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A note for parents of Psychology Majors

Dear Parents,

Parents of Psychology majors at Penn State are concerned with their sons’ and daughters’ experiences as students, progress toward their degrees, academic performance, and future prospects. However, it can be hard to find the information you need to help your child get the most out of those experiences. The Requirements Page on this web site includes a great deal of information about the Psychology programs at our University Park campus, and about the field of psychology in general. The Office of the University Registrar maintains a web site that presents other information of interest to parents of Penn State Students https://www.registrar.psu.edu/parent_info.cfm

The Psychology Advising Center exists to help Psychology majors. We help students to understand degree requirements and how to choose classes to fulfill those requirements. We advise students about planning their time at Penn State to meet personal goals, and provide guidance on exploring career and graduate education possibilities. Our goal is to help students take responsibility for their choices. Our philosophy, and Penn State’s official policy (see http://www.psu.edu/ufs/policies/32-00.html), is to advise students as they take final responsibility for choosing courses and completing degree requirements.

Parents often want to help their children navigate the complexities of college. Sometimes, parents contact us with questions. We are happy to help you understand Penn State’s requirements and policies. We are severely constrained, though, by both University policy and Federal law, in talking with you about your son or daughter’s academic record and progress. As described on the Registrar’s web site noted above, without the student’s specific signed consent, we cannot discuss a student’s academic records, even with his or her parents.

The Psychology Department is responsible for academic issues and has no information about financial aid or other financial issues. For questions about such issues, please contact the Office of Student Aid (http://www.psu.edu/studentaid/) or the Bursar’s Office (http://www.bursar.psu.edu/).

If your son or daughter has questions or concerns about their degree requirements, academic progress, or other issues related to being a psychology major, the first steps are to explore this web site and to visit our Advising Center. If the issue is not resolved, please advise your son or daughter to contact me directly (racarlson@psu.edu, or 814-863-1736). I am always happy to work with Psychology students to help them understand their options and University policies and procedures.

Penn State’s University Park Psychology Department offers many opportunities for students to pursue an education in psychology. We try to provide the information that will allow our students to take best advantage of those opportunities. Thank you for your support of your child as he or she works toward a Penn State degree in Psychology.

Sincerely,

Rich Carlson, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Psychology

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