Undergraduate Major

The Department of Psychology emphasizes the scientific study of behavior. The Psychology department offers a Bachelor of Arts

 degree in Psychology which requires the successful completion of twelve courses in Psychology.

Declaring the Major

Students wishing to declare a major in Psychology may do so by going to the departmental office, Suite 270 in the Psychology Building, and completing the required paperwork. Declarations will not be accepted during the direct enrollment period. Students declaring a psychology major will be required to maintain a “C” average (2.0) in their major and pass all courses with a “D” or better for them to count towards the major requirements. Courses taken to meet the requirements for the B.A. in Psychology may not be taken under the S/U option.

Declared majors will be put on the undergraduate e-mail list. Please read e-mail information from the Department very carefully; students will be held responsible for information sent via e-mail. This e-mail communication will keep you up-to-date on deadlines, opportunities, and requirements.

Required Courses

For students who declared their major after August 27, 2013

Introduction to Psychology - Psychology 110 and 111

The student will be required to complete a two-semester sequence in Psychology: PSYC 110 (Introduction to Psychology: Biological Foundation and Cognitive Processes) and PSYC 111 (Introduction to Psychology: Development, Social Behavior, and Individual Differences). These courses will serve to provide all majors with a general orientation towards the methods, content areas, and central findings of Psychology. We recommend that they should be taken before any other Psychology course. Both PSYC 110 & 111 must be completed by the end of the junior year.

Oddities in Intro:

A/P Credit: Students who received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Examination in Psychology will be granted an exemption from PSYC 111. The student will still be required to complete 12 additional courses in the major, including the first half of the Introductory Requirement, PSYC 110.

Transfer Credit: Students who took a one-semester Intro course at another college will probably receive credit for PSYC 111. The student will be required to take 11 additional courses in the major, including the first half of the Introductory Requirement, PSYC 110.

Introduction to Statistical Inference- QTM 100

Because adequate understanding of original source material in Psychology is impossible without basic statistical literacy, students will be required to take a course in statistics. Psychology majors must meet this requirement by taking QTM 100, the statistical inference course offered by the Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods.

Laboratory Methods - Psychology 200

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of methods in Psychology through actual performance of experiments. Introduction to Statistical Inference (QTM 100) is a prerequisite and therefore must be taken prior to this course. We recommend that students take the sequence in Statistics and Laboratory Methods no later than their junior year in order to maximize the value they obtain from other Psychology courses. PSYC 200 must be completed by the end of first semester senior year; this course may not be taken in the semester the student plans to graduate.

Three Breadth Courses

Although the introductory sequence offers a general survey of Psychology, it only provides brief coverage of various sub-areas. The purpose of this breadth requirement is to insure that all majors acquire more systematic knowledge in what we view as three central areas of Psychology. Consequently, majors must take at least one of the courses listed for each of the following three areas:

Social, Personality and Applied

  • PSYC 210 Adult Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 211 Childhood Psychopathology
  • PSYC 212 Social Psychology
  • PSYC 315 Psychology of Family Relationships
  • PSYC 330 Personality Theories
  • PSYC 350 Behavior Modification

Neuroscience and Animal Behavior

  • PSYC 103 or 207 Brain and Behavior
  • PSYC 303 Evolution of Acquired Behavior
  • PSYC 320 Animal Behavior
  • PSYC 322 Neural Basis of Learning and Memory
  • PSYC 323 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 325 Primate Social Psychology
  • PSYC 353 Behavioral Neuroscience

Cognition and Development

  • PSYC 205 Child Development
  • PSYC 209 Perception and Action
  • PSYC 215 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 218 Infancy
  • PSYC 302 Learning and Memory
  • PSYC 309 Brain and Language
  • PSYC 310 Cognitive Development 
Five Electives

Any five additional psychology courses with the exception of 190: Freshman Seminar, 495A & 495BWR: Honors Program, and 498: Directed Reading. One enrollment in 499R or 494R: Directed Research for 3 or more credit hours may be counted as an elective. Graduate psychology courses can be counted towards the major as an elective credit if the student wishes.

Undergraduate Flow Chart

Please click on this link, required courses in pdf format, to download a copy of the psychology major undergraduate flow chart.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculator

Option 1
Option 2 (Includes a feature that determines the GPA/credits required to raise GPA)

Advising

Each psychology major is assigned an academic advisor and should meet with that advisor on a regular basis to discuss courses to take to meet the requirements for the major. In addition, students should talk to their advisors about future career plans if they include graduate training in psychology, as there may be additional courses they should take for entrance to graduate school. Advisors will be available during advising and direct enrollment periods; however, advisors often have more time to spend with students at times other than advising or direct enrollment periods. We hope that students will take advantage of these times in scheduling appointments with their advisors.

