Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. FAQs for Non-Majors

PSYC 100 is a popular class that non-psyc majors may still be required to take, and it fills up very quickly! It is also a part of the University’s seat management plan. For equity and fairness, there is no way to add a student to the class or push them to the top of the holdfile.  The holdfile is the only way to distribute seats if one becomes available (due to a registered student dropping the course). We recommend adding yourself for up to 6 holdfiles to maximize your chances of receiving a seat in the class. Please remember to check in daily during schedule adjustment. Also, please only holdfile for sections that actually fit into your schedule because if you are offered one, you will be dropped automatically from the other sections.

Some psychology courses (PSYC221, PSYC234, PSYC336, and PSYC354) are open to all students and may be completed by students seeking to be admitted to the major. However, most PSYC courses are restricted to those within the psychology program and can only be taken after admission to the major. For a full list of approved PSYC courses and their prerequisites, click here.  Note: Some of these courses are not regularly offered.

A transfer student interested in the PSYC major, who was placed in Letters and Sciences initially, must complete all PSYC LEP gateway requirements before being admitted to the major. 

To speak with a PSYC advisor as a non-psyc major email PSYCadvising [at] umd.edu () and include your UID and UMD terpmail email address.

If you are NOT a current or prospective PSYC major, please complete the following survey to request permission to take a restricted PSYC Class.

IMPORTANT:

  • If you are a PROSPECTIVE PSYC MAJOR, do NOT complete this survey. The PSYC Department will not remove registration blocks. Instead, add yourself to the holdfile for any classes you wish to take. Once you are admitted to the major, you can either register for an open seat or move to the waitlist. 
  • If you are a KNES major, do NOT complete this survey. Instead, contact Polly (pollys [at] umd.edu) in the KNES Advising department and she will take the steps to grant you permission. 

To request permission, complete this survey

The registration block should be removed within 48 hours after submitting this form. If an issue arises, you will be contacted by PSYC advising. Otherwise, please attempt to register for the course after 48 hours. Please note that there is no guarantee that a spot will be available in the class for which you are attempting to register. 

You may put yourself onto the class's holdfile, but you must have the required prerequisites to do so.  PSYC221, PSY289D, PSYC336 and PSYC354 are open to all majors.

2. Double Major and Minor FAQs

Yes, of course! Many students choose to complete a double major along with Psychology to pursue multiple areas of interest. Psychology advisors can meet with you to discuss your path to graduation and your educational and professional goals to determine if a double major is right for you, as opposed to a single major. To learn how to add a double major, click here.

No, PSYC majors only have the option to complete the minor in Neuroscience, not the major.

PSYC majors pursue a variety of double majors and minors. A minor or double major can be a great way to pursue multiple interests and because psychology is an interdisciplinary field it works well with a host of different majors and minors you can choose from. Many of our PSYC majors pursue a double major in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Business, Biology, Family Science, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and more. Some well-liked minors with Psychology include Black Women’s Studies, Business, Neuroscience, Sustainability, and many more.  For a list of minors offered, click here.

3. Course and Degree Related FAQs

Click here for a full list of courses offered in the PSYC Department. 

If you wish to take a course at another institution and have that course and its credits transfer back to the University of Maryland, you are required to submit a Permission to Enroll (PTE) form with the College of your major and/or the department.

For detailed information on the permission to enroll process, click here.

Both the B.A. and B.S. are good options and to choose between them it can be helpful to consider your interests and goals.

  • Does the B.S. offer courses you would be interested in taking in addition to your PSYC coursework?
  • Is there a graduate program you are interested in that you need to take advanced courses for?
  • Are you taking some of the advanced math/science courses anyway because of a double major or minor?
  • Are you interested in pursuing the PSYC Honors Program? 

If so, you might want to complete the B.S. degree.

However, completing the B.S. requires advanced planning especially since each class has prerequisites. Also, if you choose to complete PSYC courses to fulfill the B.S. requirements, those courses do NOT count towards your PSYC major requirements, and you can still only take 3 PSYC classes per semester (excluding experiential learning courses). 

 

 

From a requirement perspective, to earn their BS, students must complete all of the BA requirements, plus at least three additional advanced courses (10 credits).

We recommend that you review the FAQs for the Bachelor of Arts vs. the Bachelor of Science to start if you are having trouble selecting between the two options. For additional questions and support in making your decision, you can set up a meeting with a PSYC advisor

 

For more information on the B.A. and B.S., click here. For details on the degree requirements for the B.S., click here.

The PSYC Bachelors of Science degree requires all of the B.A. courses plus three additional advanced courses (10 credits) in mathematics and science.

Check out this document to see a list of accepted classes for the Bachelors of Science in Psychology. 

IMPORTANT: If you wish to count PSYC courses toward the B.S. degree, please submit this survey to alert the PSYC Advisors. Alternatively, you can email psycadvising [at] umd.edu with your name, UID, and the course codes for the classes you wish to count for the B.S. 

  • PSYC courses counting towards the B.S. requirements will NOT count towards the thematic or 400 level requirements for the PSYC major.

Click here to read more about the PSYC B.S. 

