All students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) are advised in the CHSS Undergraduate Advising Center. More information about the Center, including instructions for making advising appointments, is available at their website.
The Department of Psychological Science Advising Team is available to address several specific issues that some psychology majors may have. Students with any of the following specific issues should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their relevant information:
▪ course substitution requests (see the FAQ on course substitutions)
▪ transfer credit / transcript evaluations (see the FAQ on transfer courses)
▪ registration prerequisite errors for PSYC courses (see the FAQs on registration problems and waiving of prerequisites)
▪ students pursuing the online B.S. in psychology (see the FAQ on online B.S.)
Before making an advising appointment or contacting the advising team, be sure to read through the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.
What can I do with a bachelor's degree in psychology?
A bachelor’s in psychology is a liberal arts degree. It leads students to develop (1) a broad knowledge base in psychology; (2) scientific literacy and writing skills; (3) statistical and quantitative skills; and (4) clear, or critical, thinking skills. As such, the bachelor’s degree is good preparation for entry-level careers in fields that expect or value college-level education but do not require specific technical or specialized degrees. These include careers in administration, data analysis, education, human resources, law enforcement, management, marketing, physical/mental health, research, sales, and social/community services. Some students choose to use the bachelor’s in psychology more as a pre-professional degree, meaning they will pursue additional education prior to beginning their career. The bachelor’s in psychology provides solid preparation for advanced study in psychology as well as many other fields (e.g., counseling, law, medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, social work, statistics). The PSYC 2210 course covers all of this information in greater depth. In addition, an overview of common career pathways is available here.
What are the key requirements for graduation?
In order to graduate with a bachelor of science in psychology from KSU, you must complete all requirements for the major. The requirements are described in the Undergraduate Catalog. The requirements are also visible in DegreeWorks if you are a declared psychology major (or by using the “What If” option and choosing a BS in psychology) as well as on the degree checklists created by the Department. These requirements guide you to complete at least 123 credit hours. The PSYC major requirements are comprised of 18 hours of lower level major field requirements (PSYC 1101, 2210, 2300, 6 hours of Supporting Disciplines, and 2 hours of electives); 36 hours of upper level major field requirements (PSYC 3301, one course from each of the five Areas, 12 hours of PSYC electives, and a Capstone experience); 12 hours of Related Studies; and 12 hours of Free Electives.
In addition to completing the described coursework, there are several additional key requirements for graduation that apply to all students:
▪ complete all major field requirements with a final grade of "C" or better
▪ earn an institutional GPA ≥ 2.0
▪ complete ≥ 21 upper level major field requirements at KSU
▪ complete ≥ 25% of the 123 required hours at KSU
▪ complete ≥ 39 upper level hours total (transfer hours count)
▪ petition to graduate prior to published Registrar deadlines
What is a catalog year and why does it matter?
Your catalog year determines which set of degree requirements you must fulfill. Your catalog year is set when you are admitted (or readmitted) to KSU, but it also updates if you declare or change majors. Your catalog year is visible in DegreeWorks.
When viewing my degree progress and planning future courses, should I look at DegreeWorks or my psychology checklist?
DegreeWorks is your academic record. As a result, always use DegreeWorks when viewing your degree progress and planning future courses to fulfill requirements. The checklists were created by the Department are designed to help students by providing a one-page overview of the degree requirements that is easy to use for planning future semesters. Many students use both tools. Just make sure that any notes/marks you place on your checklist corresponds to your DegreeWorks. Neither the use of DegreeWorks nor the checklist should take the place of advising. You should schedule appointments to meet with an advisor to review your degree progress when necessary and at least once per year.
I’m having registration problems.
Helpful tips about the registration system, time tickets, waitlists, important dates, etc., are available on the Registrar’s website. If you are getting a prerequisite error but you are certain you have completed the prerequisite course with a C or better, contact the Department at 470-578-6225 or email@example.com.
Does the Department waive prerequisites for PSYC courses?
The Department does not waive prerequisites. All prerequisites must be satisfied with a grade of “C” or higher. Current prerequisites for PSYC courses can be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Does the Department give overrides when a course is closed/full?
