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?

Laboratory and Statistics Courses

Can I enroll in a lab and lecture separately (in different semesters)?
What is the "Psych Lottery"?
How do I enroll in Barnard Psychology Laboratory and Statistics Courses?

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 independent research in the Psychology department?
Can I take two semesters of Independent Study and receive 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 recieve college credit for my AP or IB exam in Psychology? Can this credit count toward the major or minor requirements?
May I fulfill the statistics requirement with an alternative to the Psychology Department's Statistics course?
How do I receive college credit for courses taken elsewhere? Can I count these courses toward my major requirements?
How do I find information about job and internship opportunities?
Does the Department have advice about planning for Graduate School?
Can I see previous senior theses and other final senior projects?

For Barnard Students (Majors & Non-Majors)

How do I fulfill the College Science Requirement with Psychology?

The Department of Psychology offers the following laboratory courses:

Introductory Lab
PSYC BC1015 Psychology Research Methods Laboratory (previously PSYC BC1010)  

Group A
PSYC BC1107 Psychology of Learning (BC1106 Psychology of Learning Lab) 
PSYC BC1115 Cognitive Psychology (BC1114 Cognitive Psychology Lab)

Group B
PSYC BC1110 Perception (BC1109 Perception Lab) 
PSYC BC1119 Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience (BC1118 Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience Lab)

Group C
PSYC BC1125 Psychology of Personality (BC1124 Psychology of Personality Lab)
PSYC BC1138 Social Psychology (BC1137 Social Psychology Lab)
PSYC BC1129 Developmental Psychology (BC1128 Developmental Psychology Lab)

 

For students who entered Barnard prior to Fall 2016 (satisfying the Nine Ways of Knowing GED requirements):


There are TWO OPTIONS. 

1.) Take two topical lab courses concurrently with their corresponding lectures, chosen from two different groups (listed above); OR 

2.) Take PSYC BC1010 Introduction Laboratory in Experimental Psychology (which has become BC1015 as of FA16), with PSYC BC1001 Introduction to Psychology lecture (or its equivalent), followed by one lab/lecture combination from Group A, B, or C.

*Please note that BC1010/BC1015 must be taken prior to a Group A/B/C lab; and a student must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in BC1001, or its equivalent. 

For students entering Barnard in Fall 2016 and later (satisfying Barnard's Foundations requirements):

Same as above, but only one lab is required with the two lectures. Again, lectures must be from different groups. 


Notes:

  • You can take a course to satisfy a GED requirement (in this case, a psychology laboratory) for a P/D/F grade. This is a College rule, and not a Departmental one.
  • Please also refer to the College Catalogue for information on Requirements for a Liberal Arts Degree.

What is the "Psychology Club" and how do I take part?
The Psychology Club, now Psyched: The Barnard Psychologcal Society, 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 Society's page. 


Laboratory and Statistics Courses 

Can I enroll in a lab and lecture separately (in different semesters)?
Although lecture and laboratories are listed as individual courses with their own call numbers and credits, the courses are linked, conceptually and formally. This means that the only way to get credit for lab is to receive a passing grade in the corresponding lecture course. Practically, this means that you must enroll in corresponding lecture and lab courses concurrently. The only exception to this rule is with BC1010 Introductory Laboratory to Experimental Psychology (and as pf FA16, BC1015 Psychology Research Methods Laboratory) since there is no attached lecture to this lab course.

How do I enroll in Barnard Psychology Laboratory and Statistics courses?
In order to enroll in a lab or statistics course in the Department of Psychology at Barnard College, students must have taken BC1001 Introduction to Psychology, or its approved equivalent. For BC1015, students may concurrently be enrolled in BC1001.

What is the "Psych Lottery"?
Prior to Fall 2016, an on-line lottery was held twice a year (once each semester) to fairly accommodate the great demand for Barnard laboratory and statistics cources.  Beginning in Fall 2016, there will no longer be a lottery, and the Department of Psychology will implement a new enrollment process for laboratories and statistics courses. Please visit the Psychology website and/or contact the Department Administrator in October 2016 to learn more details. 


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 independent research in the Psychology department?
Yes. You should contact a faculty member as soon as you have an idea for a project, or if you know there is someone with whom you would like to work but still need to discuss research ideas. If you are working with someone outside of Barnard, you will need a Barnard faculty member as an on-campus superviser. Once you have identified a Barnard faculty member, you can enroll in BC3601-3608 (the course number depends on the semester/year).

While the research might differ slightly across laboratories/with different mentors, each student will be expected to read a set of original scientific readings of articles relevant to the research field; participate in weekly meetings with the supervisor, as well complete additional hours of research, and data analysis; and complete a culminating final project or paper. 

Can I enroll in two semesters of Individual Study and receive 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, the first course will be numbered BC3601-3608 (depending on the year), and the second course will be BC3599. 


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 receive college credit for my AP or IB exam in Psychology? Can this credit count toward the Major or Minor requirements?

For any student entering Barnard in Fall 2016 and thereafter: A  score of 4 or 5 on the Psychology Advanced Placement (AP) exam or a score of 5 or 6 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) exam does allow you to be exempt from BC1001 Introduction to Psychology, however another PSYC course must be taken in its place. This includes students who elect a Major or Minor in Psychology, as well as non-major students who choose to fulfill the College's General Education Requirements with Psychology. If you choose to take BC1001, the College will also count your acceptable AP and IB scores as 3 credits toward your degree. Further information may be found on the Registrar's website

For students who entered Barnard College before fall 2016, the major distinction is that the College will not give a student credit for AP/IB as well as credit for BC1001. That is, if you enter Barnard with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP/IB and choose to take BC1001, you would not also get three points toward graduation.

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, and to do so early on in their academic careers. However, a course in statistics from an institution other than Barnard may be used to satisfy the requirement if this course is approved by the Departmental Representative. Note: a student who takes PSYC W1610 Statistics for the Behavioral Scientists may not also receive credit for PSYC BC1101/1102 (they are considered overlapping courses).

How do I receive college credit for courses taken elsewhere? Can I count these courses toward my major requirements?
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. Note that while some courses are readily approvable (most Introductory Psychology courses and intermediate-level electives are), others are not. For example, it is extremely difficult to find an outside course that fulfills our laboratory requirement, and courses fulfilling the Group 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 and other final senior projects?
Titles of past presentation can be found here and copies of past senior theses and senior requirement papers are available in the Department. 

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