Many departments offer upper division independent research courses, most commonly courses 196, 198, and 199. These courses are considered a “next step” in completing undergraduate research and allow students to receive upper division credit for engaging in more directed and advanced research projects with a UCLA faculty. Students often choose to enroll in these courses after completing 1-3 quarters of SRP-99.

Courses 196-199 are administered by academic departments, not the URC. Specific course rules, policies, and prerequisites vary by department.

Most departments* organize their upper division research courses as follows:

  • 196 – Research Apprenticeship
  • 198 – Honors Research (For students interested in Departmental Honors)
  • 199 – Directed Research

*Not all departments offer these courses.

Upper division research courses generally:

  • Are taken for at least 3-4 units (depending on hours per week)
  • Are taken for a letter grade,
  • Require a 12-16 hour per week time commitment
  • Require a comprehensive paper or thesis submission at the end of the quarter
  • Are taken as part of a series (e.g. 198A & 198B; or 199A, 199B, & 199C).
  • May satisfy major requirements

For more information on these courses, contact an academic counselor/advisor or Student Affairs Officer (SAO) in the department you want to conduct research in (your faculty mentor’s department).


Upper division independent research courses are contract courses. Contracts are generated on MyUCLA and must be signed by both the faculty sponsor and the faculty’s department or program chair. Consult the department’s student affairs officer for complete prerequisite and enrollment requirements.

Submit your signed contract to the Registrar’s Office via Message Center. Do not submit signed contracts to the URC.