Declaring the Cognitive Science Major

For information on declaring the Cognitive Science major, please follow the instructions below. Each step must be completed in order.

If you're declaring Cognitive Science as a second major, follow these instructions

For any questions that come up, or for more information, please reach out to an advisor or peer advisor. Information on how to contact us can be found on our advising services page.


Declaring Cognitive Science as your First Major

 1.  Complete the required courses 

Students who indicate Cognitive Science on their UC admissions applications will be considered proposed Cognitive Science until they declare. To declare the Cognitive Science major you must complete:

  • CalculusAM 11A/ECON 11A, MATH 11AMATH 19A, or MATH 20AOR Tests: AP Calculus AB score of 4+, AP Calculus BC score of 3+, or CLEP Calculus score of 60+
  • Programming: ECE 13CSE 13SCSE 20 (or test-out), or CSE 30 (former UCSC courses also approved: CMPS 5C or 5J or 5P or 12A, or CMPE 13/L)
  • StatisticsPSYC 2 (Introduction to Psychological Statistics), or STAT 5, or STAT 7 & 7LOR AP Statistics score of 4+
  • PSYC 20: Cognition: Fundamental Theories

All courses required to declare the major must be taken for a letter grade. Students must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher in the required courses (use a GPA calculator to determine your eligibility). 

Once these requirements are completed with the required course grades or scores, you can declare the Cognitive Science major! 

2.  Request your Academic Plan 

Once you have completed the major declaration courses, please fill out our Signed Academic Plan Request form in order to receive a Signed Academic Plan. These Academic Plans detail all of your remaining major requirements. Please remember to submit your petition to declare after filling out your Academic Plan request!

If you already have a Signed Academic Plan from us for the major you intend to declare, you don't need to request an academic plan again. If you need an Expected Graduation Term (EGT) review when you declare, this may delay the processing time for your declaration.

Can't access the Signed Academic Plan Request form? 

In order to access the form, you must be signed into your UCSC Google account. Use a browser not signed into any other Google accounts or open a private/incognito browser that requires you to sign into your UCSC account if you have trouble accessing the Google form. 

3.  Petition to Declare

After submitting your Signed Academic Plan request, please submit your Petition to Declare in MyUCSC.  

1. Login to your MyUCSC portal 
2. Select the block that says "Undergraduate Student eForms"
3. Click "Petition for Major/Minor" on the left menu that appears. 
4. Complete the form, and make sure to submit it once you're done! 

4.  Wait for a follow-up email

Once you have submitted your Petition in MyUCSC, we will send you a follow-up email from psyadv@ucsc.edu. We will review your Petition, give you confirmation that you have completed the requirements, and provide you with your Signed Academic Plan.


Declaring Cognitive Science as your Second Major

If you are already declared in another major and are wishing to declare Cognitive Science as a 2nd major, there are a few steps to take:

1. Verify you’re eligible to declare Cognitive Science

Take a look at the major qualficiation courses to see that you meet the requirements to declare.

2. Confirm that you have a Signed Academic Plan from your first major

Your plan must be updated recently & include your first major advisor's e-signature. Please reach out to your first major advisor at least 2 weeks before the declaration deadline to request this.

3.  Petition to Declare

After submitting your Signed Academic Plan request, you can submit your Petition to Declare in MyUCSC.  

1. Login to your MyUCSC portal 
2. Select the block that says "Undergraduate Student eForms"
3. Click "Petition for Major/Minor" on the left menu that appears. 
4. Complete the form, and make sure to submit it once you're done! 

4.  Wait for a follow-up email

Once you have submitted your Petition in MyUCSC, we will send you a follow-up email from psyadv@ucsc.edu. We will review your Petition, give you confirmation that your major is formally declared, and provide you with an updated Signed Academic Plan.


 Frequently Asked Questions

When should I declare?

  • You may declare as early as you like, as long as you have completed the required courses!
  • Students who enter UCSC as frosh are required to be declared in a major by their sixth quarter.
  • Transfer students are required to be declared by their second quarter at UCSC.

What if I'm not eligible to declare?

  • If your College told you that you are required to declare a major this quarter but you are NOT eligible yet, submit your Petition for Major/Minor Form through MyUCSC. An advisor will review your record & follow-up via email with you. We will give you additional information about actions you'll need to take in order to be eligible.
  • If you are NOT required to declare a major this quarter, wait to submit your request to declare until you are eligible. Please confirm with your College if you are not sure in which term you are required to declare a major!

I want to appeal to declare Cognitive Science. What should I do?

  • If you didn't meet the GPA requirement and want to see if you are eligible to appeal, please email psyadv@ucsc.edu