How to declare a psychology major
1) Students who are interested in declaring a psychology major should first read about the major requirements here. (Important note: The requirements at that link will be changing starting with the Class of 2020. Students in the Class of 2019 may choose to use either the new or the old requirements. Students in the Class of 2018 must use the old requirements. Check out this PDF to see the new major requirements. A checklist based on the old requirements can be seen under Course Planning Information.)
2) After reading about the major requirements you must start the process of declaring the major in the Garnet Gateway. (From the Registration Menu — located under the Student Records menu—click on the “Declare Majors, Minors, and Concentrations” link.) Note that when you declare the major in the Garnet Gateway you will be forced to choose a concentration area (i.e., Cognition & Emotion, Biological & Health, Developmental & Personality, or Cultural & Social — see Step 1 for details on the differences between focus areas). Don’t panic! You can always change the focus area in the Garnet Gateway at any time!
3) You will then need to meet with the chair of the department, Helen Boucher. You should plan to meet with her for 10 minutes during her major declaration appointment times, which vary weekly. You can schedule an appointment with her using this online appointment manager. Be sure to complete steps 1 and 2 BEFORE meeting with the chair.
Note: In order to prompt exploration and a full embrace of the liberal arts, the Psychology Department discourages students from declaring the major during their first year. If you are a first year student, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with Prof. Boucher to discuss your choice of classes and major requirements, but please wait until sophomore year to proceed with the official declaration process.
Commonly Asked Questions:
1) Is there a difference between an academic adviser and a thesis adviser?
Yes, the academic adviser is the person who will answer questions about the major as well as questions you may have about finishing general education requirements (e.g., S, L, Q, GECs, etc.). The thesis adviser is the person who will advise your thesis project during your senior year. You do not need to have the same person as your academic adviser and thesis adviser. When you declare the major you will be assigned an academic adviser. The thesis adviser will be assigned at the end of your junior year based on your research interests.
2) Is there a deadline to declare my major(s), minors(s), and concentrations(s)?
Yes, you must have initiated the declaration process by March 1st of your sophomore year. Students who do not meet this deadline will not be eligible to register for Short Term or the following Fall registration until this is complete.
3) Can I drop a major/minor/concentration online?
Yes, click on the “Declare Majors, Minors, and Concentrations” link after logging into Garnet Gateway and click the “drop” button next to the appropriate major/minor/concentration. Please note that the chair and adviser will be notified of the drop.
4) Can I change my adviser after I have declared?
Yes, although this is currently still a paper process. To do this you will need to pick up a change of adviser form from the Registrar’s Office and then bring this form to the chair of the department to request a different academic adviser.
5) What happens if my academic adviser is on leave (e.g., during a sabbatical)?
If your adviser goes on leave the chair of the department will reassign you to a new (temporary) academic adviser.