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Q: How do I declare a psychology major or minor?
A: Read the instructions to declare a major or minor.

Q: How do I find an adviser for my psychology major?
A: The department’s program coordinator will assign you a faculty member in the Department of Psychology to be your adviser. If you would like to request a particular faculty member, you may indicate that to the program coordinator when declaring the major. Requests are not guaranteed.

Q: What can I do with a degree in psychology?
A: Students who major in psychology are extremely well-prepared to succeed in a wide range of professions, including medicine, public policy, human welfare, teaching, consulting, research, and many others. Read more about career outcomes for those who study psychology.

Q: What courses should I take to see if I would like a psychology degree?
A: The psychology major is designed to expose students to the wide spectrum of psychology, and then allow them to dig deeper into specific areas of interest. Through core courses, distribution courses, and elective courses, students explore broadly and learn fundamentals, and then develop expertise in one (or more) areas. Read more about courses.

Q: How do I get involved in psychology research?
A: Undergraduate students at Vanderbilt have a number of opportunities to engage in hands-on research with leading faculty experts. In fact, research is encouraged to enhance the classroom experience. Read more about available opportunities and how to pursue them.

Q: How do I take the psychology Comprehensive Exam?
A: The Comprehensive Exam is offered to students at the beginning of their final semester at Vanderbilt. See more information about the Comprehensive Exam.

Q: How is a major in psychology different from a major in cognitive studies?
A: The psychology major is offered by the College of Arts and Science, while the cognitive studies major is offered by Peabody College. The psychology major provides a broad-based education in the spectrum of topics in psychology, from neuroscience to abnormal psychology, with an emphasis on adults. The cognitive studies major is a focused education on topics related to the cognition of children. Cognitive studies students are also encouraged to take courses relevant to adult cognition.

Q: How do I register for a PSY 3840: Directed Study or PSY 3850: Independent Study course?
A: Registering for PSY 3840: Directed Study or PSY 3850: Independent Study is done in YES as described here. Once the independent study form is processed, Directed Study students are added to a Common Course on Brightspace which is where they are directed to complete their RCR training and submit their final papers.

Q: What is the difference between PSY 3840: Directed Study and PSY 3850: Independent Study?
A: PSY 3840: Directed Study is recommended for all students who work in a research lab with a faculty adviser. PSY 3850: Independent Study has higher requirements than PSY 3840. Consider the following questions to determine if you have appropriate qualifications.

  1. How long have you been working in the lab?
  2. Have you already completed a term in this lab receiving credit for PSY 3840: Directed Study? If so, which term was it?
  3. What is the title or name of the project to which you are assigned in the lab?
  4. Who else is working with you on the project to which you are assigned?
  5. In what stage is your project at the moment? Are you still defining the study? Are you collecting data? Describe please.

Q: May a student enroll in PSY 3840: Directed Study multiple times?
A: Yes. Students may earn credit in PSY 3840 in multiple terms. Each class can count towards the PSY major as an elective. Note that students may not register for the same course twice in the same semester, including directed study courses.

Q: How do I register in PSY-PC 3860: Directed Study, which is a Peabody course?
A: You cannot register yourself for PSY-PC 3860. Please contact the education coordinator for the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Peabody College for assistance.

Q: How do I apply for the Honors Program?
A: The application for the Honors Program can be found here. You must have secured a faculty member to serve as your honors mentor before submitting your application. Meet with the faculty member to discuss the topic of your project, the general area of research that the project fits in, the types of activities that you will undertake, and the time commitment.  Students typically apply for the Honors Program at the end of their sophomore year, but applications will be considered within the first week of the junior year, as well. Read more information about the Honors Program.

Q: Is it possible to earn PSY course credit for internships?
A: Yes. PSY 3880 and PSY 3881 courses are offered every term for students interested in earning course credit for an internship at an organization related to psychology. Students must enroll in three credit hours of PSY 3881 and one to nine credit hours in PSY 3880 in the term in which they are working at the internship. Students must identify a faculty member to serve as an adviser for the PSY 3881 internship course, to oversee readings and academic research related to the internship. To learn more, look at the PSY 3880 and PSY 3881 courses in YES and read about departmental internships at the College of Arts and Science.

Q: Is it possible to serve as a Learning Assistant (LA) for PSY courses?
A: Yes. PSY 3995: Directed Study for Learning Assistants offers course credit for students who would like to serve as Learning Assistants for PSY courses. After you have found a course instructor to work with for a specific course and term, you can fill out the independent study form. After the form is processed, Directed Study students are added to a Common Course on Brightspace which is where they are directed to complete their RCR training and submit their final papers.