Students unhappy with their advisors may come by Suite 270 in the Psychology Building to fill out a request to change advisors. Students may also change advisors if their area of interest becomes more closely aligned with another faculty member’s area of expertise. STUDENTS MAY NOT CHANGE ADVISORS DURING THE ADVISING OR DIRECT ENROLLMENT PERIODS.

Sign-up sheets will be placed outside each advisor’s office in the weeks before advising period. It is strongly advised that students sign up as early as possible for advising.

Undergraduate Research

The Department of Psychology encourages undergraduate majors and prospective majors to become involved in ongoing faculty projects as research assistants. Working in a research lab can be a crucial component of deciding whether to pursue graduate study in psychology as well as an opportunity to learn about specific fields in more detail. Students may participate in research on a volunteer basis or for academic credit through Psychology 499R (declared majors only) or Psychology 494R (study abroad credit). Research-related experiences in Psychology may also be available through work-study or the undergraduate SIRE Program, the summer SURE Program, or on a paid basis through individual laboratories. Finally, majors with outstanding academic performance will be nominated at the end of the junior year to perform Honors research as seniors.

Research opportunities for undergraduates may be identified through postings on the bulletin board next to Suite 270 on the main floor of the Psychology department, from the e-mail information sent to majors, or by contacting faculty whose interests match yours.

Browse faculty interests by research area:

Note: We encourage majors to enroll in Directed Research (PSYC 499R/494R) and Directed Reading (PSYC 498R). One enrollment in Psyc 499R or Psyc 494R for 3 or more credit hours may be counted as an elective towards the twelve courses required for the major. Directed research (working in a psychology laboratory under the supervision of a faculty member or study abroad) and reading (writing a literature review of a special topic) courses must be directed by approved Psychology department faculty. A list of regular faculty members of the Psychology Department who are eligible to supervise PSYC 498R and PSYC 499R may be found on the back of the 498R/499R contract form. Only faculty members whose names are on this list may supervise 498R/499R work. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FOR ENROLLMENT IN 498R OR 499R. Contracts are available in Suite 270, and must be completed and return to Lorenza Houser for enrollment. Students must register for these courses prior to the close of the schedule change period each term.

Additional Information for Majors

Graduate School Entry Exams - When Should I Take Them?

  • We strongly recommend that students planning to apply to graduate programs during their senior year of college consider taking their graduate school entry exams in the spring of their junior year. Not sure when these exams are held? Here are some helpful dates and resource sites. In most cases, you can register for the tests online. HINT: Be sure to sign up EARLY to avoid fees and ensure that your preferred testing site is available!
  • GRE: The Graduate Record Exam is appropriate for students applying to programs in the arts & sciences (psychology, literature, social work, etc.) You can register for the GRE via their website at http://www.gre.org
  • MCAT: The Medical College Admissions Test is for students applying for careers in medicine. Get more information at https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/taking-mcat-exam/
  • LSAT: The Law School Admission Test is for students applying toward training in the law. Visit http://www.lsac.org/ for more information.

