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 will be happy to see you.
Petitions for Changes in Requirements
The requirements for psychology majors are listed in the Requirements section of the University Bulletin. 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 (pdf) 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 who have processed these credits through the Registrar’s office, may wish to have these courses count toward their psychology major. This process is done electronically through the Regsitrar's web site under the Online Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement. A student must have declared their major prior submitting this request. A maximum of five psychology courses may be transferred from another university towards a psychology degree.
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 (pdf) 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.
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 website. 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 PSYC 52a, Research Methods in Psychology
PSYC 52a (Research Methods and Lab in Psychology) is a required course for all psychology majors. This course is generally taken by the end of the junior year. Students spending junior year abroad should plan accordingly. Since this course often has more than one section with limited enrollment, pre-registration is required. This is done by signing up to be part of the pool from which the class will be chosen, and it is done the semester prior to the semester in which you plan to take the course. Sign-up sheets are posted outside the Psychology Office about one week prior to the early registration period. Please visit our News and Events page for dates, times and instructions explaining the pre-registration procedures and policies.
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.
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. Professor Jennifer Gutsell 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.