Frequently Asked Questions - Undergraduate Progams

Since faculty advisors are not assigned to students, you have the choice of seeking advisement from the professor of your choice. Each Fall and Spring semester a list of faculty office hours is made available in the Main Office and on our website. Please contact a professor via e-mail, telephone, or visit during their posted office hours. To get the most out of your visit bring a copy/printout of your current transcript, and identify any questions/concerns you want to discuss prior to your meeting. Developing a relationship with an advisor is crucial. It is required that you meet with an advisor to declare your major and recommended that you visit at least once during your junior and senior years. Don’t be a stranger. The faculty are always willing to assist you.
The current Advisors' Schedule is available here

1. Pick up a Declaration of Major form from the Dept. Office or download the form here and fill it out.
2. Look at our Advisor Office Hours to find an advisor whose office hours are convenient for you.
3. Visit that advisor during his or her office hours.
4. Your advisor will ask you what Psych classes you have already taken and about what your potential plans are once you graduate from Rutgers with a Bachelor’s in Psychology.

1. Special permission numbers are used when a course has closed and a professor wants to allow a student into the course even though it has reached its enrollment limit. SPNs are also used to allow students to register for courses for which enrollment is by permission of the instructor (e.g., Individual Study in Psych., Research in Psych).
2. If you want to get into a class that has closed, you need to contact the instructor who is teaching the class during the current semester.  You can find instructor contact information here.
3. If the instructor agrees to allow you in to the class, he or she can give you a special permission number to enroll.

1. Keep in mind that the department sets prerequisites for a reason. Prerequisite classes contain introductory material that prepare you for upper level Psychology classes. Upper level instructors will assume that everyone in their class has mastered the introductory material contained in the prerequisite classes.
2. If you have a good reason to want to take a class without the prerequisite, it is best to discuss your situation with the instructor teaching the course.  You can find instructor contact information here.
3. If the instructor teaching the courses agrees that you can take the class without the prerequisite, he or she will give you a prerequisite override letter.
4. Take this letter to the registrar’s office to register for the class.

Once you have submitted your transcript to Rutgers, a transcript evaluator in the Office of Academic Services will review all your courses for transfer to Rutgers.  If you have taken a class that you think should count as a psychology class, but it didn't transfer, you should set up an appointment with the psychology Undergraduate Coordinator so he or she can review the course. Remember to bring any relevant materials to this meeting (i.e. course descriptions, syllabi, etc.) to ensure that proper consideration is given to your courses.

Generally, once you have become a student at Rutgers University-Newark, you cannot take classes at other schools.  Classes taken at community colleges after you become at Rutgers student will not count toward your major or minor requirements in psychology.  If you want to take a psychology class at another 4-year institution, including another branch of Rutgers, you must first get permission to do so from the undergraduate coordinator in Psychology. 

You must first apply online for graduation through the Office of Academic Services.  Once you have applied for graduation, you are automatically placed on an electronic list for your major and minor departments to review. The faculty member in Psychology Department responsible for graduation certification reviews the courses each student on the list has taken to ensure that he/she has met all of the requirements for the Psychology major or minor.  If you have met all the requirements, the department certifier "certifies" you online. There is no need for you to be present for this process. However, to avoid any last minute graduation problems, we urge you to see an advisor well in advance of the semester when you plan to graduate.

You must earn a C or better for a course to count toward the Psychology major or minor requirements.  If the course is required for the major or minor, you must retake it.  If the course was an elective for the major or minor, you may retake the course or replace it with another psych elective.  Rutgers allows students to retake courses in which they got a D or an F, but the original D or F will remain on your transcript.

If you have a problem that cannot be addressed by one of our faculty advisors, you will need to see the Undergraduate Coordinator in psychology. Some examples of problems to take to the UG Coordinator are:
•  Help making sure Psych courses taken at other schools transfer correctly to Rutgers.
•  Help resolving an issue with an instructor in a psychology course.
•  Appealing a grade earned in a Psychology course.
•  Verifying that you have completed the major requirements if you were a transfer, have a poor Psych GPA or had to retake classes in Psych because of bad grades.
•  Help figuring out how Psych classes fit into your Core Curriculum requirements.