Take Advantage of the Career Center

  • How many of you have braved the walk to the North Decatur building to check out Career Center resources? There are resources which can help you, but you’ll have to do some research on your own to find them. If you’re looking for assistance in the areas listed below, it will be well worth your while to go the distance.
  • Dossier service: If you’re applying for jobs after graduation or sending out letters of recommendation to graduate schools, this option can really save you time. A dossier is essentially a packet of materials which reflect your achievements, and may include confidential recommendations, resumes, published articles, and any other materials which you intend to send out repeatedly. Instead of having to fill out forms for each school or job you’re applying to, wouldn’t it be nice to have the Career Center bundle everything up for you and send it off?
  • Internships: In addition to an extensive database including internships sponsored by other schools across the country, the Career Center has books and listings of organizations looking for volunteers (both paid and unpaid). Ask someone to point you to these resources.
  • Career Placement: Through the academic year, the Career Center sponsors Career Fairs, with companies recruiting upcoming and recent Emory grads on campus. Listings of the companies involved in these events are available at the Career Center or Eagle Ops. Some companies will have resume drops in advance of the fair; some will interview on site. If you want to participate, be sure to check out the policies for the companies in which you’re interested in advance.
  • Individual Career Counseling: Just not sure what you want to do with your life? Make an appointment to see one of the Career Center counselors, http://career.emory.edu/index.html. They will help you to assess your skills and goals, and can administer personality profile tests to help you identify areas of significant strengths. There is even a computer program which can help you hone in on your talents. When you’re done the tests, a career counselor will discuss your options with you and guide you to correct resources for developing those abilities.
  • Pre-Med or Pre-Law? The Career Center has a special counselor dedicated strictly to pre-med and -law issues. Advisement sessions for these careers are held several times a semester to keep you on track. In addition, the Career Center has an extensive library of program information and study guides for admission to both types of programs.
  • Planning to take the GRE, MAT, MCAT, or LSAT? Study guides are available in the Career Center, as well as forms for registering for each of the test administration dates.
  • How Do I Know if I’ll Like What I Think I Want to Do? The Career Center maintains a database web page called the Alumni Connection. You can access hundreds of individuals who began at Emory as Psychology majors, and find out what it’s like to be what they are. Counselors, researchers, statisticians, physicians, lawyers, graduate students, human resource managers, corporate leaders, financial wizards, social workers... no matter what you think you might like to do, the Network should have someone to talk to who is already doing it. These mentors can guide you in pursuing your goals, and tell you what it’ll be like once you get there. The Undergraduate Resource Center also maintains a bank of Psychology grads who are willing to mentor our undergraduate students.
  • Discussion and Interest Groups: The Career Center has special study sessions and discussion groups for students interested in a wide array of topics. You may check the postings on their bulletin board, and sign up for those that interest you. The groups are facilitated by Career Center personnel who are trained in specific issues. In most cases, there is no charge for the sessions. It’s a great way to get some guidance in a small, private setting, and to talk with other students who share your goals and concerns.
  • Special Events: Yes, the Career Center sponsors them... often! Check their board or Eagle Ops for upcoming events.

Graduate School Application Checklist - Start Now!

If you are planning to apply to a graduate program of study in Psychology, you should be certain to prepare very early. The following guideline, adapted from GETTING IN: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology, will help you to approach the graduate school application process in the most effective manner.

Not sure whether graduate study in Psychology is right for you? From books to career guides to application materials, there are many resources to help you start your search for a program that suits your interests.

JUNIOR YEAR

  • Start reading about careers in psychology. Become acquainted with the APA’s publication, Graduate Study in Psychology. Make note of any programs that appeal to you. The Undergraduate Resource Center has all the materials you will need to begin this search.
  • Attend colloquia and other events sponsored by your psychology department. Find out about state, regional, and national psychology conferences. Attend those that interest you if you are able. Information about these events will be posted on the Undergraduate Bulletin Board and throughout the building.
  • Discuss your interests with faculty. Meet with your advisor or Dr. Strock to determine the electives in Math, Science, Computer Science, Psychology, and other areas that might be an asset in applying to graduate school. (See "Which Course, Which Course," for further detail on choosing electives).
  • Find out faculty research interests (listed in the back of your Undergraduate Handbook), read their articles, and get acquainted with those whose research interests you. Take a class with these professors.
  • Volunteer to assist faculty in their research, or investigate other field-related experiences. Assisting with research is an invaluable way to gain research experience, and also to allow professors to get to know you. Having a working relationship with a faculty member will also help in requesting recommendation letters.
  • Find out if you are qualified to join Psi Chi, and become a member if eligible.
  • Search online for information about the GREs or MAT. Use study guides or attend a course to prepare for these exams. Take practice exams to estimate what your score may be.

SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR

  • Fill out an Undergraduate Psychology Major flowchart to assess what requirements you have fulfilled, and which ones remain to be completed. Check your OPUS account to assess your General Education Requirement (GER) completion.
  • Find out what programs interest you by studying Graduate Study in Psychologyor other materials available online or your local library. Compile a preliminary list of programs that offer the area of concentration, degree, and training model that appeal to you.
  • Contact your list of programs for additional information on their programs and financial aid. Study this information carefully.
  • After reviewing this information, compile a list of programs to which you will apply. If you can afford it and it seems worthwhile, visit the campuses of programs that interest you or about which you have the most questions.
  • Call the financial aid offices of the schools to which you intend to apply. Ask for information about the aid available to graduate students, as well as any forms you will need to complete to be considered for financial aid. Ask if there is anyone else to whom you should speak regarding other potential sources of aid.
  • Go to the Career Center or library to research sources of financial aid in addition to the ones offered by the Universities to which you are applying.
  • Plan and schedule your application strategy. Pay careful attention to application deadlines, particularly with regard to financial aid, which often hasearlier deadlines than admissions.
  • Calculate application fees and make sure you have enough money to cover them. Some schools will waive this fee if there is a financial hardship; check with individual schools to see if they have this policy. Begin planning how you will cover the expense of any preselection interviews which you may be required to attend.

