Study Abroad

Every year, 50 to 60 Psychological & Brain Sciences (PBS) students take advantage of the opportunity to study in one of 150 universities worldwide. Be sure to visit the UCSB EAP website and UCSB EAP Advisors for a complete list of countries and schools available.

Please review the PBS EAP Equivalency link here for a list of previously taken classes from universities worldwide and their respective equivalencies (if applicable). PBS students have enjoyed taking these classes while earning credit toward their major.

Considering Studying Abroad

When to Study Abroad

For Psychological & Brain Sciences (PBS) majors, the best time to study abroad is typically Junior year. By this time most students have declared full major status and are therefore eligible for most upper division courses abroad. PBS students can study abroad for just one quarter or as long as one full year and still be on time to complete their degree.

For Biopsychology majors, careful planning is required to study abroad. Students should plan to take Biopsychology lectures when available, or use the time abroad to work on GEs and electives. Not to worry, every Biopsychology student needs 12 upper division PSY elective units; these elective units can be easily fulfilled abroad.

For transfer students, Senior year is typically the best fit to go abroad based on the EAP Application deadlines that can be found on the UCSB EAP website. Transfer students pursuing PBS degrees usually have time to participate in EAP if they have completed the Pre-Major courses before arriving to UCSB. Transfer students pursuing Biopsychology typically do not have time during the academic school year to go abroad, but could consider participating in Summer Programs.


Once accepted to UC EAP, part of the Pre-Departure paperwork is to bring in the completed EAP Academic Planning Form to a PBS Undergraduate Advisor in the Main Office (Psychology East, 1814) or email to for approval. Information on Pre-Departure paperwork and the necessary forms can be found on the UCSB EAP website. Cross reference the PBS EAP Equivalency Log link to find pre-approved courses for major credit. Students should also visit the UC EAP Office/contact their advisors to confirm enrollment regulations for the destination university.

Returning from Studying Abroad

Petitioning for EAP Credit

Once a student has taken an EAP course a student must follow this process to be awarded credit towards their PBS major:

1) Transfer the course to the UCSB Office of the Registrar (not the PBS department).

2) Confirm grade is posted on GOLD and is appearing on the “Unofficial Transcripts”.

3) Request major credit be awarded by the PBS Undergraduate Advisors if the course is listed as pre-approved in our database. Students can submit a course evaluation petition by emailing it to (details on how to do this in the following sections).

EAP Course Evaluation for PSY Credit

If a course is pre-approved, the course is not automatically updated as a PBS equivalent course on GOLD. Even if the course says “EAP PSY” on GOLD, it requires departmental action for major credit to be granted. Below is a PDF with detailed instructions and examples on what to do for courses that have either been pre-approved or not pre-approved yet.

Course Not Found on the EAP Equivalency Log

If a course is not pre-approved, a copy of the course syllabus (not a catalog description) must be attached in an email for PBS Faculty evaluation. Course evaluations are facilitated by the Undergraduate Advising Team through email at Below is a PDF that details what needs to be included in an evaluation email. Students with pending petitions will be notified as soon as the Faculty replies with their evaluation. Expect the evaluation process to take one to two weeks.

Best practice is to submit a syllabus before taking a course abroad to ensure the credit will apply to the major. A student can take courses prior to PBS Faculty evaluation, but there is no guarantee the course will be awarded credit for the PBS majors. Contact the off campus instructor (or department) to request a copy of the syllabus. At public institutions, syllabi are considered public records and often can be found online.


Course Found on the EAP Equivalency Log

If a direct match is found on the PBS EAP log, then the PBS Faculty has pre-approved that course for the listed credit. Classes can be awarded credit to a major requirement “Area” or to a specific PSY # course (this will be detailed on the PBS EAP online log). Unit values and transfer eligibility will be awarded by the Registrar (not PBS). Please refer to the PDF titled “How to Request Major Credit” for the next steps.