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Undergraduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

For a complete list of FAQ, see the undergraduate handbook.

Registration & Add/Drop Forms

Add/Drop forms can be obtained at Student Services Dowling Hall.

Contact your professor early to avoid last minute problems. If your advisor/professor is unavailable, another full-time faculty member in the department can clear you IF you have notified your advisor by e-mail before your registration date or add/drop deadline and at least 24 hours prior to seeking any other full-time faculty member for their approval. When meeting with that faculty member, bring a copy of the e-mail to verify that your professor has been notified.

Selecting or Switching your Advisor & Declaring your Major

You may select any full-time faculty member to serve as your advisor. Some students ask a professor who has previously taught them; some students select a professor with research interests compatible with their own. However, you are not required to choose an advisor who has taught you before or with whom you share particular interests.

Psychology is an extremely popular major. It is possible that the first faculty members you ask to advise you will be unable to take on additional students. Do not take this personally! You may need to contact more than one (or two!) faculty members before successfully finding an advisor. It is a good idea to start this process as early as you can (or as soon as you decide you want to major in Psychology). E-mailing a potential advisor is a good place to start, but consider making use of the posted list of faculty office hours (PDF) to follow up your request in person.

When you have found an advisor, have your new advisor sign the advising form available in Dowling Hall or in the psychology department lobby. You should email your past advisor about the change and then submit the completed form to Dowling Hall.

Statistics - What counts?

Double majors in Psychology and Mathematics can take Math 162 (Statistics) instead of Psychology 31. The psychology department does not accept the Statistics AP as a substitute for Psychology 31. Students who are double majoring in Psychology and Economics use Econ 13 (Economics Statistics) as a substitute for Psychology 31; these students should bear in mind that their stats course likely did not cover analysis of variance (ANOVA), a technique with which they will need to familiarize themselves before taking PSY 32 and the advanced lab. Biopsychology majors may use either BIO 132 or PSY 31 to fulfill their statistics requirement.

Only statistics courses taken in a psychology department and which include at least one week of coverage of ANOVA can be transferred as PSY 31. A one-semester course that is a mixture of methods and stats does not cover either topic thoroughly enough to receive transfer of credit for either PSY 31 or 32. A two-semester combination course may be able to transfer as PSY 31 credit only, pending review of the syllabus. If you have questions about whether your statistics course credit can be transferred, consult your advisor.

Transfer of Credit

Courses taken for a grade in a non-Tufts program or university, whether domestic or abroad, can be counted towards the major with approval from the Transfer of Credit committee. Visit the Transfer of Credit page for more information.

Degree Advisement Form, Major Concentration Form, & Senior Exit Survey

Seniors who are graduating in May or August must complete the multi-step degree sheet process starting in early November once spring courses are published on SIS (February graduates must complete this process in September):

  1. Apply for a graduation date on SIS.
  2. Print a degree advisement report (degree audit) from SIS.
  3. Complete a major concentration form (available in the Forms & Resources section of the Department website or in hard copy in the Department lobby.
  4. Set up a meeting in early November with your advisor who will review the degree advisement and sign the major concentration form; this is also an ideal time to get approved for spring registration on SIS.
  5. Submit these signed forms to the staff assistant, Cynthia Goddard, Room 101, who will then obtain the signature of the Chair of the Department. Your signed degree paperwork will be ready to be picked up from Room 101 approximately one week later.
  6. While you wait for that form to be ready, complete the on-line Senior Exit Survey via the link sent to you by email by your advisor.
  7. After you have registered for Spring classes, print a new, updated version of your advisement report. Then take that updated advisement report and your signed degree paperwork to Student Services in Dowling Hall by the early December deadline.

Please note that CBS majors with an advisor from a department other than Psychology should follow that department's policies for completing the senior degree sheet paperwork. The second signature on that degree sheet will come from a representative of that department, not from Psychology.

Get Involved with Research

Professors doing research want students to work with them! Inspect the list of faculty research areas in the student handbook or on this website. These will give you an idea of who is doing what. Several faculty members are affiliated with research laboratories and centers. An interest in a professor's area of specialization and some prior reading are useful but not always necessary. In some areas, special knowledge is required (e.g., statistics or experimental design). In most areas, professors are able to provide on-the-job training. After a course in the area of expertise of a professor, a student is in a good position to help on research, especially if the student has done well in the course. Sometimes a professor's research group is full, so if your request gets a "no thanks", ask someone else in the department or ask again at a later time. For further information, visit our section on Research FAQs.

Independent Study

Students interested in doing independent study (including Senior Honors Thesis) must find a supervising full-time faculty member in the Psychology Department and get their approval before registering for the course. When registering for the course on SIS, please make sure to select the appropriate faculty supervisor from the drop-down list of names provided. For more information on independent study, visit the undergraduate Honors page.

Senior Honors Thesis

Students interested in doing a Senior Honors Thesis must find a supervising faculty member and register for PSY 199 on SIS, making sure to select the appropriate faculty supervisor from the drop-down list of names provided. Thesis students must also fill out a 'Thesis Honors Candidate' form, which can be found here, or picked up in Dowling Hall, and must be submitted to Dowling by early October. For more information on the Senior Honors Thesis, visit the Undergraduate Thesis page.

Apply for Membership in Psi Chi

To be considered for membership in Psi Chi, please complete the Application Form, which can be found in the Psychology Department, 490 Boston Ave, or downloaded here. Return the completed form and any required supporting materials to the mailbox of Professor Joe DeBold in the Psychology Department by October 1 for Fall semester induction, and February 1 for Spring semester induction. For further information on eligibility criteria, click here.