Questions

If you have any specific questions about any of these procedures, the department staff will be happy to help you. Also, the undergraduate advising head will be happy to see you during his office hours, to discuss any problems or to receive any suggestions that you may have.

Helpful Hints


for Psychology Majors and Potential Majors

2014-2015



Your Faculty Advisor

Each psychology major is assigned a faculty advisor. General advice about courses or career plans is ordinarily best obtained from your own faculty advisor.

Get to know your advisor. Even if you have no problems, it is still a good idea to introduce yourself to your advisor and to drop by to see him or her from time to time, if only to say that all is going well. Your faculty advisor is there to help you and is eager to do so. See your advisor at least once a semester.

All faculty members have their office hours posted on the Faculty Office Hours page and the bulletin board outside the psychology office. Barring illness, you should find them available then. If you have any difficulty finding your advisor or have any other major difficulties, the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Head Joseph Cunningham (Brown 317, cunningham@brandeis.edu) will be happy to see you.

Petitions for Changes in Requirements

The requirements for psychology majors are listed in the current Bulletin and on the Major Requirements page. In special cases, students may petition the department for changes in the requirements. Before submitting such a petition, speak with your faculty advisor and/or the advising head for further information.

Add and Drop Requests

Add and Drop requests must be signed by the instructors of the courses being added or dropped and by your faculty advisor.

These requests have clearly published deadlines, and it is your responsibility to anticipate these deadlines. Do not leave it until the last minute only to find that your advisor's next available office hours are after the deadline.

Transfer of Credit

Students who have taken psychology courses at other universities or at Brandeis Summer School, and wish to have these courses count toward their psychology major should consult with the Registrar's Office first to arrange for formal approval and transfer of credit at the university's level. Once that has been processed and appears in your Sage account, you then should petition the psych department for credit towards your psych audit by completing a Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement.  To do so, go to: http://www.brandeis.edu/registrar/forms/transfer-credit.html.   You will receive course credit approval/disapproval via email.  A maximum of five psychology courses may be transferred from another university.

Advance Approval for Summer School Courses at Other Universities 

If you wish to get course credit or major credit for a summer school course taken at another university, you should get approval in advance from the Registrar's office. The TC02 form is available online for this purpose. Once the Petition for Permission form is completed, the registrar's office will forward it to the department for approval. You will need to provide information, for the Brandeis instructor, about the text which will be used and the topics which will be covered in the course. Usually this requires that you obtain a copy of the course syllabus from the other university. The form should be signed before the course is taken. If you receive a C- or better in the course, you will be allowed to count that course toward your psychology requirements.

Studying Abroad

The Office of Study Abroad recommends that students who wish to study abroad in their junior year should plan at least one semester in advance to petition for permission to study abroad at the same time as they apply to the program of their choice. A list of approved programs is available on the Study Abroad Web site. The student's faculty advisor should verify that the student will be able to complete the requirements for graduation at Brandeis, on schedule even with the time abroad. There are no guarantees of credit before the student goes abroad, so the advisor's role is to give the student ideas about which courses are most likely to count for credit. The final decisions about course credit for courses taken abroad are made by a dean's committee after the student returns from abroad.

According to the Office of Study Abroad, approximately 20 percent of the students wishing to go abroad are declared or probable psychology majors. Given the diversity of programs abroad and the diversity of psychology itself, it is difficult for that office to keep fully abreast of the relative quality of the various departments abroad. It is very important that you discuss your plans with your faculty advisor well in advance of your application. Many members of the Psychology Department have studied and/or worked abroad and can be very helpful to you. Be sure to also discuss with your advisor whether you have any plans to do senior research when you return to Brandeis.

Pre-registration for Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 51a And PSYC 52a)

Psychology 51a and 52a (Statistics and Research Methods and Laboratory in Psychology) are coordinated courses, and psychology majors are expected to take these courses sequentially (first, Statistics and then Research Methods, preferably in the following semester). These two courses are generally taken by the end of the junior year. Students spending junior year abroad should plan accordingly. Since these courses often have more than one section with limited enrollment, pre-registration is required.

Pre-registration for Psych 51a and 52a is done by signing up to be part of the pool from which the class will be chosen. This is done in the semester prior to the semester in which you plan to take the course. Sign-up sheets are posted outside the Psychology office one week prior to formal Brandeis pre-enrollment. Please visit the News and Events page for dates, times and instructions explaining the pre-registration procedures and policies.

Senior Honors

The requirements and further information for senior honors are available on the Senior Honors page. You must have an overall GPA and also a major GPA of 3.3 to do honors research. Senior research, unlike regular courses, requires that you make direct contact with a member of the faculty with whom you would like to work on your project. Since there is often a last minute rush and the number of students doing honors with any one professor must be limited, it is a good idea to make initial contact with potential honors supervisors during your sophomore year. In any given academic year, many faculty may be fully committed for honors students well before the end of the previous spring semester. Therefore, senior honors research should be arranged by early in your junior year.

Psychology Club

The Psychology Club is an active group that often arranges guest speakers, films and faculty/student get-togethers. The club also serves as a representative of undergraduate students' concerns within the department. You are strongly encouraged to become an active member. For further information, contact the club organizers by email. Jutta Wolf <jmw@brandeis.edu> is  the faculty advisor to the club.

Psychology Department Colloquium

The Psychology Department Colloquium is a presentation of current work given by a psychologist from another university. Visit the Colloquium page for the schedule. Undergraduate students are always welcome to attend.