BEFORE you meet with the UG coordinator you should:
•  Gather up and bring in any syllabi, course descriptions or any other materials from transfer classes you need evaluated.
•  Bring to the meeting any other information relevant to your problem.
•  You should see the Undergraduate Coordinator during his or her office hours. If you are unable to make these office hours, please schedule an appointment time by email!!

Yes! You can use Principles of Psychology 21:830:101 and 21:830:102 to fulfill both the major and social science requirements. Remember the six credits count only once toward the overall number of credit you have earned.

1. Research in Psych is a course that enables you to earn course credit for working with a professor in his or her laboratory on his or her research. Being an RA allows you to develop a close working relationship with a specific faculty member. It’s a great activity to put on resumés and grad school applications, as well as giving you elective course credit in Psychology.
2. If you want to become an RA, the time to work on it is BEFORE the semester begins.
3. Often, faculty members require a 3.0 Psych GPA, although some professors make exceptions to these rules. More information about our faculty members and links to their webpages are available on our Faculty webpage.
4. Review our faculty members' research projects on the web, and select several professors whose research interests you. Contact those professors to find out if they will be accepting new undergraduate RAs during the next semester (or over the summer).
5. If the faculty member accepts you into his or her lab, he or she will also give you a special permission number to enroll in the class.

1. Individual Study provides a special opportunity for students who want to investigate a particular topic in Psychology in more depth than our undergraduate courses permit. Individual Study typically involves conducting a semester-long investigation into the current literature on your topic and then writing a final term paper on that topic.
2. You should first select a relatively specific area of interest (e.g., the effects of stimulant drugs on children with ADD, current views on the significance of dreams).
3. With your topic in mind, review our faculty’s research and teaching interests. Select one or two faculty members who you think might be appropriate to supervise your individual study. Then arrange to meet with these faculty to discuss your plans. If you cannot find a faculty member whose interests match perfectly with yours, that's OK. Select the closest one.
4. The faculty member will discuss your interests and make suggestions. Keep in mind that the more initiative you show, the more likely the faculty member is to agree to supervise your project!!
5. If the faculty member agrees to supervise your project, he or she will outline a schedule of meetings and deadlines to guide the progress of your research project. He or she will also give you a special permission number to enroll in the class.

Psychology majors of junior or senior standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 are preferred. You will be expected to attend all lectures, a weekly meeting of all teaching assistants, and you may run your own discussion class once per week. It is your responsibility to be prepared to answer your students' questions concerning the lecture and text material and you will be asked to grade exams (with guidelines). Generally, your job is to support the learning of the students for whom you are a TA or LA, and to make the course an enjoyable, educational, and interesting experience.  You can find more information, including the TA/LA application form here.

Students who have outstanding academic records and who are doing or are planning to do research in a faculty member's lab are eligible to apply for the Honor in Psychology major.  A 3.5 Psych GPA and a 3.0 overall GPA are required both to apply for and to complete the honors major.  Honor majors also complete a 6-credit Senior Thesis that consists of a research project carried out and formally written up during their senior year under the supervision of a faculty member in Psychology.  You can find more information and download the requirements and application information here.

Counseling is a free service to registered students offered through Psychological Services. To schedule an individual session please contact them at 973-353-5805.
Psychological Services understands that university life can be overwhelming at times and there may be issues that cannot be resolved solely through advisement. Their purpose is to support and facilitate your emotional, social, and intellectual growth and help you deal more effectively with issues that hinder or have the potential to block your progress toward achieving your educational goals. They offer a comprehensive range of services that are free to any currently enrolled Rutgers student. Since Psychological Services is not affiliated with the Psychology Department, all appointments must be made through the Counseling Center. They are located at 249 University Ave, Room 101-Blumenthal Hall.