The Department does not give closed/full course overrides. Overrides are never given for a course that has a waitlist because students on the waitlist have been waiting in line for a seat. For those courses without a waitlist, they usually are already being offered at their maximum capacity. Note that individual faculty do not make decisions about overrides into courses. Direct any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a limit on attempts at a course?
KSU policy limits students to two attempts at any course. Note that grades of W and WF count as attempts. The registration system will block you from enrolling in a course for a third attempt. In PSYC, requests to enroll in a course for a third attempt must be made to the Department Chair using this Re-Enrollment Waiver Request form.
Note that third attempts are rarely granted for PSYC 2210, 2300, and 3301.
For the places in the PSYC degree requirements where I have choices, which PSYC courses should I take?
The Department designed the PSYC degree requirements to contain a great deal of flexibility and choice. This allows students to tailor their learning. At any point in the degree requirements where you have choice, prioritize courses that facilitate your education and career goals. For example, certain courses may confer knowledge or skills that an employer or graduate school will expect of you. Descriptions for PSYC courses can be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
What courses count as PSYC Electives?
Any 3000- or 4000-level PSYC course can count as a PSYC elective as long as it is not being used elsewhere in your degree requirements (e.g., to satisfy one of the five Areas). Descriptions for PSYC courses can be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
How do I know when specific PSYC courses are typically offered?
All of the core degree requirements (PSYC 1101, 2210, 2300, 3301, five Areas, Capstone) are offered every semester, including summer. The Department strives to offer these courses at varied times and in varied modalities (i.e., in-person, hybrid, and online). However, not every course option within the five Areas and Capstone is offered every semester or with equal frequency. Elective courses also vary in frequency. Those offered most semesters include PSYC 3365, 3370, 4430, and 4440. Those offered at least once per year include: PSYC 3010, 3273, 3310, 3380, 3410, 3510, and 4460. All other electives are offered less regularly.
What is a capstone experience and what are my options?
Capstone provides students at the end of their degree with an experience that helps them integrate their learning to date and further enhance key skills in written and oral communication. Students can choose from two seminar-style courses (PSYC 4445 or 4499) or an internship (PSYC 4498). In addition, some other experiences might substitute, including University Honors thesis (HON 4499) and certain types of directed study (PSYC 4400). The prerequisites for all Capstone options are the same: PSYC 3301; submission of an application before registration; and one course from each of the five Areas (one of the five psychology course areas may be completed concurrently but no more than one). All students must take the ETS Major Field Test as part of the Capstone. Note that the application must be submitted prior to enrolling in any Capstone option.
If a student chooses to take directed study (PSYC 4400) or University Honors thesis (HON 4499), they MUST submit a capstone subsitution request at the beginning and end of the semester they wish to take the class.
How do internships work?
There are two main options: (1) internships for course credit and (2) internships not for course credit. Often times the internship site or provider will indicate which type of internship they offer or require. Internships for course credit must be carefully planned in order to coordinate with taking either PSYC 3398, the general internship course, or PSYC 4498, the capstone internship course. Both courses require making arrangements in advance of registration. Interested students are encouraged to communicate with the instructor (Dr. Niederjohn, email@example.com) and seek out their own internships. Note that interested students must apply and seats are limited. Internships not for course credit can be pursued at any time. KSU’s Department of Career Planning and Development can assist students in the process of searching for internships. Internship FAQs can be found here.
How do I fulfill the Supporting Disciplines requirement?
This requirement is for students to complete 6 hours of 1000- or 2000-level courses in disciplines that support your understanding of and success in PSYC courses. These can be any lower-level courses that begin with the listed prefixes of MATH, BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS. Descriptions of courses in these fields can be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Because MATH courses are a popular option for fulfilling this requirement, note that if you have earned credit for MATH 1111 and/or 1112, then you cannot also earn credit in MATH 1113.
How do I fulfill the Related Studies and Free Electives requirements?
Related Studies must be 3000- or 4000-level and cannot be PSYC courses. Many such courses will have prerequisites, so plan accordingly. A helpful tip is to see what lower level courses you have already completed (e.g., in General Education and Free Electives) that might serve as prerequisites to upper level courses in that same field. Free Electives can be any course, including PSYC. Descriptions of courses can be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog. Free Electives are often filled quickly for students who had a previous major and/or transferred in a large number of courses. If you opt to have a second major, a minor, or a certificate, those courses will often fill in part of your Related Studies and Free Electives.
