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Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Major Questions

Does the HDS major have restrictions?

No. As of Fall 2018, you can directly declare into the HDS B.A. or B.S. major.  

HDS no longer has admission requirements, nor is it capped or impacted.

Do I have to take classes for a letter grade?

Yes. All courses for the HDS program (upper-division, lower-division, major, and minor -- ALL of them) must be taken for a letter grade.

Grades must be a C- or above.

Can I use AP credit for a lower-division HDS requirement?

Yes, as long as the AP score equates one of the courses we allow for the HDS major.

What if I took a class Pass/No Pass prior to pursuing an HDS major?

Only P/NP credit taken prior to pursuing an HDS major can be considered for credit.

Note: Using P/NP credit requires you to submit a petition to the HDS office. A P/NP grade is only approved if it meets the following conditions:

  • The course is a lower-division class (upper-division courses cannot be petitioned).
  • The course is on our approved course list.
  • The actual grade earned in the course was a C or above.
  • You can verify the ACTUAL grade with the professor and submit documentation with your petition. Verification can be provided though a letter from the course professor that is on official department letterhead. E-mail verification is not acceptable.
If you cannot verify the actual grade, we will only consider 1 pass grade petition.

Is HDP 1 only offered once a year?

Traditionally, HDP 1 has only been offered once per year, in the Fall
As of 2018, HDS has a goal of offering HDP 1 twice a year: Fall and Spring.

Junior college transfer students should consider the UC San Diego Cross Enrollment Program if they wish to complete this course prior to transferring. Apply to cross enroll via the UC San Diego
 Cross Enrollment Program Application.

Can I take a lower-division course at another school?

Yes, with the exception of HDP 1, which must be taken at UC San Diego.

Junior College courses taken for HDS must articulate to one of our approved courses via, or be approved for HDS via petition. Classes can also be taken at another university, including abroad, but must be UC transferable and approved via petition. You MUST take it for a letter grade.

How do I declare the HDS major?

You can use the online major change tool in Tritonlink to switch into the HDS major (HS25 for the B.A., HS26 for the B.S.).

Major Questions

What is the difference between the HDS B.A. and B.S. degrees?

For more information about the differences between our Bachelor of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree check out our B.A. and B.S. compare information page.

OK, I'm now a HDS major. What classes should I take first?

You should focus on your coursework in this order:

  1. First: Major Preparation (Lower-division). This includes HDP 1, Statistics, Formal Skills, Bio Sciences, and Social Sciences. Pro-tip: You should prioritize HDP 1 and Statistics (they are prerequisites for many other classes).
  2. Next: Completing your 4 core courses. These provide the basis of developmental theory in the 3 domains.
  3. Then: You can begin your methods sequence with HDP 181. Your development series courses can begin at any time, but ideally, should be completed after a number of your core courses are done. 
  4. HDP 191 should occur after completing HDP 181, your core courses, and at least 1 or 2 development courses.
  5. HDP 150, the senior seminar, is the capstone course. It should be taken at the end of the major.

What is the minimum grade requirement for HDS?

All courses for the HDS program (upper-division, lower-division, major, and minor -- ALL of them) must be a C- or above.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
 D's are not accepted.

What is the minimum major GPA needed for HDS?

Your GPA requirements for a B.A. or B.S. in Human Developmental Sciences is the same as the general university requirements: a minimum of 2.0 GPA.

Grades for the HDS Major and Minor must be C- or above. D's are not accepted.

I'm trying to add HDP 181, but TritonLink won't let me. What's wrong?

You have to be pre-authorized to enroll in HDP 181. HDP 181 requires a minimum of junior standing, and the following prerequisites: HDP 1, Statistics, and a minimum of three upper division course completed--at least one in each domain.

During periods of peak enrollment, registration priority will be given to student who are closest to major completion.

I'm trying to add HDP 150, but TritonLink won't let me. What's wrong?

You have to be pre-authorized to enroll in HDP 150. HDP 150, the Senior Seminar, is one of the last classes for HDS majors to take, so we need to verify you are indeed ready for it by requiring a degree check prior to enrollment. Graduating seniors receive priority enrollment. Learn more about HDP 150 and how to request a seat from the HDP 150 course webpage.

I want to go abroad. Can I take courses for HDS while I am there?

Yes. The only HDS courses you must take at UC San Diego (no exceptions) are HDP 1, HDP 181, HDP 191, and HDP 150. For more information, see our page about HDS study abroad.

Can I take courses for HDS at another UC or other school in the US?


The only HDS courses you must take at UC San Diego (no exceptions) are HDP 1, HDP 181, HDP 191, and HDP 150. All upper-division courses from other universities must be approved via petition.

I am currently on track for the B.A. in HDS, but would like to switch over to a B.S. What should I do?

Information about switching from the B.A. to the B.S. can be found at the bottom of the B.A. and B.S. compared information page.

If you are considering switching from the B.A. to the B.S. it is highly recommneded that you meet with and HDS advisor. 

HDP 191 Questions

What is HDP 191?

This course combines lectures on research methodology with an actual field research position at a site somewhere in San Diego county. It includes 3 hours/week in class, and four hours/week at a pre-approved study site. This course is different from HDP 181 in that you are not in a laboratory setting (i.e. a controlled environment). The research phenomenon you are observing is studied in a naturally occurring environment.

When should I take HDP 191?

By the time you are enrolling in HDP 191, you should have completed HDP 181 and a significant number of upper-division core and/or development courses, with at least 1 course in each area of focus: Biological, Ontogenetic, Socio-cultural. You do not need to wait until your last quarter to take HDP 191.

Do I really have to apply a year in advance to take HDP 191?

Not exactly one whole year -- Your application has to be submitted in the spring quarter prior to your HDP 191 enrollment. If you are requesting a placement for the following fall, that is only 5 months away. If you are requesting spring, then it is a year in advance.

There are 150 positions available for HDP 191 each year: 50 in fall, 50 in winter, and 50 in spring. In order to make sure theses are evenly distributed and that everyone who needs a placement gets one, we take enrollment requests during the month of May and fill all 150 positions for the following academic year. We always take into consideration your desired quarter, site location, academic plans, career & research interests, and special requirements when making your placement.

Do I have to have all prerequisites completed to apply for HDP 191?

No. You are welcome to submit your application regardless of your status—so please do. Course prerequisites and restrictions need to be cleared before your first day of class, which could be almost a year away, depending on which quarter you are placed. So, if you think you may take the course any time next year, apply! You can always withdraw your application (and make someone on our waitlist very happy) if your plans change.

What if I miss the application period for HDP 191?

You will be placed on our internal waitlist for an opening during the academic year.

Once in a while, we do offer the course during summer session, as a normal 10-week session, when there is high enough demand.

I have been approved to take HDP 191 this quarter, but TritonLink won't let me enroll. What is wrong?

You must be pre-authorized to enroll in one of the two sections. Pre-authorization does not occur until all 191 students have HAD their enrollment appointment and determined their schedules for the following quarter. Because your enrollment in 191 has been approved in advance, you are guaranteed a seat…but not your section of choice. Students with genuine course schedule conflicts that prevent them from enrolling in either 191 section will receive priority for section enrollment. Once all legitimate schedule conflicts are resolved, then remaining students will be allowed to enroll.

Is HDP 191 really as much work as they say it is?

Yes. You should enroll in no more than two additional courses and keep outside commitments and part-time jobs to a minimum while completing HDP 191.