Applying to the Major


Freshmen  may be admitted to UCLA as Pre-International Development Studies majors; however, they will still need to apply for the major by Fall of sophomore or junior year.  Students may apply again Fall of junior year if not admitted as sophomores. 

Transfers: may be admitted to UCLA as pre-International Development Studies, however, they still need to apply for the major by Fall of Junior year. See our Transfers Tab for additional information.

**Students admitted under another major may also apply to switch to IDS.  Please attend UCLA Orientation and request to attend the IDS departmental session to learn more.



Students are highly encouraged to apply Fall of their sophomore year and no later than Fall of their junior year (3rd year). Seniors may not apply. Applications are available during Fall only.

  • Complete all preparation courses no later than the end of the Fall Quarter during which you apply with a minimum UC GPA (average) in prep courses of 2.00 (courses in progress during the Fall are accepted)
  • Complete at least level 3 of a foreign language (equivalent to three quarters at UCLA)*
  • Submitted completed application during Fall by the deadline 

*Level  6 (or Spanish 5) of foreign language is required to complete all preparation requirements, but can be done once accepted to the major. You may be in progress to finish level 3 during the Fall you apply. 



  • Meeting the minimum preparation requirements does not guarantee admission.
  • Space is limited; therefore the application process is very selective. Admission rate is typically 60%.
  • Applications are assessed based on: 
  1.  IDS preparatory UC GPA: The average prep GPA in the 2016-2017 period was 3.3 and admission rate was 70%
  2. Statement of Interest: Please review the FAQ's tab for more details on how to write an effective Statement of Interest. You must answer, in 300 words, “Why do you want to major in IDS?” Your answer will give the committee a clear account of whether your interests align with the courses you will be taking as an IDS major, what you hope to gain from it while at UCLA, and who you are as a person.  NOTE:  a high GPA does not guarantee acceptance to the major, as the statement is equally important. 



 Students should have a backup major in mind in the event they are not accepted to the IDS major. Possible back up majors are: International Area Studies (African & Middle Eastern Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies), Anthropology, Asian Languages & Cultures, Comparative Literature, English, History, Geography, Asian American Studies, Chicano Studies, Afro-American Studies, Spanish.

The 2017-2018 online application will be open on:

November 6 and will close on Nov 26 at 11:59 pm 

INFO SESSIONS: Thursday, September 28, 5pm 10383 Bunche Hall

                         Wednesday, October 4, 5pm 10383 Bunche Hall




IMPORTANT: Before you start the Application, make sure to model your DARS for IDS and check that all preps for IDS are showing up in the correct fields. If they are not, please contact the IDS Advising Office.

The online application will include some of following information:

  • Name:
  • UID:
  • E-mail:
  • Completed Prep Requirements: 
  • Degree Expected Term:
  • Back-Up Major:
  • Short Statement of Interest: Why are you interested in pursuing the IDS major? Your answer will allow the committee to learn about your background and whether or not you are a good fit for the program (300 words). Tips and additional instructions can be found on our FAQ's page.
  • Relevant Experience: What experiences have you had related to international development? You may include extra-curricular activities, research experiences, study abroad, etc. (Please list them)

The application is only available in the Fall Quarter.

Notifications: Applicants will be notified of their application status via e-mail within the first two weeks of Winter Quarter. Please refrain from inquiring about your application status until then.

Please feel free to contact our office at if you have any inquires about this application.



Water in the middle east and africa: A nexus of cooperation and conflict