Can I have a double major?
Yes, double majors are allowed, and we usually have individuals in the Department who are pursuing double majors. Note that in doing so, a student must complete all requirements for both majors. Courses which are common between the two majors (i.e., the University General Education courses and cognate/prerequisite courses) need be taken only once. Students should consult their academic advisor prior to deciding to pursue a double major.
Should I declare a minor?
A minor is most useful for those pursuing a job after graduation (including teaching) rather than going on to graduate/professional school. Having a minor tells an employer that you have depth in a second skill area, and that might be useful in selling yourself to the employer. So, if there is another area of interest that you want to pursue, by all means do it. However, if pursuing a minor means taking additional courses that are not really of interest, or may lower your GPA, then you probably should pass on this option and concentrate on the courses of your chosen major. A minor may be added at any time prior to graduation- no rush.
Is Study Abroad an option for majors in the department?
Absolutely, and it is encouraged. The opportunity to spend a semester in a foreign country is an exciting and unique experience that more students should take advantage of. Behavioral Science majors in recent years have attended universities in England, Australia, and New Zealand with great success. If you are interested in this option, you need to consult your faculty advisor a year in advance. The International Student Office in Renner Hall has all of the resources and experience necessary to make Study Abroad easy and rewarding.
Where can I find ideas for a research project?
Since research is carried out with a faculty member of the Department, the faculty would be the best source of ideas. Often faculty indicate ideas that they have to the junior and senior seminar classes. Students usually approach research from one of two directions: a) select a topic or area of interest, and approach the faculty member whose own research interest are the closest (remember, all faculty in the department are eager to work with undergraduate students!); b) select a faculty member that you would enjoy working with, and ask him/her for a list of possible research topics. Remember, if a faculty member cannot accommodate your needs at the moment, he/she will direct you to other faculty members who may be able to help.
How much time should I expect to spend studying and preparing for each class?
The general rule is that for every credit hour in class, you should spend 2-3 hours outside of class working on the class (e.g., studying, preparing, completing assignments). This means that for a 4-credit hour course, you should spend 8-12 hours outside of class working on the class. For courses that you find particularly challenging (e.g., statistics and research methods), you should be prepared to spend 3 or more hours outside of class working on the course.
I need to work during the school year- how many hours a week is reasonable?
There is always a conflict between work and study. What you need to keep in mind is that to be successful in your study and to get the GPA necessary to reach your career goals you should spend at least 2-3 hours of study time for every hour you are in class. In other words, if you are carrying 16 hours this semester, that would mean a minimum of 32 hours a week of study (or a total educational time of 48 hours per week). Stated another way, going to college is a full-time job- working a second job is difficult and often disruptive of a normal lifestyle. Nonetheless, most students find it necessary to work in order to pay the bills. We recommend that you work no more than 10 hours per week during the semester.
What is the minimum grade for a course which is required for my major?
A grade of D is required for courses in your major. You must have a grade point average of 2.00 in your major in order to graduate.
Are any of the University Core classes waived for Psychology Majors?
Yes, UC 140 (Quantitative Reasoning) and UC 230 (Social Science) are waived as part of the Psychology Major.
Should I take an Independent Study course?
The purpose of an independent study is to allow a student to study an area of Psychology that is normally not covered in an existing course, or to delve into more depth on a topic only briefly covered in class. It may also be an opportunity to do laboratory or field research on a topic of student interest. An independent study project is supervised by a member of the full time Department faculty, and must have the approval of the Department Chair prior to beginning.