No, there are no senior credit requirements specific to psychology. Of your final 30 credits 15 must be earned at the 300-400 level, but these do not have to be psychology courses.

Courses in the Psychology Department are clustered under the themes: Mind, Brain and Behavior; Mental Health and Intervention; and Social, Developmental and Organizational Studies. A list of all of the PSYC courses being offered in a given semester along with the theme that the course falls under can be found here. On this page, you will also find the syllabus for most of the PSYC courses being offered!

As a note, the course offerings for the current or upcoming semester (during registration) can be found on the Schedule of Classes.

The waitlist is an option if you meet the established course requirements (specific majors, credit levels, special populations, etc.) The hold file is a roster of students who wish to register for a course, but who do not meet the course restrictions. Find out more here.

Some students may experience a registration block that prevents them from registering during their assigned registration appointment. Additionally, certain courses require special permissions to be able to register for those courses. Find out more about registration blocks here.

University Policy 

  • Students may attempt a course a maximum of two times. A "W" counts as an attempt.
  • Students may repeat a maximum of 18 credits. A "W" counts as an attempt.

Departmental Policy

  • Only one gateway or performance review course may be repeated to earn the required grade and that course may only be repeated once.
  • When more than one course can satisfy a gateway requirement, taking a second course from the list will count as a repeat. Please note that a grade of "W" is considered an attempt and must be repeated.

4. Community Development FAQs

The Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland is committed to creating a respectful and affirming climate in which all students, staff, and faculty are inspired to achieve their full potential. We believe that actively fostering an affirming environment strengthens our department. A department that values and celebrates diversity among students, staff and faculty is best able to develop the strengths and talents of all members of our community.

  • The department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee works to foster an inclusive and affirming climate within the department by being actively involved in the hiring process of new faculty, improving awareness of diversity issues through research and community engagement, and open discussion among faculty, staff, and students regarding diversity issues. To learn more about the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, click here.
  • Programming including our PSYC Terp Multicultural Town Hall works to improve inclusiveness in the department by learning about student’s experiences of inclusion, representation and climate in our undergraduate courses and facilitating group conversations for continued advancement of inclusive efforts within the classrooms and coursework.
  • In addition to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Bias Incident Support Services, the Department of Psychology provides an in-house reporting service through the PSYC Rapid Response Team. To report an incident of hate or bias in the Department of Psychology, click here.

5. Advising Related FAQs

No, PSYC majors are not assigned a specific advisor. Rather, students in the PSYC major meet with one of our advisors based on availability and specific expertise. 

To learn more about PSYC advising, click here.

Psychology is one of our campus' most popular majors and is classified as a limited enrollment program (LEP). The gateway requirements, requirements that you must complete to add or remain in the major, are in place to ensure that anyone who pursues the major is prepared to be successful in the field. 

  • It is not a competitive process.
  • Entering freshman and first year students adding Psychology by the last day of their first semester must fulfill certain gateway course requirements within their first 45 UMD Credits as a PSYC major (not including AP/IB credits) to remain in the major.
  • All other students who want to add the psychology major have to have already completed the LEP gateway requirements.
  • Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • For more information on PSYC as an LEP and PSYC degree requirements, click here.

For steps to apply for the PSYC major, click here.

 

How and when you can add the Psychology major, as well as your requirements for completing the gateway requirements, depends on whether you are a first-semester freshman or transferring from another major or school. Please see the requirements for each group below:

First-Semester Student

Students entering as first-time freshmen may declare the Psychology major by the last day of classes in their first semester. To apply for the major, students should follow the steps for adding the Psychology major below.

All students accepted directly as freshmen into the psychology major, or who declare by the last day of classes in their first semester, will undergo an Academic Review at 45 credits (earned at Maryland) to remain in the major.

*Please note: If you are a student in the Freshman Connection program, your first semester is considered the Spring semester following your Fall semester in Freshman Connection 

Transferring from Another Major or Another School

Any transfer student who wants to add psychology as a major has to have already completed the LEP gateway requirements. Psychology’s gateway requirements are BSCI170 and 171 and MATH 120 or higher with a C- or higher and PSYC100 or PSYC221 (if PSYC100 credit was earned via AP/IB) with a B- or higher. You must also have a 2.7 GPA or higher, including all previous coursework. If you would like to double major in Psychology, you must have a 3.0 cumulative UMD GPA and a 2.7 overall GPA with all of your coursework (at UMD and anywhere else). 

Once your gateway requirements have been completed, and once you have ensured that you comply with the LEP policies, you may follow the steps for applying to the major below:

For additional information, please review the pages below and email psycadvising [at] umd.edu with any questions!

To set up an appointment with a Psychology advisor you can email PSYCadvising [at] umd.edu with your name, UID, and the reason(s) for which you wish to meet. You may also email a PSYC advisor directly to schedule an appointment.

The BSOS Feller Center provides many useful resources for career planning and exploring careers and interests related to psychology. Click here, to start gaining career advice!

