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Frequently Asked Questions Undergraduates

PSYCHOLOGY PEER ADVISING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the requirements for a major/minor in psychology?

The major in psychology requires a minimum of 56 credit hours of course work in psychology. Be aware that you must take major and minor courses for a grade, never on a Pass/NoPass basis.

All psychology majors are encouraged to begin their work in statistics as soon as possible in preparation for PSY 321. Students must complete the required courses in statistics before taking any 400-level course or any course with statistics as a prerequisite. Besides taking courses in a range of subjects within psychology, major are also encouraged to take courses in human culture and society, human biology, and philosophy of science.

Because the field of psychology is varied and complex, students majoring in psychology will need guidance. All students majoring in psychology, especially those who are considering graduate work, are encouraged to plan their program with an advisor from the department of psychology no later than the beginning of their first term of junior standing.

In addition to meeting the general university degree requirements, the student majoring in psychology must either meet the following requirements in the department of psychology or have taken equivalent courses:

 

Coursework outside of Psychology:

Statistics 243, 244

 

8

Coursework within Psychology

Psychology 200, 204

Psychology 321 (Research Methods)

Elective Credits from Psychology 410-498

Additional Upper Division Psychology Courses (300 and 400 level excluding 399-409)

 

 

8

4

16

20

Total Credit Hours

56

 

Requirements for a minor in Psychology

Psychology 200, 204

8

Psychology 300 or 400-level courses (excluding 399-409)

20

Total Credit Hours

28

 

What is a DARS audit?

Degree Audit Report System (DARS) is a valuable tool which aids in tracking degree progress and in understanding requirements. This report applies your completed courses, including transfer courses accepted to PSU, to the PSU's graduation requirements

DARS takes the guesswork out of selecting courses for future enrollment. The report shows what requirements are completed and what courses still need to be taken. It shows where transfer work will apply toward your degree requirements, uses online student record for information, therefore the report is up to date, suggests courses from which to choose, and calculates the Grade Point Average for various areas such as the major or degree hours.

DARS reports are to be used as unofficial advising tools and are not intended to be a promise of guarantee of progress toward a degree, major, minor, or certificate. Certification of completion of academic requirements will be made when you apply for graduation. At that time, your graduation application and DARS audit will be reviewed by the Office of Degree Requirements.

How do I run a DARS audit?

Once you are a PSU student, you can go to the PSU web registration site and run a DARS audit that reflects requirements specific to your major, degree, and catalog year.

How to: www.pdx.edu current student > your student records > enter ID and pin > student services and financial aid > DARS > submit an audit > liberal arts and sciences > Bachelor of Science/Art > Psychology > Catalog year (year you started at PSU) > Run analysis.

What should I look for on my DARS report?

Name and ID

Check to make sure that the right name and ID is on the report. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records, or use the Online Student Services to make corrections.

+ and -
Keep an eye out for the + and - symbols, they indicate the requirements that are fulfilled and the ones that still need work.

Date Prepared
Your DARS report was processed and printed on this date. Any changes in your courses, grades, major, minor, or exemptions made after this date are not reflected in this report.

Catalog Year
Your degree program began this year. The requirements that apply to you are in the bulletin for this year.

Major/Double Major/Minor
Your major is printed at the top. If you have a second major, it will print after "Double Major With:" PSU students must declare and drop majors in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Minimum Total Credit Hours
DARS shows credit hours completed in-progress and remaining to complete minimum credit requirements. Additional credits may be needed to meet degree requirements. Remember, you can complete the total hours required and still fail to meet degree requirements. Total credit hours are only part of the requirement.

Transfer Courses
Your transfer courses are shown with a grade of T and the grade follows after. Transfer course grades do not count in your grade point average (GPA). The DARS report also shows information about the transfer course right after the grade of TR. It will show either the title or course equivalency. Contact an advisor if you think transfer courses are missing from the report. PSU may not have received a transcript from the sending school or some courses may not have been accepted for transfer.

In-progress Courses
Courses you are taking now are shown with a grade of IP (in-progress). If you are taking a course with a pass/fail grading option, DARS will not allow the course to be used in your major requirements.

