Intensive Psychology Major

The intensive major involves additional coursework and research or field study experience. It is available to all psychology majors.

During remote instruction and the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer field study (Psych 193) and research opportunities (Psych 194) than usual. These courses fulfill requirements for the Intensive Psychology Major. Please see here for an announcement from Department Vice Chair Audun Dahl about choosing between the General and Intensive Psychology Majors during this period.

Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2020 Catalog

Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2019 Catalog

Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2010 Catalog

Choosing a Catalog for Psychology

If you have already declared the Psychology major and are unsure which Catalog you are following, you can find the term you declared in your UCSC portal (follow the instructions to find it here). If you have not yet declared the Psychology major, you will choose your Catalog when petitioning to declare following these guidelines:

  • Students who entered UCSC as frosh in Fall 2020 or later terms must choose the 2020 Catalog when petitioning to declare the Psychology major.
  • Students who entered UCSC as frosh in Fall 2019 may choose the 2019 or 2020 Catalogs when petitioning to declare the Psychology major.
  • Transfer students and students who entered UCSC as frosh before Fall 2019 may choose any Catalog listed below when petitioning to declare the Psychology major.
  • The only difference between the 2019 & 2020 Catalogs, is that PSYC 20 is required for students declared on the 2020 Catalog. PSYC 20 is recommended for students declared on earlier Catalogs, but not required. 
Major Worksheets and sample Academic Plans for each Catalog are available on the Advising Forms page.
Some major requirements may be satisfied through test scores or transfer credit. See the AP and Transfer Credit page for details.
Some major requirements may be satisifed by courses taken through UCSC Study Abroad. See the Study Abroad page for details.
Honors in the major are awarded to eligible graduating seniors. See the Honors in the Major page for details.
The 2020-21 UCSC Catalog can be found here.

 See the Letter Grade and Double-Counting Courses notes below.


Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2020 Catalog

SIX Required Courses for the Psychology Major

Courses to complete BEFORE declaring the major:

  • Applied Mathematics 3: Pre-Calculus for the Social Sciences (OR Courses: MATH 3 or 4, or 11A or 11B, or 19A or 19B; OR Tests: 300+ on ALEKS Math Placement, or a 3+ on AP Calculus exam)
  • Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychology (OR 4+ on AP Psychology exam)
  • Psychology 2: Introduction to Psychological Statistics (OR STAT 5 or STAT 7/7L; OR 4+ on AP Statistics exam)

Courses to complete BEFORE taking upper division elective courses:

  • Psychology 10: Introduction to Developmental Psychology
  • Psychology 20: Cognition: Fundamental Theories
  • Psychology 100: Research Methods in Psychology (must be taken at UCSC)

TEN additional upper-division courses are required

THREE Upper-Division Psychology Courses taken at UCSC in different areas.

One course each from these sub-fields:

  • Developmental (courses #101-119)
  • Cognitive (courses #120-139)
  • Social (courses #140-159)
NOTE: One of the above classes must be a senior seminar.

THREE Additional Upper-Division Psychology Courses in different areas:

  • Developmental (courses #101-119)
  • Cognitive (courses #120-139)
  • Social (courses #140-159)
  • Clinical/Personality (courses #160-179)
  • Methods (courses #181-183)
  • Independent Study (course #193-199)

ONE Upper Division Outside Course:

One course from outside the Psych Dept. from an approved list.

Advanced Course Requirements:

  • Psychology 181: Psychological Data Analysis OR Psychology 182: Advanced Research Methods
  • Two quarters (10 units) of Field Study (193), Research (194), or Senior Thesis (195).
    • Faculty or staff approval is required for enrollment in independent study courses; find information about field study, research, and thesis opportunities here.

Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2019 Catalog

FIVE Required Courses for the Psychology Major

Courses to complete BEFORE declaring the major:

  • Applied Mathematics 3: Pre-Calculus for the Social Sciences (OR Courses: MATH 3 or 4, or 11A or 11B, or 19A or 19B; OR Tests: 300+ on ALEKS Math Placement, or a 3+ on AP Calculus exam)
  • Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychology (OR 4+ on AP Psychology exam)
  • Psychology 2: Introduction to Psychological Statistics (OR STAT 5 or STAT 7/7L; OR 4+ on AP Statistics exam)

Courses to complete BEFORE taking upper division elective courses:

  • Psychology 100: Research Methods in Psychology (must be taken at UCSC)
  • Psychology 10: Introduction to Developmental Psychology

TEN additional upper-division courses are required

THREE Upper-Division Psychology Courses taken at UCSC in different areas.

One course each from these sub-fields:

  • Developmental (courses #101-119)
  • Cognitive (courses #120-139)
  • Social (courses #140-159)
NOTE: One of the above classes must be a senior seminar.

THREE Additional Upper-Division Psychology Courses in different areas:

  • Developmental (courses #101-119)
  • Cognitive (courses #120-139)
  • Social (courses #140-159)
  • Clinical/Personality (courses #160-179)
  • Methods (courses #181-183)
  • Independent Study (course #193-199)

ONE Upper Division Outside Course:

One course from outside the Psych Dept. from an approved list.

Advanced Course Requirements:

  • Psychology 181: Psychological Data Analysis OR Psychology 182: Advanced Research Methods
  • Two quarters (10 units) of Field Study (193), Research (194), or Senior Thesis (195).
    • Faculty or staff approval is required for enrollment in independent study courses; find information about field study, research, and thesis opportunities here.

Intensive Psychology Major Requirements- 2010 Catalog 

FIVE Required Courses for the Intensive Psychology Major

Courses to complete BEFORE declaring the major:

  • Applied Mathematics 3: Pre-Calculus for the Social Sciences (OR Courses: MATH 3 or 4, or 11A or 11B, or 19A or 19B; OR Tests: 300+ on ALEKS Math Placement, or a 3+ on AP Calculus exam)
  • Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychology (OR 4+ on AP Psychology exam)
  • Psychology 2: Introduction to Psychological Statistics (OR STAT 5 or STAT 7/7L; OR 4+ on AP Statistics exam)

Courses to complete before taking upper division elective courses:

  • Psychology 100: Research Methods in Psychology
  • Psychology 10: Introduction to Developmental Psychology

THIRTEEN Additional courses are required

Two courses are required in each of the subfields below. One of the eight courses must be a seminar course. One course of Field Study, Psych 193A or 193B or 193C or 193D, may be substituted for one of the subfield courses, pertinent to its area. Note: 193 does not satisfy the seminar requirement.

  • Developmental (courses #101-119)
  • Cognitive (courses #120-139)
  • Social (courses #140-159)
  • Clinical-Personality (courses #160-179)
NOTE: One of the above classes must be a senior seminar.

Two Outside Courses:

Two courses outside of psychology, in one or more related areas, chosen from the outside course list

Advanced Course Requirements:

  • Psychology 181: Psychological Data Analysis OR Psychology 182: Advanced Research Methods
  • Two quarters (10 units) of Field Study (193), Research (194), or Senior Thesis (195).
    • Faculty or staff approval is required for enrollment in independent study courses; find information about field study, research, and thesis opportunities here.

LETTER GRADE NOTE: Courses graded C-, D or F may NOT be used to satisfy major/minor requirements. Also, please refer to the Major Admission Requirements. The Psychology major courses which must be taken for a letter grade are PSYC 1, the statistics requirement, and PSYC 10 if a minimum grade of B- was not earned in PSYC 1. All other courses required for the major could be taken Pass/No Pass (review the full policy for other restrictions for the P/NP option here).
DOUBLE-COUNTING COURSES NOTE: A major must have a minimum of 40 upper division credits, and a minor must have a minimum of 25 upper division credits. There is no limit to the number of lower-division credits (courses numbered 1-99) that can be shared between majors and minors. The Intensive Psychology major has 57 upper division units (2019 or 2020 Catalogs), and students may double-count up to 3 courses with another major or minor. Students interested in double-majoring in Cognitive Science and Intensive Psychology (2019 or 2020 Catalogs) must double-count PSYC 100 and the senior seminar, and are permitted to double-count one additional upper division course between the two majors (a sample academic plan is available on the Advising Forms page).