6. Internships, Teaching Assistantships, and Research FAQs

Sona is the online system used to schedule and track your research participation credit. Instructions on how to use the SONA System and sign up for research credit can be found here

For questions please contact the Psychology Department SONA Administrator at SONAhelp [at] umd.edu ().

Visit UMDs Sona website here.

Being a research assistant (RA) is an excellent opportunity to gain important research experience and skills, to learn first-hand about the cutting-edge research contributing to the development of our field, and to build relationships with psychology faculty, researchers, and graduate students. Also, for those interested in pursuing graduate study in psychology, getting involved in research is a great experience that can help make you a more competitive applicant!

Here are some ways to find an RA positions:

  • Look for open research assistant positions listed on the PSYC E-News Blog.
  • Find opportunities on your own by learning about faculty research projects through your classes or our faculty webpage, and approach individual faculty members (in class or via email) with whom you share common research interests.

To learn more about research assistantships & conducting independent research, click here.

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to become teaching assistants if they have taken the specific course and earned an A- or higher. If you would like to become an undergraduate teaching assistant, please contact the professor for whom you would like to TA. 

To receive credit for a TAship learn about PSYC478 Independent Studies here.

Psychology students have many experiential learning opportunities available to them include research and teaching assistantships, independent study, and internship opportunities. Read more about each option and the opportunities for course credit below: 

 

PSYC 389 – Experiential Learning (Internship) in Psychology - Course credit related to a psychology-oriented internship in which a student would gain valuable knowledge and practical experience commensurate with in-class work. Students are responsible for arranging the terms of their internship, and an appropriate site employee must agree to supervise your independent study before you can apply for course credit.

PSYC478 - Independent Research in Psychology - Course credit related to independent study (IS) activity within the Department of Psychology, such as completing a self-designed course or serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a faculty member or graduate student. A faculty member must agree to supervise your independent study before you can apply for course credit. 

PSYC 479 - Special Research Experience in Psychology - Course credit related to supervised research activity within the Department of Psychology, such as working as a Research Assistant (RA) for a faculty member or graduate student. A faculty member must agree to supervise your research activity before you can apply for course credit. 

Directions for receiving research, teaching assistant, or internship credit can be found on the PSYC Forms webpage. 

 

If you have additional questions please email psycadvising [at] umd.edu.

Before applying to earn PSYC478 or 479 credit, a faculty member must agree to supervise your work. Please see specific details for applying for course credit below: 

 

PSYC478 - Independent Research in Psychology - Course credit related to independent study (IS) activity within the Department of Psychology, such as completing a self-designed course or serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a faculty member or graduate student. A faculty member must agree to supervise your independent study before you can apply for course credit. For more information and to learn about PSYC478 Independent Studies, click here.

PSYC 479 - Special Research Experience in Psychology - Course credit related to supervised research activity within the Department of Psychology, such as working as a Research Assistant (RA) for a faculty member or graduate student. A faculty member must agree to supervise your research activity before you can apply for course credit. To find out more about the process and access the application form, click here.

Directions for receiving research, teaching assistant, or internship credit can be found on the PSYC Forms webpage. 

 

Looking for a PSYC internship but don't know where to start? Use the resources below for help!

To find out more about searching for an internship, click here.

Earn Credit for an internship by taking PSYC389.

  • PSYC 389 is a course through which undergraduate psychology majors can earn academic credit for a professionally supervised internship experience.

Find out more about earning internship credit, here.

There are several opportunities to get involved in the Psychology department in and outside of the classroom! A few options, and the links to the web pages with more information, are listed below. Regular updates on Psychology-related opportunities are posted on the PSYC E-News blog.

In addition, attending office hours, study sessions, and class-related activities are great ways to build a connection with faculty, graduate students, and fellow PSYC undergraduate students. 

7. Graduate Study in Psychology FAQs

No, we do not offer any accelerated programs in Psychology. Students interested in pursuing masters/doctoral programs in psychology complete their 4-year Bachelors Degree and typically apply for graduate school the fall of their senior year or take a few years off to gain experience and then apply.

Freshman - Junior Year

  • Gain relevant research and clinical/helping experience
    • It’s best to start gaining relevant experience early
    • Apply to research assistant positions posted on the PSYC blog or email professors directly about opportunities in their lab (best to apply/email either summer before or winter of sophomore year)
    • Inquire about serving as a TA for a PSYC course you performed well in
    • Look into Internship opportunities to gain research and/or clinical experience in psychology: https://go.umd.edu/PSYC_Internship_Guide
    • Look into opportunities in your research lab to present a poster or contribute to a journal article (Grad schools typically like to see that you have presented research and been a co-author on a poster submission or manuscript)
    • Attend (or Present a poster) at Undergraduate Psychology Research Day

Summer before Senior Year

  • Assemble a list of graduate programs you want to apply to
  • Prepare for graduate school applications
    • Draft a statement of purpose for graduate school and get family, friends, advisors, and faculty mentors to provide feedback
    • Create your CV
    • Take the GRE before the start of the Fall semester

Senior Year (Fall semester)

  • Ask faculty mentor(s) for letters of recommendation (The earlier the better! Give them at least two weeks if not more to write the letter)
  • Complete and submit graduate school applications