ADVISING AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Undergraduate Program
 

Welcome to the Department of Psychology Advising and Frequently Asked Questions web page. You'll find useful information about declaring the major and minor in psychology, course prerequisites, required statistics and research design courses, registration, graduation, transfers, overrides, graduate school, and how to contact an advisor in psychology.

 
INDEX OF ADVISING TOPICS
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  Psychology Advisors and Advising Resources at WWU
  How to Major in Psychology
  Graduation Requirements for Psychology Major
  Interdisciplinary Major in Education
  Interdisciplinary Major in Neuroscience
  Minor in Psychology and Sports Psychology
 Transferring Courses
  Course Prerequisites, Registration ,and Overrides
  Graduate School: Recommendations on Applying
  Career Options with a Degree in Psychology
  Courses Offered in the Summer and Question about Sociology 210
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SECTION 1: Psychology Advisors and Advising Resources at WWU
 

1.1. WHO ARE THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT ADVISORS?

  • The psychology advisors are tenure-track faculty. You may meet with a faculty advisor during his/her office hours or by appointment. To speak with an advisor before declaring the Psychology major, you may contact any Psychology Department faculty member. You may consult with this person about your class schedule, research interests, career plans, and related topics.

  • When you declare Psychology as your major, you will be assigned to a faculty advisor. You may meet with a faculty advisor during his/her office hours or by appointment.

Transfer Advisors and Education Certification

Contact the Psychology Department (650-3515; Academic Instruction Center 434) for the current transfer advisors and advisor for educational certification.

1.2. ADVISING RESOURCES AT WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

  Academic Advising Center
  Admissions Office
  Career Services Center
  Ethnic Student Center
  Scholarship Center
  Student Financial Resources
  Tutorial Center
  Writing Center
  Visit the Psychology Department Resources page for links to other helpful websites at Western.

1.3. CALCULATE YOUR GPA

Calculate your  Grade Point Average (GPA) online using the Academic Advising Center's GPA calculator.

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SECTION 2: MAJOR IN PSYCHOLOGY, AND INTERDISCIPLINARY MAJORS WITH EDUCATION AND IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE
 

2.1. DECLARING THE MAJOR IN PSYCHOLOGY

  • What are the requirements for declaring the major?
    To declare a major in psychology, a student must have the following: 
    1.    Completed at least 75 credits;
    2.    Successfully completed or be currently enrolled in Psychology 301;
    3.    Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) of 2.70 or higher. A GPA of 3.0 or higher in Western Psychology courses, including Psychology 301, may substitute for the overall 2.70 GPA.
  • How do I declare the major in psychology? 
    1.  Beginning of the third week of each quarter, an email is sent to students currently taking PSY 301 with instructions on how to declare the major. Professors teaching PSY 301 also make an announcement in their class.  Student should declare the major prior to the Phase I date of registration for the following quarter
    2. In special cases, it may be possible to declare the major at other times as well (for example, you may not have the required GPA at the normal time for declaring, but you do achieve that GPA at the end of the quarter. You will then be able to declare at that time). 
    3. If you have met the requirements for declaring the major (see the section above), visit the Psychology Department office (Academic Instruction Center 434) and fill out the application for the major form.

2.2 DEGREE PLANNING GUIDES

The Academic Advising Center provides helpful information on degree planning. They offer the following guide:

2.3. B.A. IN PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

What are the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology?

2.4. B.A. IN EDUCATION GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • What are the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Education?
    1. The Elementary/Human Development major consists 53-56 credits.
    2. The major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. This results in a K-8 elementary endorsement.
    3. Required courses
     
  • Psy 101
  • Psy 210 or 220
  • Psy 240 or 250
  • Psy 230 or 372
  • Psy 321 or 371
  • Psy 301
  • Three classes from Psy 302, 303, 305, 310-320, 322-324, 329, 331-359
    (Psy 302 and Psy 305 strongly recommended)
  • Two classes from Psy 373, 374, 330

2.5. COMBINED PSYCHOLOGY AND ELEMENTARY EDUCATION MAJORS

  • How does the Elementary Education Program major differ from the Psychology major?
    The Elementary Education Program major provides a solid background in psychology but has fewer requirements for statistics and methods courses and seminars in psychology. 
  • If I choose to combine both Psychology and Elementary Education Majors, do I also need an advisor in the College of Education?
    Yes. Your psychology advisor will be able to answer any questions about the Psychology major, but you will need an advisor in Education to answer questions such as "How do I apply to the College of Education," or "When do I do my student teaching?"

