The Psychology department encourages its students to add an international dimension to their education by participating in Berkeley Study Abroad (BSA). Study abroad will challenge your views on the world and change your life! Exposure to various cultures and diverse human experience prepare students for the complex challenges faced by professionals in the field of Psychology. With proper academic planning, students can have the experience of a lifetime with little impact on programmatic time to degree.
Why should I study abroad?
Psychology aims to describe, understand, and predict the behavior of living organisms. In doing so, psychology embraces the many factors that influence behavior. This approach is highly conducive to the study abroad experience, as it helps students develop an understanding of how environmental and cultural factors shape human behavior. Further benefits include:
- Unique academic and experiential opportunities in Psychology
- Participation in a different education system and a new cultural perspective
- The study of fascinating topics not readily available on the Berkeley campus
- An expanded world view enhanced by first-hand experience of another culture
- Enhanced resume and/or application for graduate school
- Development of self-confidence and independence
- Preparation for a career in an internationally competitive world
Where and when should I study abroad?
Since Psychology is a field that is studied all over the world, you have dozens of choices of where to go and take classes in Psychology.
While it is possible for psychology students to go abroad at almost any point in their academic careers, the particular term and length of time that you choose to study abroad depends on the requirements you have left to complete the major and whether you plan to work towards your major while you are abroad. Keep in mind that applications for study abroad are typically due 6 months to a year prior to the program start date and some programs have academic or language prerequisites that must be satisfied in advance. So you'll want to check the BSA website for guidance on how to apply: http://studyabroad.berkeley.edu/how-to-apply and stop by the Study Abroad Office at 160 Stephens Hall to talk with a Study Abroad Advisor.
Will I be able to make progress towards my Psychology major while I'm abroad?
Psychology students planning to complete a portion of their major abroad have a wide variety of options. We have posted a list of approved courses taken abroad that satisfy Psychology major requirements. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of all classes that you could take. You will find that a large majority of the programs will work, especially if you’re looking to fulfill your Psychology Tier III elective requirements. In order for a class taken abroad to meet the Tier III requirement, it must meet the following criteria:
- At least 2.7 semester units
- Upper Division
- Within the university's Psychology department or another closely related department
* Study Abroad courses will most likely be equivalent to Tier III elective courses.
* For a class to be accepted as a Tier II course, it must be a close match to the equivalent course here at Berkeley.
* No more than 2 courses taken outside of the UC Berkeley Psychology department can be used to satisfy the upper division major requirements. This includes courses taken abroad, at another U.S. college or university, or even classes taken at a different department at Cal.
* Psych 101 must be completed at UCBerkeley.
* You may fulfill your breadth requirements while abroad. Consult an L&S adviser.
How can I be sure the courses I take abroad will count towards my major?
Click on the list of Study Abroad Courses, on the right, to view courses abroad that have been approved to be counted towards a Psychology degree. This list includes courses that are currently approved as well as courses that have been approved in the past. If you would like to take a particular course abroad that is not on the list or which is no longer approved, you can make sure it counts towards your major requirements by submitting a Syllabus Review Form along with the syllabus to the Student Services Office before you go abroad. The Curriculum Committee will review the syllabus and determine equivalency.
What happens when I return?
Psychology students requesting course credit for the major should meet with a Psychology advisor once they are back on campus.
- Stay in touch via email with your Psychology advisor - especially during the enrollment period.
- If you didn't get approval beforehand, you should submit the Syllabus Review Form form along with the syllabi or reading lists, course materials, and exams. These course materials will be used to evaluate petitions for major requirement substitutions
Final approval for courses taken abroad will be granted only when grades and units are posted to the official UC Berkeley record and completed paperwork has been submitted.