1 UCLA Academic Majors
3 ACADEMIC MAJORS On any weekday morning you can see the flow of UCLA students from their residence halls on The Hill traveling down Bruin Walk. The fast-moving stream of undergraduates breaks north for the arts and humanities, south for the sciences and engineering. Chances are, these students are heading for labs, lectures, seminars or small group discussion sections. Those classroom experiences are only part of the academic environment you ll find at UCLA. You can do undergraduate research alongside faculty experts. Take advantage of L.A. s entertainment industry or Silicon Beach to do an internship. Earn academic credit for study abroad or experiential learning in government or community groups. At UCLA, there are many opportunities to explore new subject areas and expand your own knowledge, understanding and capabilities.
5 THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE Undergraduate research takes many forms. Consider the students who helped invent a cell-phone attachment that can detect food allergens. These four UCLA undergraduates worked in the lab of Prof. Aydogan Ozcan an associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering who was dubbed one of the Brilliant 10 by Popular Science magazine. With Prof. Ozcan and a graduate student, these students coauthored a paper on their discovery, published in the peerreviewed academic journal Lab on a Chip and covered by newspapers including the New York Daily News. More than half of UCLA students graduate with some kind of undergraduate research experience in the humanities and social sciences, as well as in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math).
6 CHOOSING YOUR MAJOR Not all of those students flowing down Bruin Walk were sure of their path when they enrolled at UCLA: 40 percent discover or change their majors during their freshman or sophomore year. Many will graduate in subject areas they never encountered on the high school level. That s why it s important that UCLA offers more than 125 majors and 80 minors. You can shape your future by finding the combination of major and minor that suits your academic strengths and personal goals. When you enter as an undeclared freshman, you identify only a broad field of interest social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, life sciences or engineering. Individual academic advising typically begins at New Student Orientation and continues with academic counselors. While individual counseling is key, there are also tools like the online Course Planner to help keep you on track to graduate in four years. In addition to choosing a major, you can add a minor. Minors are secondary concentrations of courses. About 20 percent of transfer entrants and a third of freshmen graduate with a minor that complements or contrasts with their major. Many subjects are available as both majors and minors. New and intriguing choices in minors include Digital Humanities, Bioinformatics, Visual and Performing Arts Education, Biomedical Research, Music Industry, Science Education and Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies.
9 EMERGING MAJORS It s no surprise that UCLA was one of the first research universities to offer Environmental Science, an interdisciplinary major with courses in climate science, policy, earth science and geography. The first graduate of the program was Dorothy Le 07, a selfdescribed budding bicycle and pedestrian advocate who works for the National Park Foundation. As a student, Dorothy volunteered for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. If the environment is your passion, you might want to follow in Dorothy s footsteps (or bike path). Bioengineering is a UCLA strength and a highly selective undergraduate major. Specialized tracks include biomedical devices and regenerative medicine. Unlike many of our peer institutions, UCLA does not have a separate medical campus miles away from the other disciplines; our medical and engineering schools are located right on campus. That makes it easier for our faculty to collaborate, and for undergraduates to gain experience at our hospital or clinics. Faculty from medicine, engineering and life sciences also work together at the California NanoSystems Institute, located in our Court of Sciences. (Of course, our HENRY SAMUELI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND APPLIED SCIENCE also offers other majors, including Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.) Speaking of collaboration, Design Media Arts is the place for graphic and interactive design. In addition to studio classes, you ll find DMA majors working in the UCLA Game Lab (games.ucla. edu), where history, philosophy and computer science students are just as welcome as designers. At UCLA, a strong liberal arts curriculum is a hallmark of undergraduate study in the SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE as well as in the SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM AND TELEVISION. Statistics is its own department at UCLA. Students are sometimes surprised to learn how hands-on it can be. As part of the major, statistics students serve as consultants on real projects from outside clients. The faculty who select the projects draw on personal experience in bioinformatics, sensor networks, environmental studies, finance and medical research.
10 A DIVERSITY OF COURSES ASIA: Majors in Asian Humanities, Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Minors in Asian Humanities, Asian Languages, South Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Studies. EUROPE: Majors in Central and East European Languages and Cultures, European Studies, French, German, Italian, Russian Language and Literature, Scandinavian Languages and Cultures. Minors in European Studies, French, German, Germanic Languages, Italian, Russian Language, Russian Literature, Russian Studies, Scandinavian. (Spanish and Portuguese are also offered, but are listed below under Latin America. ) LATIN AMERICA: Majors in Spanish, Portuguese (together or separately), Latin American Studies. Minors in Latin American Studies, Mexican Studies, Portuguese, Spanish. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA: Majors in African and Middle Eastern Studies, Arabic, Iranian Studies, Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies. Minors in African and Middle Eastern Studies, African Studies, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Armenian Studies, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
11 THE DIVERSITY OF LOS ANGELES Few cities in the U.S. are as diverse as Los Angeles, with its shop signs in Farsi and the neighborhoods known as Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, Filipinotown and Olvera Street. So it s no surprise that UCLA offers both depth and breadth in modern languages and cultures. These majors and minors, primarily from the HUMANITIES DIVISION, can be combined with interdepartmental programs like Global Studies or International Development Studies. Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe are well represented. Josue Lopez Calderon 10, an international development major, credits his study abroad in Thailand with beginning a journey that led to working in the White House and the Treasury Department. UCLA is among the nation s top 10 schools both in hosting international students and in sending U.S. students abroad to study. International perspectives are valued at UCLA, and your academic experiences in another cultural setting will provide global skills as well as personal and intellectual growth.