2.6 B.A. IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE (INTERDISCIPLINARY DEGREE)

2.7. APPLYING FOR GRADUATION WITH THE MAJOR

  • When should I apply for graduation?
    1. You should apply for graduation at least two quarters prior to the quarter you expect to graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate at the end of Spring quarter, you need to apply for graduation before the end of Fall quarter.
    2. If you are planning to graduate during Winter quarter, you need to apply for graduation before the end of Summer quarter. If you plan to apply during summer quarter, try to do so during the six-week summer session, as more Psychology advisors will be around at that time (compared to the last 3 weeks of the 9-week summer session). If you will not be able to apply before the end of the summer quarter (e.g., if you will not be in Bellingham at that time), then you should apply during Spring quarter.
    3
    . Plan to have your major evaluation completed as early as possible during the quarter, well in advance of registration. Meet with a Psychology advisor for a your major evaluation (see next section below).
  • What if I'm not sure about the quarter I'll be graduating?
    1. Meet with a Psychology advisor for a major evaluation. The advisor will be able to determine the courses remaining for completion of your degree and help you determine which quarter you will be eligible to graduate.
    2. Review the University Graduation Requirements in the Western Washington University General Catalog to determine if you have satisfied all of the requirements.
  • How do I apply for graduation?
    1. Make an appointment for a major evaluation with your Psychology advisor. Be sure to bring a copy of your transcript (an unofficial copy is fine) and your Degree Planning Guide.
    2. After meeting with the Psychology advisor, turn in your major evaluation and Degree Application packet to the Registrar's Office, Old Main 230. You may obtain a Degree Application Form on the Registrar's Office website.

2.8. GENERAL UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS GUIDE

The General Catalog has information about graduation requirements from Western Washington University.
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SECTION 3: MINOR IN PSYCHOLOGY AND SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY
 

3.1. DECLARING THE PSYCHOLOGY MINOR AND SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY MINOR

  • Do I have declare a minor in Psychology or Sport Psychology?
    No. You do not have to declare either minor. However, you do need to apply for graduation with a minor in Psychology or Sports Psychology (see section below).

3.2. GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY MINOR AND SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY MINOR

  • What are the requirements for the Minor in Psychology?
    1. The psychology minor consists of 24 credits. 
    2. Requirements for a Minor in Psychology
    → Psy 101 (5 credits)
    → Psy 210 or Psy 220 (5 credits)
    → One course from Psy 230, Psy 240, or Psy 250 (5 credits)
    → Nine additional Psychology elective credits.
    It is recommended that these credits be taken at the 100 or 200 level. 
    Additional Psychology elective options may be taken, under advisement.
    50% of the credits must be completed at WWU.
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  • What are the requirements for the Minor in Sports Psychology?
    Advisors: Dr. Kristi Lemm and Dr. Kelly Jantzen

    This interdisciplinary program is designed to introduce the student to the discipline of sports psychology. More specifically, it emphasizes the educational and behavioral approaches to sport psychology that can be applied in recreational, exercise, and athletic settings.
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  • Minor in Sports Psychology requirements

3.3. APPLYING FOR GRADUATION WITH THE MINOR

  • How do I apply for graduation with a minor in Psychology or Sport Psychology? 
    1. Visit the Psychology Department (Academic Instruction Center 434) and obtain a Minor in Psychology Checklist.
    2. When you have completed the Minor in Psychology and are having your graduation forms signed, bring the Minor in Psychology Checklist to a Psychology Department advisor. The Psychology Department advisor will review your coursework for the Minor and sign your Minor in Psychology Checklist.
SECTION 4: TRANSFERRING COURSES
 

4.1. TRANSFERRING PSYCHOLOGY COURSES TO WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

  • I completed a 100-level General Psychology or Introduction to Psychology at another college or university. Will it meet the requirements for Western's Introduction to Psychology course, Psych 101?
    Yes.
  • What Psychology courses will transfer to Western Washington University?
    1. A 100-level Introduction to Psychology or General Psychology course completed at another college or university can be transferred to count as Psychology 101 at Western Washington University.
    2. To be absolutely sure if a course you completed at another college or university will transfer to Western Washington University, meet with a Psychology Department transfer advisor. Get his or her approval in writing. 3. In general, if the title of the course you want to transfer is similar to one of Western's Psychology 100 or 200 level classes, then it should count towards the requirements for the major. Courses in Statistics or Research Design that have been taken at a community college generally will not substitute for any of the courses in our Statistics/Research Design sequence (Psych 301-303).
  • Is there a limit to the number of Psychology credits I can transfer towards Western's major or minor in Psychology?
    Yes. You may transfer from another college or university up to half of your credits for the psychology major or minor.
SECTION 5: COURSE PREREQUISITES, REGISTRATION, AND OVERRIDES
 

