Registration and Grading

Registration. Registration consists of three elements: 1) enrollment in at least one course; 2) payment of at least 20% of registration fees; and 3) no blocks on the student’s account.


Enrollment. Students are expected to sign up for 12 units every semester. Psychology 298 or 299 units may help to fill in the required number of units.


Graduate students enroll in courses each semester through CalCentral. The enrollment period is divided into three phases: Phase I, Phase II, and the Adjustment Period. Enrollment for the Fall semester begins in April and ends in September (except for new students who may start enrolling in early August). Enrollment for the Spring semester begins in October and ends in February. Course schedules may be adjusted after the enrollment period. However, students bear the cost of changes to course schedules made after the last week of instruction.


To petition for a schedule change, a graduate student is required to submit Petition to Change Class Schedule eForm in CalCentral at least three weeks prior to the end of instruction. Petitions are processed by the Graduate Student Services Advisor through the last day of instruction. After instruction has ended, petitions require significant exceptional approval and are highly discouraged.  A petition after instruction has ended requires a letter of explanation, endorsement of the Head Graduate Adviser, and approval of Graduate Division.


Fees. The most up-to-date fees are listed on the Office of the Registar website: Registration fees.


Account Blocks. If registration or other fees have not been paid for a previous semester or summer session, the University may place a block on the student’s account. A block results in the revocation of the student’s privileges (including the privilege to register). The privileges may be reinstated after the fees have been paid and the block is cleared.


Withdrawal. A student who chooses not to register must formally withdraw to remain in good standing. Withdrawal requires approval of the student’s faculty mentor and the Head Graduate Adviser. An international student must also obtain approval from the Berkeley International Office; not consulting with the Berkeley International Office may affect the student’s visa and may result in deportation and denial of reentry to the United States. Note: Withdrawal status does not permit the student to use any University facilities except those available to the general public, and the student may not use faculty time.  If you officially withdraw from the program, you are not guaranteed readmission.


Readmission. A student who has withdrawn from the University or has been on filing fee status and wants to register for a subsequent semester must apply for readmission. If the withdrawal is for one semester or two, for good reason, and the student is in good standing, the readmission application may be handled by the area and the Head Graduate Advisor. However, a student applying for readmission who has been on withdrawal status for an extended period of time (typically more than one year) may be in competition with new applicants for admission. Before applying for readmission, consult with the Graduate Student Services Advisor for the current policy and readmission procedure.


Grading. Only courses graded A, B, C (with or without plus or minus signs) or S (Satisfactory) are accepted in satisfaction of degree requirements. Courses below C- do not yield unit credit toward a higher degree, irrespective of the student’s overall grade point average. Each graduate student must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 in all upper division (100-level) and graduate courses (200-level) taken in graduate standing.  Proseminar courses, statistics and methodology courses, advanced courses, and seminars must be taken for a letter grade.


Incomplete Grades. An Incomplete grade (“I”) may be assigned when a student’s coursework is of passing quality, but is incomplete because of circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., illness, death in the family, etc.). To ensure that the instructor and student agree on the coursework that is remaining, they must complete the department’s Instructor/Student Contract for Incomplete Coursework. Upon completion of the remaining coursework, the student must complete a Petition to Remove an Incomplete in order to remove the incomplete grade. The student should complete the remaining coursework within two semesters. A student with three or more Incompletes is academically ineligible to hold a student academic appointment. Additionally, a student must replace each Incomplete with a letter grade or S/U before applying for advancement to candidacy.


To have an incomplete in a Psychology course removed, the student must submit the completed petition to the Graduate Student Services Advisor; the Graduate Student Services Advisor will forward the petition to the Office of the Registrar. When the grade is recorded by the Office of the Registrar, the student will receive full unit credit and, if applicable, the grade points will be included in the calculation of the student’s GPA.


Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades (S/U). A Satisfactory grade implies work of B- quality or better. No credit is allowed for work graded Unsatisfactory.


It is expected and preferred that each graduate student be evaluated on a letter-graded basis for course work. It is particularly important for each first year student to take courses on a letter-graded basis, because the student needs to establish a UC Berkeley graduate grade point average to be hired as a GSI or GSR. Additionally, grades in graduate-level classes are commonly reviewed for competitive fellowship applications. 


Some courses may be taken for a letter grade in order to satisfy degree requirements.  Specifically, proseminar courses, statistics and methodology courses, advanced courses, and seminars must be taken for a letter grade. 

Credit for courses taken on an S/U basis is limited to one-third of the total units that each student has taken and passed at Berkeley at the time the student’s degree is awarded except for courses indicated below. For the M.A. degree, two-thirds of all course work (not just the courses listed on the M.A. application for candidacy form) must be letter graded. Within these limits, courses in the 100 and 200 series graded Satisfactory may be accepted for academic residence.


Courses numbered 299, as well as courses in the 300, 400, or 600 series may be taken S/U.  These courses, as well as those in which S/U is the only grading option, are all excluded from the S/U unit limit and grade point average calculations. Two-thirds of all coursework (excluding courses numbered 299 or those in the 300, 400, or 600 series) must be letter-graded.  


The Psychology graduate courses listed below have received approval from the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) to be graded exclusively for Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. These courses may be excluded from the S/U unit limit and grade point average calculations:


Psychology 229
Psychology 239
Psychology 249
Psychology 259
Psychology 269
Psychology 292
Psychology 293
Psychology 300
Psychology 375
Psychology 301
Psychology 602