Declaring a Major or Minor
Here are the steps for undergraduate students wishing to declare a Major or Minor in Psychology.
1) Obtain the major-minor declaration form
The Major-Minor Declaration form is located in the College Dean's Office - Room 108 White-Gravenor Hall. Students in other schools who wish to declare a minor in psychology must obtain the proper form from his or her own Dean's office.
2) Choose an advisor
Next, students should choose a psychology professor to be his or her advisor. Students usually choose a professor from whom they have taken a class or whose field of interest corresponds to their own. Advisors can serve many roles including helping students plan their curriculum, provide research and teaching assistant opportunities, or career advice. Although a particular faculty member will sign the major’s form and act as an official advisor, the department strongly encourages students to meet and seek advice from several different faculty members.
Students are not limited - the department strongly encourages students to meet and seek advice from several different faculty members during their time at Georgetown. Not only are these relationships fulfilling, but they become especially important when the need arises for graduate school recommendations. All faculty have scheduled office hours but are willing to see students by appointment as well.
3) Plan a well-balanced program
With the assistance of a faculty advisor, students are expected to plan a program of electives and cognate courses in other disciplines to provide the course sequences most appropriate to their specific goals. In planning lecture classes and tutorials, it may be useful for students to know who is likely to be on sabbatical or on leave in coming semesters. Plans for sabbaticals and leaves of absence are subject to change, so confirm with the Department's main office (306 White-Gravenor), or check the scheduled office hours. If a faculty member is on leave, it will state so here.
A well-balanced program refers to more than just psychology courses. One important consideration is the selection of an appropriate minor or a second major. Students are not required to have a minor, but many psychology majors have found that minors such as biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, English, sociology, government, cognitive science, or computer science very helpful. A minor broadens one’s perspective of his or her own discipline.
Students may consider taking a double major, which often means having fewer elective courses but a more structured degree program. A number of well-known psychologists have strong backgrounds in other disciplines. One should begin to look for cognate fields in one’s first or second year. A student’s choice of a minor depends heavily upon their professional goals and general interests.
For suggestions of cognate areas appropriate to a particular specialty area consult one of the faculty members with interests in that area. Advisors may have further suggestions.
If interested in applying to graduate school in psychology, it is important to follow a broad course of study. Of particular importance is a strong background in research methods and statistics.
4) Plan for graduate school
If interested in applying to graduate school in psychology it is important to follow a broad course of study. Of particular importance is a strong background in research methods and statistics. MATH-040 "Probability and Statistics" has been introduced as a new Major requirement.
5) Other information
There are two little-known rules in the College which should be kept in mind when planning your undergraduate program.
- No first or second-year student may take two courses in a single department in a given semester.
- Majors are not allowed to count more than 14 courses in Psychology toward graduation.
If too many psychology courses are taken in the first three years, students may not be able to take any in their senior year. Count carefully; the deans seldom grant exceptions to this rule.
Please note: Students are responsible for knowing and meeting the requirements for the major or minor.
Majors and Minors Listserv: The Psychology Majors and Minors Listserv PSYCHOLGYMM-L is a Listserv managed by the Department of Psychology. PSYCHOLGYMM-L provides important departmental information to students and faculty: departmental announcements, job and internship opportunities, seminars and lectures, and other special events. Students are added upon declaring, but it is possible for this addition to not be processed; if you are a Major or Minor and believe you are not already on the ListServ please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
If you have specific questions about the major or minor and cannot find the answers in the Undergraduate Handbook, please contact the Director of the Undergraduate Program, Professor David Crystal.