Criteria for Guaranteed Admission to the Psychology Major
- Complete all prerequisite courses with a letter grade (COVID-19 Pass/No Pass Grading Policy Update below for more info)
- Have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite courses (if you have more than one course that satisfies a requirement, we will use the higher graded course).
- If you entered UC Berkeley as a freshman, you must submit the major declaration form after completing three semesters at Cal and before you begin your 6th semester. If you entered Berkeley as a transfer, you must declare the major before you begin your 2nd semester at UC Berkeley. For students on a reduced courseload who cannot complete major requirements within this semester range, we will extend the window if you can apply prior to the accumulation of 80 semester units, including work in progress.
If any of the above criteria are not met, students may still apply to the major, however there is no guarantee you will be accepted. Visit the Apply to the Major webpage for more information on the appeal process.
Tier I: Prerequisites (total of 5) EFFECTIVE FALL 2022
ALL courses taken for the major (both lower division prerequisites and upper division requirements) must be taken for a letter grade.
* We require a minimum of four letter-graded courses to satisfy prerequisites. If you take more than one AP exam you may choose which one to use for the major prerequisites. The other requirements must be satisfied with letter-graded courses.
Prerequisite Areas Course Options Psychology
- * AP Psychology with a test score of 4 or 5
- Psychology 1
One courses is required. (Lectures are required and Labs are optional)
- * AP Biology with a score of 4 or 5
- Anthropology 1
- Biology 1A
- IB 31
- MCB 32
- Psych C61/MCB C61 OR Psych C64/MCB C64 (Credit Restricted)
One course is required.
- * AP US Government or AP Comparative Government with a score of 4 or 5
- Anthropology 3 or 3AC
- Sociology 1, 3, or 3AC
- Linguistics 5
- Philosophy 3, 4, 5, 12A, or 25B
- Political Science 1,2, or 4
A total of 2 courses is required. Students must take Psych 101 and one additional quantitative course.
- Psych 101
One course from the list:
- Math 10A or 10B
- Math 1A or 1B
- Math 54
- Math 55
- Stats 2, 20, or 21
- Stats C8
Please note that AP exams and IB standard & HL exams do not satisfy the quantitative course requirement.
Transfer students and UC Berkeley students who wish to complete prerequisites at community colleges should consult assist.org for further information about the appropriate transferable coursework. The Psychology or Biology IBHL scores of 5, 6 or 7 can be used to fulfill the general psych or the biological science prerequisite.
Tier II: Survey (total of 5) & Tier III: Electives (total of 3)
Students must take at least 8 upper division courses according to the guidelines below.
Tier II: Survey - A total of 5 courses with at least one in each area
Course Options Biological
Tier II: Survey Courses
Psych 130M **
Tier III: Electives - A total of 3 Additional Upper-Division Psychology Courses
- Select three courses from upper-division psychology courses numbered 104-182. Each course must be at least 3.0 units.
- Psych 149, Psych 149A, Psych 149B, Psych 149C & Psych 149D DO NOT COUNT for the major requirements.
- Any excess Tier II survey courses will count towards Tier III.
* Effective Fall 2022 - Psych 111: Human Neuroanatomy is eligible to count as a tier 2 biological upper-division requirement.
* Effective Fall 2020 - Psych 124: The Evolution of Human Social Behavior is eligible to count as a tier 2 biological upper-division requirement.
* Effective Spring 2022 - Psych C115C: Neuroethology: Complex Animal Behaviors and Brains is eligible to count as a tier 2 biological upper-division requirement.
** Psych 130M is a lifespan psychopathology class and is not the same as Psych 130. Students who have take both Psych 130 and Psych 131 are discouraged from also taking Psych 130M.
Additional information regarding upper division Psychology course requirements:
Psych 102, H194, H195, 197, 198, and 199 do not count toward the coursework requirement although students are encouraged to become involved in research.
Students may take up to two upper division courses outside the department to satisfy these requirements. See a list of courses that have been previously approved on our website here.
Courses taken in the summer with an "N" prefix or online with a "W" prefix can be used to satisfy the same requirements as the traditional course. For example, taking Psych N140 in summer is equivalent to taking Psych 140 in Fall or Spring.
COVID-19 Pass/No Pass Grading Policy Update
Here are commonly asked questions on how the recent grading policy change from campus affects admission to the Psychology major in regards to prerequisite coursework and requirements completed during the remote learning period:
How many Psychology major requirements can I take P/NP?
As a general rule, students must take all prerequisites and all Tier II/III requirements for a letter grade. However, during the remote learning period of Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 students may take some of these courses P/NP and if earning a Pass apply them to their major requirements.
Students must complete at least 4 prerequisites for a letter grade to be admitted to the major. The other prerequisite can be either a course passed on a P/NP basis taken during the remote learning period(Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 ONLY), or AP or IBHL credit.
Students must complete at least 4 Tier II/Tier III major requirements for a letter grade to be satisfactorily complete major requirements. The other 4 Tier II or Tier III courses can be a combination of Pass grades taken during the remote learning period (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 ONLY), There is no restriction on which areas these courses may be in.
How will admission to the Psychology major be determined in future terms?
For students applying to the major, the GPA requirement for admission to the Psychology major will remain at the 3.0 for guaranteed admissions purposes. We will be accepting P/NP grades from Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021. However, we require that 4 out of the 5 psychology prerequisite courses be taken for a letter grade. For now, please know that the Psychology Department will be making admission decisions within reason to allow for as much flexibility as possible.
Can UCEAP, Community College and non-UC Berkeley courses be taken P/NP in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021?
Yes. Students can take UCEAP courses, community college and other non-Berkeley courses, P/NP and we will accept them towards major if a P grade is earned in the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 semesters. Please note that we require that 4 out of the 5 psychology prerequisite courses be taken for a letter grade. NOTE: UCEAP/non-Berkeley course(s) must be approved to count towards the major (The Psychology syllabus review form can be submitted to the department for further processing). This applies to Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 courses only.
How will the department calculate major GPA with Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 P/NP courses?
We will include all letter-graded courses (minimum of 4) taken to satisfy prerequisites in order to calculate the prerequisite GPA.
For more questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advising
For more information about the process to declare the major, a link to the online application, and deadlines for major applications each semester, visit our Apply to the Major webpage.
All prerequisite courses and upper-division courses that apply to the major must be taken on a letter grade basis and receive a D- or above. Major requirements will not count towards the major progress if a course is taken Pass/No Pass (See COVID-19 Policy above for more info). Major courses can only be taken as Pass/No Pass once student has completed all major requirements.
Minimum Grade Point Average in the Major
The University requires that students maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all courses (lower and upper division) required in the major program, as well as a 2.0 grade point average in all upper division courses that apply to the major. Any student who does not meet the minimum grade point average in the major will be placed on probation.