Psychology, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Programs

The psychology program at UC Davis is broad and includes students and faculty with a variety of interests. The department has developed around five core areas of psychology:

Perception, Cognition, & Cognitive Neuroscience (PCCN) involves the study of awareness and thought, and includes such topics as perception, learning, memory, language and cognition.

Biological Psychology covers a broad spectrum of topics including evolutionary, neurobiological, and molecular mechanisms of behavior.

Social-Personality Psychology involves the study of the individual in their social environment and includes such topics as personality & individual differences, emotions, stereotyping & prejudice, intergroup relations, the psychology of religion and psychological health & dysfunction.

Developmental Psychology involves the study of changes in behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities that occur throughout the lifespan. Typical and atypical development is examined using a variety of methods including behavioral, neuroimaging, and physiological assessments.

Quantitative Psychology involves the study of linear & nonlinear models, psychometrics, mixed-effects models, and dynamic models, including experimental design, analysis of variance, regression, multivariate analysis, latent growth models, time series models, and factor analytic models.

The department offers the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program for students interested in the liberal arts and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program geared for students with an interest in either biology or mathematics. The main objective of both programs is a broad introduction to the scope of contemporary psychology. In addition to completing a number of common core courses for their degree, students may take approved elective courses from a wide range of topics including Educational Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, and Psychological Anthropology, to name a few. The department strongly encourages students to become involved in individual research projects under the direction of faculty members and to participate in our internship program to broaden experience and understanding of the field of psychology.

Change of Major Process

Before declaring a major in Psychology, students must complete PSC 001 and PSC 041 with a combined grade point average of at least 2.500 in those two courses. Both courses must be taken for a letter grade. If a 2.500 GPA is not attained in these two courses, a 2.000 GPA in a minimum of three upper division Psychology courses is also acceptable for major declaration. Once these courses have been completed with the required GPA, students must save their progress toward the major on a Degree Worksheet in OASIS, and then submit a Change of Major form in OASIS.

Career Pathways

A degree in psychology provides broad intellectual foundations that are useful to the graduate for the development of careers in a variety of areas, including social work, teaching, business, management, and counseling. An undergraduate education in psychology also provides excellent preparation for graduate study. Individuals with degrees in psychology may enter graduate programs to prepare for teaching, research, or clinical/counseling careers in psychology, or may go on to professional schools for training in veterinary and human medicine, law, and many other professions.

Honors & Honors Program

In order to be eligible for high or highest honors in Psychology, the student must both meet the college criteria for honors and complete a research project involving a minimum of 6 units of course work over at least two quarters which represents an original analysis of data on psychological phenomena. Courses PSC 194HA-PSC 194HB or other approved courses can be used to satisfy the unit requirement. This project is to be written in thesis form and approved by the department. The quality of the thesis work will be the primary determinant for designating high or highest honors at graduation.

Recommended for All Majors

Students who plan to do graduate work in any area of psychology are strongly encouraged to gain experience through research and internship activities.

Major Advisor

Staff advisors are located in Young Hall. To contact a major advisor, email, schedule an academic advising appointment, or join Drop-In Advising (no appointment needed).

Graduate Study

The Department offers programs of study and research leading to the Ph.D. degree in psychology. Detailed information regarding graduate study may be obtained on our website.

Graduate Advisor

See Graduate Students.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Psychology Bachelor of Arts is 52.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Psychology 1
Choose one:4
General Psychology
General Psychology
General Psychology
The equivalent.
Statistics 1
Choose one:4
Data Visualization in the Social Sciences
Elementary Statistics
Elementary Statistics
Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences
Research Methods 1
PSC 041Research Methods in Psychology4
Choose BIS 002A or a combination, as below:5-8
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth 2
OR a combination of:
Everyday Biology
Human Evolutionary Biology
Introduction to Human Heredity
Elementary Human Physiology
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal17-20
Depth Subject Matter
Choose two courses each from two of the following Core Groups and one course each from the remaining two Core Groups. Total upper division units should equal at least 40 units between core group courses and major elective courses.22-24
Core Group A: Perception, Cognition, & Cognitive Neuroscience
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Human Learning & Memory
Language & Cognition
Neuroeconomics/Reinforcement Learning & Decision Making
Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biological Foundations of the Mind
Psychology of Music
Core Group B: Psychobiology
Introduction to Biological Psychology
Developmental Psychobiology
Physiological Psychology
Advanced Animal Behavior
Hormones & Behavior (3 units) 3
Comparative Neuroanatomy (3 units) 3
Behavioral Epigenetics
Health Psychology
Neurobiology of Learning & Memory
Gender & Human Reproduction
Core Group C: Social/Personality
Social Psychology
Social Psychology
Social Cognition
Psychology of Emotion
Psychology of Emotion
Sexual Orientation & Prejudice
Psychology of the Self
Introduction to Personality Psychology
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Mental Health, Mental Illness, & Problems in Living
Core Group D: Developmental
Developmental Psychology 4
Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Infancy & Early Childhood
Infancy & Early Childhood
Middle Childhood & Adolescence
Cognitive Development
Social & Personality Development
Infant Development
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
The Development of Memory
Developmental Disorders
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal22-24
Approved Major Electives
Additional units to achieve a total of 40 units of approved upper division major elective coursework. See list of Approved Major Electives below:16-18
Psychology of the African American Experience
Psychological Anthropology
Chicana/o Psychology
Chicana/o Community Mental Health
Psychology Perspectives Chicana/o & Latina/o Family
Psychological perspectives on Chicana/o & Latina/o Children & Adolescents
Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Nonverbal Communication
Consumer Behavior (3 units) 3
Educational Psychology: General
Introduction to Motor Learning & the Psychology of Sport & Exercise
Infancy & Early Childhood
Infancy & Early Childhood
Middle Childhood & Adolescence
Adulthood & Aging
Cognitive Neuropsychology in Adulthood & Aging
Introduction to Psycholinguistics
Animal Behavior (3 units) 3
Neurobiology of Addictive Drugs
Political Psychology
Social Interaction
Social Relationships
Juvenile Delinquency
Sociology of Violence & Inequality
Approved Major Electives Subtotal16-18
Total Units55-62

Strongly recommended that PSC 001, PSC 041, and PSC 012Y or STA 013 or STA 100 be completed in the first year. Recommended to take Statistics before PSC 041.


Recommended to take CHE 002A before BIS 002A.


If you take one or more 3-unit course(s), you will need additional PSC Major Elective units to fulfill the 40 total units of upper division PSC required in the major.


Students who have completed HDE 100A or HDE 100AV or HDE 100B prior to PSC 140 or PSC 140V or PSC 140Y will receive 2 units of credit for  PSC 140 or PSC 140V or PSC 140Y.


Except PSC 197T.