5.1. REGISTRATION, OVERRIDES, AND COURSE PREREQUISITES

  • Where can I see the courses that are offered for the school year?
    Visit the WWU Class Finder.
  • What are course prerequisites?
    Course prerequisites are courses that must be completed before you may enroll in another course. You can view all Psychology courses and their course prerequisites on the Course Information page.
  • May I register for Psychology classes without being a declared Psychology major? 
    Yes. All students may enroll in Psychology 101. Many 200 level classes and some 300 level classes only have Psychology 101 as a prerequisite.
  • Can I get an override into a class if the class is filled?
    Generally not. However, you may check with either the instructor or with Ruth Hackler in the Psychology Office (Academic Instruction Center 434).
  • Can I take Psychology 303 concurrently with a 400-level seminar (Psychology 430 - 451)?
    No. Psychology 303 is a prerequisite for the 400-level seminars numbered Psychology 430 - 451.

5.2. REQUIRED STATISTICS-RESEARCH DESIGN SEQUENCE: PSYCH 301-303

  • Are there any math courses I must take as a prerequisite to Psych 301?
    No, but you should be comfortable with algebra.
  • If I've had a statistics or research design course at another school, must I take the Psych 301-303 sequence at Western?
    1. In general, we want all Psychology majors to take this sequence.
    2. If you completed similar courses at another school, please contact one a Psychology Department transfer advisor to find out if the course will satisfy all or part of the Psych 301-303 requirement.

 

SECTION 6: GRADUATE SCHOOL INFORMATION
 

6.1. GRADUATE STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY AT WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

6.2. APPLYING FOR GRADUATE STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY: RECOMMENDATIONS

  • What courses and experiences would be helpful in applying to a graduate program? Which schools offer graduate psychology programs? How do I find out about admission requirements and how to apply to graduate school for programs throughout the United States?
    1. We highly recommend speaking with a psychology department transfer advisor. The Psychology advisor will speak with you about your interests and recommend courses and experiences specific to your interests.
    2. An excellent resource is the
    Graduate Study in Psychology. This excellent reference is published by the American Psychological Association and offers valuable information about master's and doctorate programs throughout the United States. A copy of the current edition of this book is available in the Psychology Graduate Office, Academic Instruction Center 453. 
    3
    . Visit PsychGrad and PsychWeb, comprehensive websites with information about applying to graduate school and recommendations on courses and activities undergraduate students should consider taking. 
    4
    . Visit the Psychology Department websites across the United States. These websites offer good information about the programs and course offerings.
SECTION 7: CAREER OPTIONS
 

7.1. CAREER OPTIONS WITH THE PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR AND WITH GRADUATE TRAINING IN PSYCHOLOGY

  • What can I do with a degree in Psychology?
    1. Every student should consider this important question, regardless of his or her major. Because the psychology major is a liberal arts program that emphasizes critical thinking and writing, graduates pursue careers in a wide variety of fields including business, education, the humanities, and social and human services.
    2.
    Placement information available from Western's Career Services Center suggests that a sizeable percentage of our graduates obtain positions in related fields.
    3. Several websites provide excellent information about careers in psychology:
       - PsychWeb
       - Psychology Career Center
        - Psychology Careers and Job Search Guide
    We encourage you to visit these sites.
    4. Practicing as a psychologist requires a graduate degree. View Section 6.2 above for information about applying to graduate programs.
  • How can I get help with and more information about career planning and job search strategies?
    1.    Talk with a faculty member in the Psychology Department. 
    2.    Visit Western's Career Services Center. The Career Services Center offers students many services. We highly recommend that students make an appoint with an Advisor at the Career Services Center.
SECTION 8: Courses offered in the Summer
 

8.1. Courses offered in the Summer

  • What Psychology classes are offered during Summer quarter?
    1. A selection of 300-level courses and 400-level seminars are typically offered during the summer.
    2. Psychology 301-303 are usually not offered in the summer.
    3. A tentative schedule for Psychology courses offered in the summer may be obtained in the Psychology Department office (Academic Instruction Center 434) by early November, before the start of Winter quarter registration.

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