Undergraduate Psychology FAQs

General Questions

Is Psychology the major for me?

 There is nothing to be lost in taking psychology courses. You can use these courses to fulfill general education requirements or for your psychology major, if you decide later that you would like to major in psychology.  So, wait until you take some psych classes before you decide whether psychology is for you.

How can non-psychology majors benefit from psychology courses? 

Many careers depend on having good interpersonal skills. The principles that are learned in psychology courses are easily transferred to other disciplines, including marketing, medicine, engineering, and so forth.

Should I earn a B.A. or a B.S. degree? 

If you are pre-med, you should earn a B.S. degree. Also, if you enjoy science and math classes, or plan a psychology career specializing in neuroscience, then you should consider a B.S. degree.  Otherwise, you would probably benefit most from a B.A. degree.

How do I declare a major in psychology? (NEW)

It is recommended that you connect with an advisor first to be certain that you understand the requirements.

Then, you can declare the major yourself by going here: iDeclare

How can I get advising for my major or minor in Psychology? (NEW)

A list of the psychology advisors as well as their advising schedules and how to connect with them can be found on the Psychology Department’s home page.

See here: Psychology-Home-Page

How can I minor or do a double major in another field? 

Check the course bulletin (available on-line or at the Info desk) to see the requirements for minoring or majoring in the other field. Then, speak to an advisor from that department to learn the specifics.  Most credits from the professional schools (education, architecture, and engineering) do not carry over to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  So you may wish to consider obtaining a second degree instead of a double major.
 

How can I get involved in research? 

Faculty members in psychology offer many research opportunities, either in fieldwork or as independent study. Contact faculty members whose interests most closely match yours.

How can I receive credit for community service work? 

Connect with Ms. Sophia Barrett for information on service work opportunities.

How can get involved in other activities for Psychology majors?

Consider joining the Psychology Student Association (Psych Club) and the Psi Chi Honors Society for further opportunities and activities specifically for Psychology majors.

Where can I find help with using DegreeWorks? (NEW)

You can find help with using DegreeWorks here: Registrar-DegreeWorks

About Requirements

What do I have to do to minor in psychology? 

Take PSY 102 (or PSY 101 for honors) and an additional 4 three-credit courses in psychology.

What courses are needed to complete the psychology major? (NEW)

All of the requirements for the BA and the BS can be found here: General-Requirements

What psychology courses should I take next? (NEW)

The Psychology Department’s requirements can be found here: General-Requirements

It is best to take the Common Requirements and the Gateway Requirements before taking Advanced Courses.

You can find CCNY’s additional degree requirements in your DegreeWorks account.

Do I have to take independent study or field work to graduate? 

No, but it is highly recommended, especially if you intend to pursue graduate study in Psychology.
 

Can I take 102 and 215 at the same time?

No, 102 is a prerequisite for 215.
 

Can I take 215 and 321 at the same time? 

No, 215 is a prerequisite for 321

About Grades and Courses

The psychology class I want to register for is full. What can I do? (NEW)

You can put yourself on a waitlist in CUNYfirst. The following page, provided by Hunter College, provides a good explanation about how to get on one. Note that not all courses have a waitlist. Hunter-Waitlist-Information

How do I drop or add a course?

Fill out an add/drop form from the Registrar’s office and have your course instructor sign it; return the form to the Registrar.

Can I take psychology courses at other CUNY colleges and get credit at CCNY? (NEW)

Yes. You can do so by getting an E-Permit. The following pages will show you how:

Registrar-E-permit-Information

How-To-Request-An-E-Permit

NOTE: Be sure to adhere to the Residency Requirements noted on the Requirements Page:

Where can I find a list of the psychology course descriptions and their prerequisites? (NEW)

You can find them here: Psychology Course Descriptions

Is class attendance required? 

Yes.

What happens when you get an “Incomplete/ INC” grade?

The Registrar’s Office will change the temporary grade of INC to failure (FIN) by the tenth week of the following semester unless the instructor has submitted a passing grade. Students who receive an INC grade are encouraged to contact their instructors as soon as possible in order to complete the necessary coursework to have the grade changed.

What can I do if I get an “F” in a course? 

You may be eligible for the repeat-F policy.  A student may repeat up to 16 credits of failed courses; if the second grade is C or higher (C- does not qualify), the original grade of F will not be used in calculation of the GPA.  The revised GPA will be used for graduation.  However, the course and grade of F remain on your transcript.  In addition, the F grade will apply to graduation honors.  Consult with the Office of the Registrar for specific applications of this policy.