13 THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD While it s a great place to study pure math, the mathematics department, ranked in the top 10 nationally, offers a total of seven majors. Mathematics/Applied Science prepares students for careers in management, finance, accounting, operations research or medical professions. The joint Mathematics/Economics program provides a solid foundation for careers in industry and government or for advanced degrees in economics or finance. Other popular majors in the PHYSICAL SCIENCES DIVISION are Biochemistry and Chemistry. UCLA has six Nobel laureates in chemistry, including alumnus Richard Heck in Physics offers a number of undergraduate specialties such as Biophysics, which analyzes biological systems. Speaking of biological systems brings us to the LIFE SCIENCES DIVISION. All the life science majors share a core curriculum. You get a solid foundation during your first two years, plus a chance to explore the range of life science majors and get firsthand experience with the faculty. Many life science students ultimately choose one of the majors in our highly ranked psychology department: Psychology, Cognitive Science or Psychobiology. There s also an interdepartmental program in Neuroscience, with faculty from health sciences. (At UCLA, psychology is classified as a life science, not a social science. Our campus is a leader in brain research, so psychology here has a strong neurobiology component.) Biology majors include specialized programs such as Marine Biology; Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution; and Computational and Systems Biology. The basic Biology major is the most popular, followed by two majors with long names that explain their focus: Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. UCLA also offers a degree from the SCHOOL OF NURSING. The practice-based curriculum prepares nurses for patient care within the sophisticated technological environments of today s health care.
14 PREPARING FOR THE PROFESSIONS The top medical and law schools are looking for well-rounded students. While premed students definitely need a strong science background, the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) has four sections: biological sciences, physical sciences, writing sample and verbal reasoning. Similarly, you need excellent analytical and writing skills for law school skills that can be acquired in the humanities and social sciences. For both premed and pre-law, it s important that you perform at a high level. UCLA graduates from many different majors anthropology, English, history and sociology, as well as the life and physical sciences are admitted to medical school. Of the UCLA honors students who apply to medical school, more than 70 percent are admitted. More than 80 percent of UCLA applicants are admitted to at least one law school, from local schools like UCLA, Loyola and USC to Georgetown, Cornell, Penn and Harvard. English can be a good foundation for either medicine or law because of the emphasis on writing and analytical skills. UCLA s department is ranked in the top 10 nationally, and it s known for innovative research and excellence in teaching. The department s summer travel-study program offers Shakespeare in Stratfordupon-Avon and a three-course cluster in London. The SOCIAL SCIENCES DIVISION attracts many pre-law students with highly ranked programs in History, Political Science and Sociology. Many students in these majors take advantage of UCLA s Quarter in Washington Program, which combines a research project with an internship at a government agency, business or nonprofit organization. The University of California Washington Center is the envy of college interns in D.C., providing a place to live and study only a short walk from the White House. The Business Economics major and the Accounting minor both offer undergrads an opportunity to combine classes in the Anderson School of Management with economics and other courses. Some students use the business economics major as a career steppingstone, while others use it as a foundation for an M. program. Business economics is one of the majors open only to juniors or transfers; freshmen can take the pre-major courses.
17 AND SO MUCH MORE This brief overview mentions only a few of UCLA s more than 125 majors and 80-plus minors, and only a handful of the specializations within the majors. For more information, see the complete list of majors and minors in this publication. And visit the Academics page on the UCLA gateway: ucla.edu/academics/ undergraduate-education. You can learn, discover and grow at UCLA, where the entire academic environment offers opportunities through courses, research, libraries, internships, living on campus, student organizations and study abroad. On Commencement Day, you ll follow in the footsteps of notable UCLA alumni like Elinor Ostrom, first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics; Ralph Bunche, first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize; Kay Ryan, the 16th U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Grant; and Taylor Wang, first Chinese-born astronaut to go into space. Another notable alumnus is Richard Tapia, a transfer from Los Angeles Harbor College. He earned three degrees in mathematics from UCLA, became the first Hispanic faculty member in science and engineering at Rice University and went on to win the 2010 National Medal of Science. At UCLA, diversity of background and diversity of interests contribute to an academic community like no other.
