The Psychology Department is proud of its systematic and informed advising of students. Several recent enhancements in the advising process have improved it further.
Psychology majors benefit from a single faculty advisor from their sophomore through senior years. This approach allows advisors and advisees to know each other better over the years. All freshmen are advised by the CAS Academic Advising Center.
The 1-credit Career Development Seminar in Psychology also provides extensive advising on academic planning, career development, and graduate school.
How To Use Your Advisor
Sometimes students think that they need a reason to see their advisor, such as to obtain signatures or to change their major. This is a fallacy. When you have questions, go to your advisor. They serve as your guide and advocate.
Your advisor may be busy or unavailable. In these cases, check your advisor's office hours and make an appointment. Since a diversity of interactions is useful, approach other psychology professors as well, especially those who have expertise in your subfields of interest.
Understand and exercise your role in the advising process. Advising is not only something the professor does. It is an active, collaborative process requiring your preparation.
Responsibilities of Advisees
Psychology faculty take the responsibility of advising seriously and expects students to do the same. You should do the following (as listed in the Undergraduate Advising Handbook):
- Maintain your paperwork, such as DegreeWorks and schedule changes.
- Read the Undergraduate Catalog and the Psychology Handbook. Become familiar with the psychology major, the general education requirements, and academic regulations. Keep us apprised of changes in your program. When you declare a minor or concentration, please inform us. If you plan to study abroad, consult with your psychology advisor early in the process.
- Allow adequate time for advising during pre-registration. Make an appointment with your advisor to as early as possible and examine your DegreeWorks carefully.
The moral of the story is to seek out your advisor early and often during the pre-registration period.
Pre-Advising Checklist plus or minus
Please check the items that apply to you and be prepared to discuss them.
REVIEW OF LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGES
- Want to discuss changes in life circumstances (e.g., relationships, work, finances, health)?
- Want to discuss how college life is going for you?
REVIEW OF PREVIOUS SEMESTER/S
- Any transfer credits not yet recorded?
- Any deficient or incomplete grades?
- Any failed or dropped courses?
REVIEW OF CURRENT SEMESTER
- Any deficient grades at midterm or dropped courses this semester?
DOUBLE MAJORS, CONCENTRATIONS, MINORS, HONORS
- Any recently added or dropped programs not previously on DegreeWorks?
- Want to discuss dropping a program or adding a new program?
- Need to discuss completing your current program(s) in remaining semesters?
- Want to discuss study abroad?
PROGRESS TOWARDS GRADUATION
- Are you behind on credits to graduate or want to determine if you are on schedule to graduate?
- Need to plan to complete your GE requirements over the remaining semesters?
- Need to discuss completing the writing intensive and cultural diversity requirements?
PROGRESS IN PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR
- Are you behind schedule for completing required courses and core sequence?
- Want to discuss your schedule for completing the 42 total credits for Psychology?
- Are you behind schedule for completing the required GE courses? Math? NSCI?
PLAN FOR UPCOMING SEMESTERS
- Want to discuss course selections for the Psychology major?
- Want to discuss course selections for GE, other programs or free electives?
- Want to discuss your plans for post-graduation life?
- Want to discuss your plans for preparing for the GREs?
- Want to discuss plans for doing research or being a TA?
- Want to discuss volunteering or doing an internship?
- Want to review the accuracy of your DegreeWorks?
- Need help correcting DegreeWorks errors?
OTHER GOALS AND CONCERNS YOU WISH TO DISCUSS (list below)
Credit / Course Progress Grid plus or minusPlease use the department's Credit / Course Progress Grid to help you stay on track to graduate.
Advising Hintsplus or minus
- Tailor the psychology major towards your interests. Consult with advisors for recommended courses to meet your individual interests.
- We strongly recommend using your 30 credits of free electives to develop minors and concentrations.
- Up to 15 credits of psychology can be put in the free electives.
- Only one Special Topics course can be used as a Psychology elective.
- The GE requirements need not be taken in the sequence set out in the catalog. You have a great deal of flexibility in this regard.
- Take a diversity of the core 8 psychology courses early in your undergraduate career and strive for breadth of exposure in psychology.
- Be aware of the scheduling of courses, particularly those offered only one time per year. Behavioral Neuroscience (Fall), Clinical Psychology (Fall), and Learning & Behavior (Spring) are three prominent examples.
- Note the importance of completing Abnormal Psychology as a prerequisite for later courses in clinical/counseling/school psychology.
- Optimally, Psychology Field Experience courses should be taken in the Spring term of your Junior year or the Fall term of your Senior year. Thus, complete all the prerequisite courses ideally by the Spring of the junior year.
- If you plan to take the GRE Psychology Test in the Fall of your Senior year, try to take as many of the core 8 psychology electives before then. To conduct research, you do not have to take it for credit. Start with volunteering or FSRP (both of which are free), and then take Undergraduate Research (PSYC 493 & 494) for credit. The Natural Science (NSCI) electives for fulfillment of the General Education requirements are courses designated with an (E). One NSCI elective must be from Biology, and the other may be from Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.
- As specified in the Undergraduate Catalog, because of duplicate material, psychology majors should not take Counseling Theories (HS 242).