Each Psychology major is assigned one of the Department faculty members as their advisor. (Log into RAIL to find out who your advisor is.) It is each student’s responsibility to schedule an advising appointment with their faculty advisor during the advising period. Use the resources linked below to help make your advising appointment more productive.
- Psychology Major Degree Assessment Form
- Advising Preplanning Worksheet (from Advising Assistance Center)
- 2018-2019 Core Curriculum Worksheet
- The Psychology program “Spine”
- Advising Assistance Center (Student Page)
Advising Notes for Fall 2019
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Students interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology are encouraged to enroll in Dr. Murtagh’s PSYC 311 Introduction to Clinical Psychology course this fall. Note that the prerequisite is PSYC 309 Abnormal Psychology, so you’ll need to have already taken that (or be taking it now).
Dr. Merz will once again be teaching his popular PSYC 382 Humanistic Psychology class. You will have a chance to explore a more positive side of human behavior by exploring the ideas of humanistic psychologists such as Carl Rogers, Leo Buscaglia, Viktor Frankl, Harold Greenwald, and Abraham Maslow. Contact Dr. Merz for more information and for permission to enroll in this class.
For students interested in working clinically with children, Dr. McCauley-Tokach will be offering PSYC 331 Counseling Children at the Martinsburg Center.
Practicum course re-numbering
We’re re-numbering our practicum courses to make them more useful. As of this fall, PSYC 312 will be called “Research Practicum” and PSYC 313 will be “Clinical Practicum”. Sign up for PSYC 312 if you’ll be doing research with a faculty member (after speaking with them, of course). Sign up for PSYC 312 if you’ve arranged with Dr. Murtagh to do a practicum (see below).
This summer will be a great opportunity to get caught up (or ahead of the game) for anyone needing PSYC 340 Lifespan Developmental Psychology or one of the Group II restricted electives. Lifespan will be offered online as will PSYC 305 Social Psychology and PSYC 310 Psychology of Personality (both in Group II).
Stats Next Year
Students who will need to take PSYC 250 Statistics for Social Sciences are advised that there will be four sections offered in fall 2019, but only two sections in spring 2020 (because Dr. Daily will be on sabbatical). There may be a section offered in summer 2020, but that’s not yet set in stone. If you need stats prior to the fall 2020 semester, your best bet will be to take it in fall 2019.
If you are interested in practicum (internship) experiences in psychology, have a look at the Psychology Practicum page.
Answers to Psychology Advising Questions
“Do I have to take my Psychology classes in any particular order?“
For some, yes. Pay close attention to prerequisites. These will be listed along with the course description in the Shepherd Catalog. Prerequisites are how we ensure you have the knowledge and abilities required for a class before you move on to that class. In particular, pay attention to the order of classes in the Psychology major “spine”, illustrated here. The Psychology major is a six-semester sequence, starting with Introduction to Psychology and ending with Senior Thesis. Be sure to keep yourself on track while you move through this sequence. See your advisor for more information.
“Do I have to get a C in every Psychology course that I want to count toward my major?”
No you don’t! But you DO have to pass every course that will count and finish with a C average in all of your Psychology courses. So, if you get a D, make sure you’ve got a B to even it out!
“Do I have to take a foreign language? Which one should I take?”
Since Psychology is a B.A. degree, the University requires that you also take four semesters of the same foreign language. These will be numbered 101, 102, 203, and 204. The Department of English and Modern Languages offers courses in several languages, but note the following two things. 1. There tend to be more sections for the Spanish courses, so you’ll have an easier time fitting those into your schedule. 2. The German classes are offered mainly for the choral students and are set to fit into their schedule–the times often conflict with required Psychology classes. Talk to your advisor.
If you have prior experience with a foreign language, you can take a placement test in the Department of English and Modern Languages to start with a course higher than 101 (visit the Modern Languages website for instructions), or you can take a language CLEP test in the Career Services center. If you, for example, “CLEP out” of SPAN 101, you not only start in SPAN 102 but you also get the 3 credits as though you’d taken SPAN 101. Consult your advisor for more information.
“Can classes count for more than one part of my degree (major/minor/Core Curriculum)?”
In some cases, yes. We call this “course-sharing” (or, more informally, “double-dipping”). You may count up to two classes for both the Psychology major and a minor. For example, PSYC 340 is required for Psychology majors and is an option for Education minors. It can count for both as long as you’re not also counting more than one other class for both. Another example would be classes that count for both the Psychology major and the Core Curriculum. You may count up to two classes for both the Core Curriculum and your Psychology major (PSYC 101 falls into this category) and you may do the same between the Core Curriculum and your minor. (Those are two separate counts–two Core/major classes and two Core/minor classes.) Note that the third and fourth semesters of your foreign language (203 & 204) can count towards the Humanities section of the Core Curriculum as well as toward the University’s language requirement. Because that requirement isn’t part of the Psychology major, those two classes counting both for that and the Core Curriculum doesn’t count as double-dipping.