Prospective Students

Ever wonder why that certain smell brings you back to childhood? Or why you get dizzy after a ride on the merry-go-round? Or how Mozart could compose operas before the age of 10? Discover the answers as a psychology major at UC Davis.

Why Study Psychology?

In humans, animals and computer models, and from neurons to relationships to cultures, the science of psychology is focused on understanding how, when and why we do what we do.

“Psychology made me realize that our perceptions shape our interaction with the world. It taught me about the power of the mind. My experience in the field is incomparable, and I have UC Davis to thank for that. The courses, Psychology and Law and Abnormal Psychology, highly influenced my decision to pursue a counseling-psychology degree because they made me realize that the world needs more mental health advocates.”  
– Jamie Tactay, ’12


What degree will I earn?

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is helpful for students who desire the greatest freedom to choose which psychology courses to take and includes a foreign language component. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.)-Biology Emphasis degree  includes a range of science courses as well as an emphasis in the biological psychology core group.  The Bachelor of Science (B.S.)-Math Emphasis  is an applied quantitative program, with emphasis on linear models and psychometrics, the field of study which focuses on the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Students may earn units toward their major through volunteering as research assistants in one of the psychology department’s on-campus labs or off-campus facilities such as the Center for Mind and Brain, the Center for Neuroscience and the MIND Institute. These opportunities allow students to experience research first-hand, interact with faculty on a more personal level, and gain valuable experiences that contribute to a more competitive resume.  

What can I do with my psychology degree? 

Depending on the path you choose, you'll be well prepared for graduate work in the health sciences, law, business or psychology. As a UC Davis graduate with a degree in psychology, you'll also be suited for a career in teaching, the ministry, social work or counseling, among many others. 

“Developmental Psychology, my first psychology class, was a fantastic upper-division course. My professor was enthusiastic and used current research articles as class readings. Because of this class, I was offered a position in my professor's lab. I have been working in the Infant Cognition Lab and am now completing a senior project on infant perception of faces.”
– Andrew Nelson, ’14