 SENIOR YEAR - September

  • Schedule to take the online GREs in September or October. Register for the GRE Subject test in Psychology if this is a requirement of any of the programs. Continue reviewing material for these exams until they are taken.
  • Print out a current copy of your unofficial transcript from OPUS. You will include this transcript in your packet for those faculty members whom you will ask to write letters of recommendation.
  • Prepare a resume for the same purpose.
  • Begin to determine which faculty members you will ask to write letters of recommendation.
  • Begin thinking about the various essay questions and/or personal statement required by the various programs. Allow time for your ideas to germinate.

 
SENIOR YEAR - October

  • Take the GREs; request that scores be sent to all schools to which you will apply.
  • Begin contacting all individuals from whom you will request letters of recommendation.
  • Begin filling out financial aid and application forms.
  • Write first drafts of your essays and personal statement; have others critique these and offer suggestions.

 SENIOR YEAR - November

  • Request at the Registrar’s office that your undergraduate transcript be sent to all of the institutions to which you are applying. Make sure that your transcripts will be sent by your earliest application deadline.
  • Finalize financial aid forms.
  • Get feedback and write final drafts of your essays and personal statement.
  • Contact individuals who have agreed to write you letters of recommendation. Be certain to provide them with a packet including all necessary forms and envelopes for each school, as well as a copy of your resume and transcript. Envelopes should be stamped, addressed, and return-addressed, and should be neatly attached to the proper correspondence for each school.

SENIOR YEAR - December

  • Carefully prepare each application for mailing. Be sure to photocopy each application in its entirety. Consider sending applications registered mail if you can afford it.

 SENIOR YEAR - January/February

  • Begin to prepare for possible preselection interviews.
  • Contact professors whom you have asked to submit letters of recommendation. Confirm that they were sent and thank those who sent them.
  • Follow up with schools to confirm that your completed applications were received.
  • Attend any preselection interviews to which you were invited.

 SENIOR YEAR - March

  • Accept or decline any offers from the schools to which you applied.
  • If you are not accepted to any of the programs of your choice, consider other options towards reapplication the following year.

 SENIOR YEAR - April

  • Finalize financial arrangements for attending graduate school.
  • Call or write the people who wrote your letters of recommendation and inform them of the outcome.
  • Celebrate (or regroup).

  
REMEMBER: It often takes students more than one attempt in order to gain admittance. If you have determined that graduate study in Psychology is your goal and have the minimum qualifications to make this a realistic pursuit, don't give up but work to strengthen your application.

Informational Interviewing: What's It All About

  • Interested in a profession but don’t know exactly what it’s about? Wondering what kind of education you need for the career of your choice? Having trouble finding information about your field of interest? Consider doing some informational interviewing! Informational interviewing involves making contact with professionals already established in your field of interest, and arranging a time to meet with them in person or conduct a phone interview. This process allows you to gather information about your career of choice, while also practicing your interviewing skills! An informational interview differs from a job interview in that YOU ask the questions.
  • How should you go about setting up an informational interview? First, identify people who are currently employed in professions which interest you. Then, call to schedule a 15-20 minute appointment with each person to discuss their position. Be direct in your inquiry; explain that you have done some research on their profession, and would like a few minutes of their time to ask questions about what they do.
  • What kinds of information can you gather? You might like to find out about a particular type of business or service: Who do they serve? What products or services are provided? Who are the competitors? What types of positions are available? What are the qualifications for entry-level and experienced positions? What duties and responsibilities are performed? What are some examples of problems and challenges in the field? What is a typical day like? How does the compensation compare to education and ability level? What are the opportunities for advancement? What opportunities exist for advanced training? Is there a tuition reimbursement plan? What suggestions would they make for an individual wishing to enter this field of employment? What other companies might employ individuals to perform this type of work? Can they refer you to someone else for more information?
  • When you approach professionals in your field of interest from a research point of view and not as if you want a job, they will often be happy to talk with you. If one person doesn’t have time, ask to be referred to another professional in the field. Not only will you come away with information about the profession, but you’ll also have established some contacts in the field of your choice!