If I don’t get a C or better in PSY 215 (Applied Statistics) or any required Psychology course do I have to retake it?

No, you are not required to retake the course, but we highly recommend that you do, especially if you plan to continue your education and/or intend to pursue a career in psychology.

What other courses do I need to take to graduate? 

You need to fulfill the core curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).  For those completing a B.S. in Psychology, the core differs from the core for those completing a B.A. in Psychology.  Please see the current bulletin for specific requirements.

To whom should I go if I have a problem with a course or an instructor?

If you feel comfortable, your first step should be to discuss your concerns with your instructor.  If the course has a teaching assistant, you might find this person to be more approachable.  If neither of these discussions produces a satisfactory result take your concerns to the department chair, who can suggest additional options.

About the future

How can I improve my chances to get into graduate school?

What should I do? What courses should I take?  Graduate programs in psychology are highly competitive.  They typically consider three factors when making admissions decisions: (1) Your undergraduate GPA (and your grades in any subsequent graduate courses you may have taken); (2) The quality of letters of recommendation written on your behalf; (3) Your scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), perhaps including the Subject test in psychology.  When examining your undergraduate record, admissions committees may consider the specific courses you’ve taken.  If, for example, you are interested in studying cognitive neuroscience in graduate school, it is recommended that you take (and do well in) undergraduate courses in neuroscience.  Faculty who you have worked with, as part of field work or independent study, often have more information to write letters of recommendation than faculty with whom you have only taken courses.

How do I find out about graduate programs in Psychology?

The American Psychological Association (APA) publishes the Graduate Study in Psychology each year that summarizes each of the graduate programs.  The APA also publishes book on pursuing careers in psychology.  The CCNY Psych Club has material that will help you identify graduate programs that interest you.

When should I apply to graduate school? 

Applications to graduate school are made in the first semester of your senior year.

When should I take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and how should I prepare for it?

Take the GREs the summer before you apply to graduate school.

I want to get some experience to help me get a job after I graduate. What can I do?

Find at least two internships before you graduate. Although there are very many factors that impact one’s ability to find a job after college, gaining work experience in your chosen field and industry will certainly help.

If your career plans are to work in a clinical role, these are some places to look:

  1. Volunteer In NYC: https://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer
  2. Volunteering at NYC Health + Hospitals: https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/volunteering/
  3. Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI): https://www.mountsinai.org/locations/mount-sinai/about/volunteer/patient
  4. Psych Unit In-Patient Care: https://www.nyp.org/volunteer/volunteer-locations/weill-cornell-medical-center
  5. Crisis text hotline: https://www.crisistextline.org/become-a-volunteer/
  6. Suicide hotline: https://samaritansnyc.org/volunteer/
  7. Violence Intervention and Treatment Program: https://www.nycservice.org/organizations/1314
  • The Psychology Department can give you credits for interning. Send an Email to Ms. Sophia Barrett ( sbarrett@ccny.cuny.edu ). She can help you understand the process.

If your career plans are to work in more of a business role, these are some places to look:

  1. On LinkedIn, join this group: “Colin Powell School – Student Career Opportunities.” If you do not have a LinkedIn account, it is free to get one.
  2. Join CPDI’s Internship Program: https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/cpdi   
  3. The Psychology Department also has some internships: https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/psychology/applied-psychology-internships
  4. https://www.internships.com/
  5. https://www.internships.com/new-york-ny
  6. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dcas/employment/internships.page  
  7. Email Dr. Paino ( rpaino@ccny.cuny.edu ) to receive the CUNY Career Success Initiative Internship and Job Opportunities Newsletter delivered to your inbox:

Some relevant reading:

https://www.siop.org/Career-Center/I-O-Internships

https://www.siop.org/Career-Center/I-O-Career-Paths

  • The Psychology Department can give you credits for interning. Send an Email to Dr. Paino He can help you understand the process.

  • DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME - BE SAFE
  • LOOK FOR AN INTERNSHIP THAT WILL LET YOU WORK COMPLETELY REMOTELY (FROM HOME).
  • THE INTERVIEW SHOULD BE DONE VIRTUALLY, THROUGH ZOOM OR SOME OTHER PLATFORM.
  • YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR VIRTUALLY.

Last Update: 04/14/2020