Frequently Asked Questions

 

For Barnard Students (Majors & Non-Majors)

How do I fulfill the College Science Requirement with Psychology?
What is the Psychology Club and how do I take part?
 

Lottery FAQ's

What is the lottery?
When is the lottery?
How do I enter the lottery?
I am studying abroad. Can I enter the lottery?
What should I do if I have trouble entering the lottery?
 

For Barnard Students (Majors & Minors)

How do I declare a major in psychology?
When should I declare my major in psychology?
Can I change my major adviser?
What are the requirements for the major?
Can I do two semesters of Individual Projects and recieve credit for both?
How do I declare a minor in psychology?
I have a form that says it needs the "signature of the department chair." Should I bring it to the department chair?
Can I get college credit for my AP or IB exam in Psychology? Can it count toward the major or minor?
May I fulfill the statistics requirement with an alternative to the Psychology Department's Statistics course?
How do I get college credit for courses taken elsewhere? Can I count these courses toward my major?
How do I find information about job and internship opportunities?
Does the Department have advice about planning for Graduate School?
 

For Barnard Students (Majors & Non-Majors)

How do I fulfill the College Science Requirement with Psychology?
The answer to this question can be found in the College Science Requirement section.

What is the Psychology Club and how do I take part?
The Psychology Club is open to all students interested in psychology (not just majors and minors). In the past they've hosted such events as a graduate school panel, a meet and great with members of the faculty, and a movie night. For information about the next event or to sign-up, please visit the Psychology Club page. 

Lottery FAQ's

What is the lottery?
In order to enroll in a lab or statistics course in Psychology, students must have taken BC1001 Introduction to Psychology (or have received AP or IB credit) and then they must enroll in the lottery the semester before the course is offered. All questions about the lottery should be directed to the Department Administrator.            

When is the lottery?
The lottery dates are announced prior to the Program Planning Period. The dates are publicized in emails sent to students and on the Department website. It is the student's responsibility to find out the lottery dates.

How do I enter the lottery?
Students enter the lottery on-line through MyBarnard. The Department asks that students read all of the directions carefully. The lottery was created to accommodate as many students as possible, as fairly as possible, and, to this end, the Department strictly adheres to all of the policies as they are posted on-line.

I am studying abroad. Can I enter the lottery?
Students studying abroad must still enter the lottery if they wish to take a lab in the semester that they return. If a student does not have access to the internet during the lottery dates, she may email her selections to the Department Administrator. It is very important that students studying abroad check that their student status is correct when entering the lottery.

What should I do if I have trouble entering the lottery?
If you have any questions or problems regarding the lottery (even if you forgot to enter the lottery), please contact the Department Administrator immediately.

For Barnard Students (Majors & Minors)

How do I declare a major in psychology?
Welcome to the Department! Your first step is to find an adviser. You can start by checking the list of advising faculty and their interests on the Choosing an Adviser page. You may want to speak with a few potential advisers before selecting one. Go to their office hours, send them an email, or speak with them after class and find out if they are taking on advisees. Once you have found someone you like who agrees to advise you, get a major declaration form from the Registrar's office. Fill it out with your information and your adviser's name, and bring it to the Departmental Representative to sign. Then take the signed form back to the Registrar. Your new adviser's name should show up in your on-line record within a day or two.

When should I declare my major in psychology?
Students typically declare their major at the end of their sophomore year, before program filing. Keep your eyes open for the program planning meeting where you can learn about the major and meet the faculty. You can also declare your major earlier, or change your major at other times. If you are a junior planning to change to a psychology major from another department, you should meet with the Departmental Representative (or your future adviser) to discuss your program and see if it is possible to finish the requirements in time to graduate.

Can I change my major adviser?
You can change your adviser at any time. The process is the same as declaring a major. Check the list of advising faculty on the Choosing an Adviser page. Once you have identified a professor who agrees to advise you, pick up a Change of Adviser form from the Registrar's office, fill it out, and bring it to the Departmental Representative to sign. Then take the signed form back to the Registrar.

What are the requirements for the major?
Check the Department website under Requirements. You can also find the requirements in the College Catalogue. If you have questions, you can ask the Departmental Representative, the Department Administrator, or your adviser.

Can I do two semesters of Individual Projects and recieve credit for both?

Yes, with permission ahead of time from the Departmental Representative. Please note that if the two semesters are in the same academic year, once you are granted permission by the Registrar to add the corse to your program, you must use BC3601-3608 (depending on the year) for the first semester, and BC3599 for the second. 

