Biopsychology Major

The Pre-Biopsychology BS & ‘Full’ Biopsychology BS majors are 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 3 parts: Area I, Area II, and Upper Division.  Please also review the major rules & regulations below. 

Area I: Pre-Major Requirements

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 2A or 3A) - Calculus I (4 units)
  • PSTAT 5A (or equivalent) - Statistics (5 units)
  • PSY 10A - Research Methods in Psych & Brain (5 units)
  • PSY 10B - Statistical Methods in Psych & Brain (5 units)

Area II: Preparation for the Major Requirements

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

  • CHEM 1A-AL-B-BL-C-CL (or CHEM 2 Series) - General Chemistry (15 units)
  • MCDB 1A-1LL-1B-EEMB 2-EEMB 2LL - General Biology (10 units)
  • CHEM 109A-B & CHEM 6AL-BL - Organic Chemistry & Labs (14 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, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 146, 153, 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, 196, 197ABC, 199, 199P).


Pre-Major Rules & Major Regulations

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

  1. At least a 2.7 UC GPA in Area I.
  2. All courses must be completed on a letter grade basis.
  3. No courses with a grade lower than C- in Area I.
  4. Not more than one course with a C- in Area I.
  5. Students must satisfy Area I and GPA requirements prior to the completion of 144 total units.
  6. Students must submit a “Petition to Change Major” to the departmental main office (1814 Psychology East) 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 (3 items total, instructions in documents below) to the PSYCH EAST main office.  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 2-3 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 (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 an evaluation to audit the material as acceptable substitution for major credit.  Instructions for an audit request are located under the “course information” tab.