Applying to the Major



Incoming freshmen and transfer students may be admitted to UCLA as Pre-International Development Studies majors; however, they will still need to apply for the major by Fall of their junior year. Incoming students should have a back-up major in case they are not admitted. 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.

Transfer Students wishing to switch from other majors to IDS are eligible to apply in the Fall of their junior year. Remaining preparation requirements can be completed in the Fall at UCLA. Please attend UCLA Orientation and sign up to attend the IDS departmental session to learn about requirements and application process.





  • completed all preparation courses no later than the end of the Fall Quarter of their Junior Year (3rd year) with a minimum UC GPA (average) in these courses of 2.00 (courses in progress during the Fall are accepted)
  • completed at least level 3 of a foreign language (equivalent to three quarters at UCLA)*
  • submitted an application during Fall.

*Level  6 (or Spanish 5) of foreign language is required to complete all preparation requirements, but can be done once accepted to the major.

Students are highly encouraged to apply Fall of their sophomore year and no later than Fall of their junior year (3rd year). Applications are available during Fall only.



  • Meeting the minimum preparation requirements does not guarantee admission.
  • Space is limited; therefore the application process is very selective. Admission rate is typically 60%.
  • Admission Criteria: 
  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: “Why do you want to major in IDS”: Please describe your knowledge about the field of international development and how it is related to your academic/career/or personal interest. NOTE:  a high GPA does not guarantee acceptance to the major, as the statement is also considered. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions tab for more details on the Statement of Interest.



 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 2016-2017 online application is now closed

The Fall 2017-2018 Application will open in November 2017



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)
  • 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 three 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.

 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