When will I know officially how many units I have transferred from other schools and what requirements these classes have fulfilled?

DARS Transfer Evaluation Reports are mailed to all transfer students upon admission to Portland State. You can also access these reports online. The transfer evaluation report identifies how classes taken at other colleges/universities are accepted by PSU and how they apply to requirements at PSU. Please note that this report will be based on the current graduation requirements.

PSU will give credit for any transferable coursework taken at another accredited institution in which you received a grade of D- or better. Courses with no PSU equivalent will appear on the Transfer Evaluation as either a lower-division (LD) course or as an upper-division (UD) course. PSU does not accept remedial coursework, but does accept 12 credits of vocational-technical coursework. If you believe that your psychology coursework has been transferred incorrectly, you need to meet with a specific faculty member in the psychology department, and present materials from the course: old syllabi, old papers, textbooks, etc. For questions email psyadvis@pdx.edu .

How do I decide what classes to take? / How do I choose a Faculty advisor?

Faculty advisors are here to help you answer long-term career questions. Some of these might be: what kind of degree do I need for what kind of job? How do I choose classes to prepare for my field? How do I prepare for graduate school? This part of the advising program offers the opportunity for a full-time faculty member to provide assistance in the selection of advanced course work, practicum, and community experiences that contribute to the student's academic and/or career goals. Prior to approaching a faculty member for advising, students should attend a group orientation session. All psychology majors are expected to take the proactive steps required to find a faculty advisor following the steps that were outlined in the orientation session. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor at least once per year. To review your DARS or requirements, please visit the peer advisors or attend an orientation session.

What can I do with a degree in psychology?

The advising program organizes presentations which provide more in-depth exposure to sub-disciplines and applied areas of psychology. These workshops provide information on selected fields in psychology, faculty research areas, and provide information on career planning. These presentations can help students explore different career options available to graduates with a Bachelor's Degree in psychology. The department offers Career Workshops routinely throughout the school year. We will post the dates on the Mailing List.

PSU Career Center staff members assist Portland State University (PSU) students and alumni with career development and job search needs. Through individual appointments and workshops, the Career Center helps students with the career decision-making process. In addition, the Career Center teaches students and alumni how to write resumes, interview, and conduct effective job searches. For general questions, please contact the Career Center at askcarc@pdx.edu .

What is Psi Chi? What are the requirements for membership?

Students are encouraged to join Psi Chi or the psychology club in order to stay informed about relevant events and opportunities. Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, was founded in 1929 for the purpose of stimulating, encouraging, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. Students who wish to become members must have completed at least 5 quarters hours of college courses and 14 quarter hours of psychology courses. Eligible students must be a psychology major or minor, have an upper 1/3 class ranking (currently a GPA of 3.33 or higher), and a psychology GPA of at least 3.0.

The Psychology Club is affiliated with Psi Chi and has no membership requirements. Contact psichi@pdx.edu if you're interested in either club.

How do I prepare for graduate school in psychology?

Students considering graduate work in psychology should be especially well prepared in statistics and research methodology and are strongly encouraged to take Experimental Psychology (PSY 454). They are encouraged to develop breadth by pursuing interests in diverse fields outside of psychology before beginning specialization of graduate work.

If considering graduate work in psychology, here are more suggestions and resources:

  • Participate in research with a faculty member
  • Inquire about current research being conducted by faculty in your area of interest
  • Become an active member of Psi Chi
  • Begin researching graduate programs no later than your junior year
  • Visit the following sites to start searching for information:
  • Begin preparing for the GRE no later than your junior year. 
  • Suggested course work for students considering graduate work:
    • All of the minimum requirements for a major in psychology, plus the following:
    • Math 241, Bi 101, Bi 102, Bi 103,(104, 105, 106), Psy 427, and Psy 454
  • More information for preparation

Can classes double for university studies and major requirements?

No, classes that are taken for University Studies cannot fulfill major requirements, so make sure that you do not register for any classes that are listed under PSY (that includes cross-listing!). However, classes that are taken for Universities Studies requirements CAN be used to also fulfill minor requirements.