Psychology students moving to University Park from other Penn State campuses should work with their campus adviser regarding building an appropriate schedule and then in May the student will be contacted by their University Park adviser who will verify that the schedule in appropriate.
Students moving to University Park as Psychology majors should also be aware of these important policies:
Residency and change of location
The purpose of this policy is to clarify the requirements for earning a PSYBA or PSYBS degree from the University Park campus. The guiding principle is that granting a degree indicates that a student has completed coursework sufficient for the University Park Psychology faculty to certify academic competence in psychology, as outlined in our curriculum. The criteria listed below represent interpretations of our curriculum in light of current University and College policies, not changes to that curriculum. Those policies include the following:
- Students in the PSYBA or PSYBS program (like students in other degree programs offered only at UP) must transfer to University Park no later than the beginning of the semester after they earn their 60th credit.
- Students must complete the Entrance to Major requirements in order to be accepted into the Psychology Major. These requirements include earning a ‘C’ or higher in the following courses: STAT 200 or PSYCH200, PSYCH 100, 3.0 credits of GQ (other than STAT 200), and 3.0 credits of GS (other than PSYCH 100).
- No more than 91 credits earned while enrolled in another College may be applied to a degree granted by the College of the Liberal Arts.
- Nineteen credits of Psychology courses, including at least 9 credits at the 300 or 400 levels, must be completed in the Psychology Department at University Park.
FAQ's for Change-of-Location Students
Welcome to University Park! This page is designed to provide information for students coming to the University Park campus from other campuses in the Penn State system. We’ve organized it around some of the questions most commonly asked by students like you, but feel free to contact the Psychology Advising Center with any questions you have that are not answered here. Be sure to check out our Quick Index for Change-of-Location Students. It can be a useful starting tool for both you and your advisor at other campus locations.
Table of Contents
How is Psychology at University Park different from Psychology at my campus?
Well, it is certainly bigger: There are more than 45 faculty and around 1000 Psychology majors (and several hundred Psychology minors). There are also more than 100 graduate students studying for their Ph.D.’s in Psychology. More important, there is a greater variety of courses, activities, and opportunities. Research is a bigger part of what faculty do at University Park, and graduate students are always doing research. You will also encounter graduate students serving as teaching assistants in many of your courses (but usually not teaching). Many undergraduates get involved in research as well. There is also an advising center just for Psychology, with advising staff and a staff assistant who can help you in understanding requirements, choosing courses, and navigating the “red tape” of a big University.
How big are classes at University Park?
Some of them are very big: PSYCH 100, PSYCH 105, and some of the 200-level PSYCH courses, are taught in auditoriums that hold as many as 370 students. However, there is a large range–during spring semester 2006, 400-level classes ranged from 20 to 165 students. Some of the larger courses break into small discussion sections once a week. summer courses are typically quite a bit smaller.
Is there a way to schedule smaller classes?
Before you schedule your courses, you can look at the Penn State Registrar’s Home Page. This page has a section on courses that lists the enrollment limit for every course. You probably won’t be able to take everything you want in smaller sections, but you can use this information to choose a mix of larger and smaller class sizes each semester.
What courses should I take before coming to University Park?
How can I get involved with Psychology other than attending class?
One way to get involved in Psychology is to work on a professor’s research project by earning research credits (PSYCH 494); check the Research Experiences in Psychology page for more information. Undergraduates are always welcome at talks by visiting psychologists. You can also find valuable resources on the Psychology website regarding advising, careers, education abroad, etc. Finally, if you have good grades and are really interested in Psychology, find out about joining the Penn State chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology. If interested be sure to visit the website for PSU’s chapter of Psi Chi.
Where can I go for help with my Psychology classes?
Your best starting point is your professor, or the teaching assistant if the course has one. Even though classes are big and professors are busy, you’ll generally find that professors are easy to talk to–but use office hours, email, or make an appointment so that you can find a time when your professor is available.
The University Learning Resource Center in Boucke Building offers a variety of assistance services, including help with general writing skills, math skills, and assistance with foreign language courses. They offer tutoring sessions for some courses, but usually the only course relevant to Psychology majors for which specific tutoring is available is STAT 200.
How do I get advising?
Your starting point is the Psychology Advising Center in 125 Moore Building. The advising staff here can answer many of your questions, and you can make an appointment with an advisor to discuss your courses, your plans, or whatever questions you have about Psychology. Be sure to read the web page on how to prepare for an advising appointment.
Periodically we will send out listserv messages to our majors. These messages will provide you with psychology specific information including announcements for special advising sessions, important deadlines, and career and internship opportunities, as well as any upcoming changes that may affect students.
How can I learn about careers in psychology?
Well, if you’re reading this you must know how to use the Web, and that is really the easiest way to quickly acquire a lot of information about careers in psychology. On the Undergraduate Resources page, we have placed links to some good starting places, such as the American Psychological Association. Your best bet is to do some exploration on your own so that you know what kinds of questions to ask, come to the Psychology advising sessions on careers in psychology, and talk with your professors. Remember that it is useful to get several points of view!