Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my advisor?
How do I declare Psychology as a Major?
How do I get a prerequisite override?
What is a Special Permission Number and how do I get one?
How do I find an Individual Study in Psychology advisor?
How do I find a Research in Psychology Project?
When do I need to see the Undergraduate Coordinator?
Can I use psychology courses to satisfy my major requirements and the General Education social science requirement?
I received a D in one of the major requirements, do I need to repeat the course?
I am a transfer student. How do I know which Psychology courses from my previous school will fill the requirements for Rutgers-Newark ?
I was told I needed to be certified for graduation by my major department. What exactly does that entail?
I would like to serve as a TA. What are the requirements? Responsibilities?
I am experiencing psychological problems. Where can I get help?

Who is my advisor?
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

How do I declare Psychology as a Major?
1. Pick up a Declaration of Major form from the Dept. Office 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.
5. Your advisor will explain to you the requirements for the Major and suggest some appropriate Psychology elective courses for you. At the end of your meeting, your advisor will sign your Declaration of Major form.
6. Return your signed Declaration of Major form to the Psychology Dept. Office.
7. Congratulations! You are now a Psychology major! Welcome to our department!

How do I get a prerequisite override?
1. Keep in mind that the department sets prerequisites for a reason. Prerequisite classes contain introductory material that will 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 Professor Gerard La Morte.
3. If Professor La Morte agrees that you can take the class without the prerequisite, he will give you a prerequisite override letter.
4. Take this letter to the registrar's office to register for the class.

What is a Special Permission Number and how do I get one?
1. Special permission numbers are used on rare occasions when a professor wants to allow a student into a class that has reached its enrollment limit. SP numbers 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 see the professor who is teaching the class during the current semester.
3. If the professor agrees to allow you in to the class, he or she can give you a special permission number to enroll.

How do I find an Individual Study in Psychology advisor?
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.

How do I find a Research in Psychology Project?
1. Research in Psych is a special opportunity for you to become an undergraduate Research Assistant 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 resumes and grad school applications, as well as giving you elective course credit in Psychology!
2. If you want to be an RA, the time to work on it is BEFORE the semester begins!
3. Typically, faculty members require Junior or Senior status and a 3.0 Psych GPA, although some professors make exceptions to these rules. More information about Research in Psych is available on our Dept. webpage at: http://psychology.rutgers.edu
4. Review our faculty's research projects on the web, and select several professors whose research interests you. Contact those professors. They may or may not be accepting new undergraduate RAs!
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.

When do I need to see the Undergraduate Coordinator?
1. 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:
1a. Help making sure Psych courses taken at other schools transfer correctly to Rutgers.
1b. 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.
1c. Help figuring out how Psych classes fit into your Gen Ed requirements.
2. BEFORE you meet with the UG coordinator you should:
2a. Print out a copy of your academic audit from the web.
2b. Gather up and bring in any syllabi, course descriptions or any other materials from transfer classes you need evaluated.
2c. Bring to the meeting any other information relevant to your problem.
3. 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!!

Can I use psychology courses to satisfy my major requirements and the General Education social science requirement?
Yes. You can use the Principles of Psychology combination 21 or 62:830:101 and 21 or 62:830:102 to fulfill both the major and social science requirements. Remember the six credits count only once.

I received a D in one of the major requirements, do I need to repeat the course?
Yes. A course in which you received a grade of D or F must be repeated, and when registering you must designate it as a repeated course. The first D or F in a Psychology course will be replaced with the newer (hopefully better) grade in the Psychology GPA. However, if you get a D or F in the repeat, you will again need to retake the course. In this case, the first D or F is removed from the GPA but the second D or F and the grade you receive (C or better) will be added together into your GPA.

I am a transfer student. How do I know which Psychology courses from my previous school will fill the requirements for Rutgers-Newark?
You must set up an appointment with the Undergraduate Coordinator for evaluation. Remember to bring any relevant materials to this meeting (i.e. course descriptions, syllabi, etc.) to ensure proper consideration be given to your courses.

I was told I needed to be certified for graduation by my major department. What exactly does that entail?
After you have filled out a diploma card in the Dean of Student Affairs Office, you are placed on a list for your major department to review. The Undergraduate Coordinator reviews each student on the list to ensure that he/she has met all of the requirements for the Psychology major or minor and sends this information back to the Student Affairs Office. 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 time of certification.

I would like to serve as a TA. What are the requirements? Responsibilities?
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 your own discussion class once per week. It is your responsiblity 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, you need to make Prinicples an enjoyable, educational, and interesting experience for your students.

I am experiencing psychological problems. Where can I get help?
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.