How do I declare a minor in psychology?
You should declare your minor after you have finished all of the requirements, or partway through the second semester of your senior year if you are finishing up the minor then. Check out the requirements for the minor. Once you've fulfilled all the requirements, get a minor declaration form from the Registrar's office, fill it out, bring it to the Departmental Representative (not the Chair) to sign, and return it to the Registrar.  Note: if you have taken a course Pass/D/Fail which you would like to use for the Psych Minor, once the minor declaration form has been signed and submitted to the Registrar's office, the Registrar will uncover the letter grade that the professor of the course assigned to you (faculty do not know necessarily that you are taking a course pass/fail). Assuming you received a C- or better, this course can be applied ot the minor requirements. 

I have a form that says it needs the "signature of the department chair." Should I bring it to the department chair?
Surprise - No, you should bring it to the Departmental Representative. Because the Psychology Department is so big, many of the Chair's responsibilities are carried out by the Departmental Representative, including transfer credit approvals, major declarations, changes of adviser, and pre-approval of summer classes. Pretty much everything that needs to be signed that pertains to undergraduates is the responsibility of the Departmental Representative. If the Departmental Representative is not in, and the issue is an uncomplicated one, you can leave the form in the Departmental Representative's door slot and pick it up later after it has been signed. You may want to send an email to let the Departmental Representative know that you have dropped it off.

Can I get college credit for my AP or IB exam in Psychology? Can it count toward the major or minor?
If you received a score of 4 or 5 on your Advanced Placement exam, or a score of 5 or 6 on the International Baccalaureate exam, you can receive 3 credits toward your degree. Make sure that the credits show up on your transcript. If they don't, you'll need to arrange for your score to be sent to the Registrar's office. The exam counts as the equivalent of BC1001 Introduction to Psychology, so if you take the course, you can't get credit for the exam too. If you are majoring or minoring in psychology, the exam fulfills the introductory requirement, and you are not required to take the course. However, the exam won't count toward the eight psychology courses required for the major (or the five courses for the minor), so you will need to take an additional elective psychology course.

May I fulfill the statistics requirement with an alternative to the Barnard Psychology Department's Statistics course?
All majors are encouraged to enroll in PSYC BC 1101 and 1102. However, a course in statistics from an institution other than Barnard or Columbia may be used to satisfy the requirement if this course is approved by the Departmental Representative. If this course is offered in Psychology, it will also count toward the 10 PSYC courses for the Major or the 6 PSYC courses for the Minor. A student who takes an outside course may not also receive credit for PSYC BC1101/1102. She will also need an extra psychology elective to complete the 10 PSYC course requirement for the Major (or the 6 PSYC course requirement for the Minor Concentration).

How do I get college credit for courses taken elsewhere? Can I count these courses toward my major?
Note that there are two steps here - the first is getting college credit for a course, that is, getting it listed on your transcript. The second is getting it to count toward your major. The first part falls under the domain of the Registrar's office. They will give you a form to fill out with the courses you have taken (or intend to take) elsewhere. If these include psychology courses, those courses will need to be approved by the Departmental Representative. The Departmental Representative will initial the form in the box where it asks for the Chair's initials. For a course to be approvable, it must be offered at an institution that grants a Bachelor's degree, and the course needs to be creditable towards that degree. Be careful - many community colleges, junior colleges, and night school classes won't be approvable.

As for the second part, courses from other institutions can also count towards the major. This process falls under the domain of the Psychology Department. Download this Form, fill it out, and give it to the Departmental Representative to sign. This form should then be turned back in to the Department Administrator. Note that while some courses are readily approvable (most Introductory Psychology courses and intermediate-level electives are approvable), others are not. For example, it is extremely difficult to find an outside course that fulfills our laboratory requirement, and courses fulfilling the A, B, and C distributions must closely match the equivalent Barnard course in content. Be prepared to provide a course description and syllabus for any courses you want to apply toward the major.

We strongly advise that you have courses at other institutions approved before you take them - especially summer courses and courses for a semester abroad. You don't want to discover after the fact that you cannot get expected credit for a course or that it won't apply toward your major requirements.

How do I find information about job and internship opportunities?
If a student would like to work with someone in the Department, she should contact that faculty member directly. Otherwise, information about available job and internship opportunities is available on the bulletin board outside the Department. Some students also find the Psychological Services and Counseling Placement List helpful.

Does the Department have advice about planning for Graduate School?
Helpful information about applying to graduate school can be found in the Graduate Study Handout. In addition, Professor Sumati Gupta is available to advise students interested in graduate school in psychology.

Can I see previous senior theses?
Titles of past presentation can be found here and copies of past senior theses are available in the Department.

If you have a question that was not answered here, please feel free to contact the Department Administrator.