Biopsychology Major

The Biopsychology BS major is designed to guide students through the requirements of a Bachelor of Science degree. First, students work on the pre-major courses to qualify for joining the full major. Should they meet the requirements of the pre-major, students must then declare for the full major in order to eventually complete their degree.

Major Course Requirements

The Biopsychology BS major has 4 parts: Area I, Area II, Area III (also known as Preparation for the Major), and Upper Division.  Please also review the major rules & regulations below.

Area I: Pre-Major Requirements (Part 1 of 2)

The following courses require a 2.7 UC GPA before admittance to the full major:

  • PSY 1 - Introduction to Psychology (4 units)
  • MATH 34A (or 3A or 2A) - Calculus I (4 units)
  • PSTAT 5A (or 5LS or COMM 87) - Statistics (5 units)
  • PSY 10A - Research Methods in Psych & Brain (5 units)
  • PSY 10B - Statistical Methods in Psych & Brain (5 units)

Area II: Pre-Major Requirements (Part 2 of 2)

The following courses require a 2.0 UC GPA before admittance to the full major:

  • CHEM 1A-B (or 2A-2B) - General Chemistry (6 units)
  • MCDB 1A and EEMB 2 - General Biology (7 units)
  • *CHEM 1C is a pre-requisite for MCDB 1A & EEMB 2 series.

Area III: Preparation for the Major Requirements

The following courses require a 2.0 UC GPA as prep for the major:

  • CHEM 1C (or 2C) and labs: CHEM 1AL-BL-CL (or 2AC-BC-CC) - General Chemistry (9 units)
  • CHEM 109A-B & CHEM 6A-BL - Organic Chemistry (11 units)
  • *As of Catalog Year 22-23, CHEM 6BL is no longer required
  • MCDB 1B and labs: MCDB 1LL and EEMB 2LL - General Biology (6 units)
  • PHYS 6A-AL-B-BL-C-CL - Introductory Physics (12 units)
  • MATH 34B (or 2B or 3B) - Calculus II (4 units)

Upper Division Major

  • PSY 106 - Intro to Biopsychology (4 units)
  • PSY 111 - Fundamentals of Behavior Neuroscience (4 units)
  • Six Biopsychology lecture courses from the following: PSY 115, 116, 122, 123, 126, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139, 146, 153, 161, 162, 163AA-ZZ*
    *Max three PSY 163 courses applied. 
  • One laboratory course from the following: PSY 111L, 113L, 118L, 119L, 129L, 138L, MCDB 126AL.
  • 8 additional units of UD PSY (PSY 100-195, 197ABC, 199, 199P; MCDB 110, MCDB 111, MCDB 153, and MCDB 194NB accepted).


Pre-Major Rules & Major Regulations

The Biopsychology BS major has pre-major & full major rules and regulations.  Please also review the major requirements above.

Pre-Major Rules:

Admission to the major is contingent upon fulfilling the following requirements:

1) At least a 2.7 UC GPA in Area I. 

2) At least a 2.0 UC GPA in Area II.

3) All courses must be completed on a letter grade basis. 

4) No courses with a grade lower than C- in Area I & II.

5) Not more than one course with a C- in Area I & II.

6) Students must submit a departmental Change of Major packet to for admission to the pre-major and full major

Major Regulations:

Enrollment in PSY 110 or higher courses is contingent upon satisfying pre-major requirements.

  • Check the UCSB General Catalog for the prerequisites to all listed courses. Pre-reqs are strictly enforced, no exceptions. 
  • Up to 8 units of PSY 199P may be taken for major credit. All other major courses (prep or UD) must be completed on a letter-grade basis. 
  • At least 2.0 overall UC GPA in all upper-division major courses and all courses (prep and UD) for the major, including courses in excess of minimum requirements.

Declaring pre- or full Biopsych BS

To declare for the Pre- or Full Biopsychology BS major, students must submit their “Change of Major” (CoM) paperwork (2 items total, instructions in documents below) to Pending qualifying grades posted on a student's transcript, this paperwork will be processed by the PBS department and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar (please allow 3-6 weeks for processing). Change of Major status will be updated via a student’s GOLD portal and will “unlock” access to PSY classes.  For those switching from pre- to full major, please turn in your request from Pre-Biopsych BS to Full Biopsych BS while you are enrolled in your final pre-major course(s) (CoM paperwork is due by finals week and will be processed after final grades are posted).

PSY 10A and 10B are limited to Pre-Biopsych BS standing students. 

PSY 110+ courses are limited to Full Biopsych BS standing students.

Transfer Student Info

Pre-Biopsych BS transfer students are encouraged to have completed at minimum one year of General Chemistry and one year of General Biology prior to transfer. Organic Chemistry and Physics are also encouraged but not required. Additional pre-major courses that can be completed prior to transfer are Intro to Psychology, Calculus, and Statistics. Note: CC grades do not factor into UC GPA.

PSY 10A & 10B are only offered at UCSB (there is no CC equivalency). 

Use to identify California Community College course equivalencies to UCSB courses. For coursework transferred from CSU/private/out of state schools, students must request a course evaluation to determine if the material is an acceptable substitution for major creditInstructions for a course evaluation are located under the “course information” tab.