18 Majors, College of Letters and Science Interdepartmental Majors African and Middle Eastern Studies African-American Studies American Indian Studies Asian Studies Computational and Systems Biology Environmental Science European Studies Global Studies Human Biology and Society Human Biology and Society International Development Studies Latin American Studies Mathematics/Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Degrees ,2 1 1,2 1,2 1 Mathematics/Economics 1 Neuroscience 2 Religion, Study of Humanities Majors Degrees American Literature and Culture Ancient Near East and Egyptology Arabic Art History Asian Humanities Asian Religions Central and East European Languages and Cultures Chinese Classical Civilization Comparative Literature English French French and Linguistics German Greek Greek and Latin Iranian Studies Italian Italian and Special Fields Japanese Jewish Studies Korean Latin Linguistics Linguistics and Anthropology Linguistics and Asian Languages and Cultures Linguistics and Computer Science Linguistics and English Linguistics and French Linguistics and Italian Linguistics and Philosophy Linguistics and Psychology Linguistics and Scandinavian Languages Linguistics and Spanish Linguistics, Applied Middle Eastern Studies Music History Philosophy Portuguese Russian Language and Literature Russian Studies Scandinavian Languages and Cultures Spanish Spanish and Community and Culture Spanish and Linguistics Spanish and Portuguese Life Sciences Majors Degrees Biology Cognitive Science 1 Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution 2 Marine Biology 2 Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics 1 Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 2 Physiological Science 2 Psychobiology 1,2 Psychology 1,2 Physical Sciences Majors Degrees Astrophysics Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Environmental Sciences Biochemistry Biophysics Chemistry Chemistry, General 4 Chemistry/Materials Science Earth and Environmental Science Geology Geology/Engineering Geology Geophysics/Applied Geophysics Geophysics/Geophysics and Space Physics Mathematics 1 Mathematics for Teaching 1 Mathematics of Computation 1 Mathematics, Applied 1 Mathematics, Financial Acturial 1 Mathematics/Applied Science 1 Physics 4 Physics Statistics 1 Social Sciences Majors Degrees Anthropology Anthropology Asian American Studies Business Economics 1,2,3 Chicana and Chicano Studies Communication Studies 2,5 Economics 1,2,3 Gender Studies Geography Geography/Environmental Studies History 1,2 Political Science 1,2 Sociology 1,2 All divisions, College of Letters and Science Individual Field of Concentration Undeclared Majors, School of the Arts and Architecture Degrees Architectural Studies 5 Art Dance Design Media Arts Ethnomusicology (Jazz Studies, World Music)
19 Music (Composition, Music Education, Performance) World Arts and Cultures Individual Field of Concentration 5 Majors, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Degrees Aerospace Engineering Bioengineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Science Computer Science and Engineering Electrical Engineering Materials Engineering Mechanical Engineering Engineering undeclared 6 Majors, School of Nursing Nursing Prelicensure Majors, School of Theater, Film and Television Degrees Degrees Film and Television Theater Individual Field of Concentration 4 1 Applicants are admitted to pre-major status until prerequisites are satisfactorily completed. 2 Transfer applicants should note that demand for this major significantly exceeds space available at the transfer level. 3 Transfer students who are admitted to a major outside the Department of Economics are not permitted to transfer into one of the economics majors. 4 Not open to entering students. 5 Open to junior-level applicants only (60 semester/90 quarter units completed by transfer) 6 Only freshman-level applicants may apply as undeclared. Minors Accounting African and Middle Eastern Studies African American Studies American Indian Studies Ancient Near East and Egyptology Anthrop ology Applied Developmental Psychology Arabic and Islamic Studies Armenian Studies Art History Asian American Studies Asian Humanities Asian Languages Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Bioinformatics Biomedical Research Central and East European Studies Chicana and Chicano Studies Civic Engagement Classical Civilization Cognitive Science Comparative Literature Conservation Biology Digital Humanities Disability Studies Earth and Environmental Science Education Studies English Entrepreneurship Environmental Engineering Environmental Systems and Society European Studies Evolutionary Medicine Film, Television, and Digital Media French Gender Studies Geochemistry Geography Geography/Environmental Studies Geology Geophysics and Planetary Physics Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies German Germanic Languages Gerontology Global Studies Greek Hebrew and Jewish Studies History of Science and Medicine Israel Studies Italian Labor and Workplace Studies Language Teaching Latin Latin American Studies Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Linguistics Literature and the Environment Mathematical Biology Mathematics Mexican Studies Music History Music Industry Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Neuroscience Philosophy Portuguese Public Affairs Public Health Religion, Study of Russian Language Russian Literature Russian Studies Scandinavian Science Education Social Thought Society and Genetics South Asian Studies Southeast Asian Studies Spanish Spanish Linguistics Statistics Structural Biology Systems Biology Theater Urban and Regional Studies Visual and Performing Arts Education List of majors and minors accurate at time of printing. Please visit for the most up-to-date listing.
20 ucla.edu/students/prospective-students UCLA Undergraduate Admissions 1147 Murphy Hall, Box Los Angeles, CA ADMISSIONS.UCLA.EDU