CCNY Undergraduate Psychology FAQs


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 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?  Check with the Director of Student Affairs for Psychology, Dr. Glen Milstein, 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.

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?  PSY 102 (Intro), PSY 215 (Statistics), PSY 321 (Experimental), three 200-level (gateway) courses, and four 300-level (advanced) courses.

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.

Grades and Courses

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.

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.