undergraduate study, a minimum UCSD GPA of 3.0; completed and approved Special Studies form.
Upper Division Classes
100. Clinical Psychology (4)
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the causes, characteristics, and treatment of psychological disorders. Particular emphasis is given to the interaction between biological, psychological, and sociocultural processes contributing to abnormal behavior. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing. Psychology 100 was formerly numbered Psychology 163. Students may not receive credit for both Psychology 100 and Psychology 163.
101. Developmental Psychology (4)
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the field of developmental psychology, including topics in cognitive, language, and social development. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.