Most departments offer and administer a select number of 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 under the supervision of a UCLA instructor. Many students choose to pursue these courses with faculty who they have previously completed an SRP-99 course with.

All upper division independent research courses are administered by the Department. The URC does not administer these courses. Specific rules, policies, and pre-requisites for these courses vary by department.

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

  • 196 – Research Apprenticeship
  • 198 – Honors Research (For students interested in pursuing 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

Regardless of which department you choose to complete an upper division independent research course in, you can expect them to be for more self-directed and intense research experiences.

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.