Transfer Students


The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences (PBS) would like to welcome prospective transfer students. Please note: The PBS department is not responsible for decisions regarding admission to the University. Students interested in applying to UCSB should visit the UCSB Admissions website for Transfer Applicants. There, students will find information on admission requirements, application procedures, campus visits, and more.

“Pre-Major” vs. “Full Major” Status:

When applying to UCSB, students select their desired Pre-Major. The PBS department advisors encourage transfer students to choose from the following Pre-Major choices: Pre-Psychology and Pre-Biopsychology. Once accepted to UCSB, students will still need to earn “full major” status to pursue the upper level portion of the degree. Pre-Major classes are graded on a curve, and students will have to earn their spot in the major by achieving at least a 2.7 UC GPA in the Pre-Major. Exact major rules, requirements, and regulations are listed in detail on the PBS major sheets: Psychology B.A. and Biopsychology B.S.

Transfer Tips (for Both Psychology & Biopsychology):

There are five Pre-Major courses (19 units) for Psychology and Biopsychology students to complete before moving to “full major” status. It is in a transfer student’s best interest to take all five of these lower division courses prior to arriving at UCSB. Please use to verify what Pre-Major courses are offered at each California Community College.

  • Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychology (4 units)
  • Psychology 3: The Biological Basis of Psychology (3 units)
  • Psychology 5: Introductory Statistics (5 units)
  • Psychology 7: Introduction to Experimental Psychology (3 units)
  • Math 34A: Calculus for Social and Life Sciences (4 units)

Transfer Tips (for Biopsychology Only):

Biopsychology majors have additional major requirements called “Preparation for the Major.” Transfer students wishing to join Biopsychology are strongly encouraged to take completed series of the Preparation for the Major courses prior to arriving at UCSB. Please use to verify what Preparation for the Major courses are offered at each California Community College:

  • MCDB 1A-AL, MCDB 1B, EEMB 2, and either MCDB 1BL or EEMB 2L (12 units of Biology)
  • Chemistry 1A-AL-B-BL-C-CL (or Chemistry 2 series), 6AL-BL, and 109A-B (29 units of Chemistry and Organic Chemistry)
  • Physics 6A-AL-B-BL-C-CL (12 units of Physics)
  • Mathematics 34B (4 units of additional Calculus)

Note: UCSB splits a yearlong series over three quarters (identifying the parts by “A-B-C” plus “AL-BL-CL” for labs), while often community colleges split a yearlong series over two semesters, typically including the lab component. Transfer students with partial year credit may be required to take the entire series at UCSB.

Start Planning!

Use the Psychology Transfer Plan and the Biopsychology Transfer Plan PDFs on the right hand side as schedule planning tools. Once transfer students arrive at UCSB they are encouraged to bring in a self-prepared and personalized plan to an Undergraduate Advisor for review. Contact with any questions—student perm numbers should be included in all emails exchanged if they have already been assigned.