How do I pursue working with a faculty member on research or as a teaching assistant?
In the Department, there is no listing of open positions for these experiences. Instead, these opportunities come about more informally. Interested students should initiate conversations with faculty members about their interests in such experiences. It is best to begin with faculty who already know you as a student from one or more of their courses. Faculty are more likely to work with students that they know to be motivated, hard-working, conscientious, and professional. Do not approach or email faculty saying, “Are you doing any research?,” or “Can I be your TA?” Instead, do your homework first. Read the faculty member’s biography, read one or two of their recent publications, know the courses they teach, and talk with other students who work with them. After that, approach the faculty member to state your interest in gaining experience, why you are interested in working with them specifically, ask questions about their research or teaching, and ask about possible opportunities in the near future to work with them. Note that not all faculty work with students in these ways, and even those faculty who do might not have opportunities available at the time you ask. Some faculty may also have requirements that are specific to them (e.g., must have earned an A in PSYC 3301). Some faculty and/or students prefer to complete these experiences as a volunteer and others prefer to do this for course credit in the form of PSYC 4400. Note that there are requirements for serving as a research assistant for course credit or as a teaching assistant for either course credit or as a volunteer.
What is the online B.S. in psychology?The bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in psychology at KSU is available in both the traditional/residential version (i.e., a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses) and an online version. Note that the degree requirements, curriculum, and policies are exactly the same across both types of degrees. The differences are that students pursuing the online B.S. (1) declare their major as fully online, (2) are eligible to register only for online courses, (3) receive priority registration, and (4) only pay the Institution Fee and Technology Fee each semester. Students interested in learning more about online learning at KSU should examine the information available here including the list of FAQs.
How do transfer courses work?Upon transferring, KSU evaluates your courses from your previous institution(s) to determine if they have an equivalent course at KSU. Accepted transfer courses are given a new KSU prefix and number that appear in DegreeWorks and on your transcript. (Note that although the old course prefixes and numbers from your previous institution(s) still appear in DegreeWorks, they should be ignored.) If KSU determined that there was no equivalent for a transferred course, they will include a “T” in the number. These courses still count, and the prefix and level will determine what requirements they can satisfy, but the “T” is part of the official course number. Any errors detected in course transfers (e.g., missing courses) must be addressed with the Registrar.
I have a course in my records that I think is equivalent to a different course at KSU. How do I inquire about a possible substitution?Course substitutions are evaluated by the home department for the specific course (i.e., if it is an English course, the decision is made by the Department of English). To initiate such a request for a PSYC course, you must provide detailed information to firstname.lastname@example.org as to how the courses are equivalent, including the catalog description and syllabus for the course you completed. Note that in PSYC, no course from another institution can substitute for PSYC 2210.
Can I take courses at another institution?If you cannot access a course at KSU that you need (e.g., the course is full or not offered this term, KSU does not offer a course that is required by an employer or graduate school), you can explore taking it at another institution. Typically you will need to apply at the other institution as a transient/visiting student, and you will need to notify the KSU Registrar. It is critical that before you enroll at the other institution that you determine whether the course(s) you plan to take will transfer back to KSU as the course(s) you need. You should compare the courses using KSU’s Course Transfer Search Engine and then discuss your plan with the Department Chair or Associate Chair.
What is a minor and do I need one?Psychology majors are not required to have a minor. Minors are a way of formally noting an area of focused knowledge/skill in addition to your major. Some students choose to pursue a minor based on their interests and/or out of a desire to demonstrate specific knowledge/skill to an employer or graduate program. Any minor is open to PSYC majors, but some of the more commonly pursued ones include applied statistics and data analysis, coaching, criminal justice, criminology, foreign language, management, public health education, and sociology. In most cases, the required courses for a minor can fit within the PSYC degree requirements with two exceptions: (1) no minor course can count in General Education requirements and (2) at least 12 hours in the minor must be different from the lower and upper division major field requirements. As a result, minor courses often end up in Related Studies and Free Electives. Minors must be declared in Owl Express and included in your petition to graduate.
What is required to earn a minor in psychology?The psychology minor requirements are described in the Undergraduate Catalog.
What is my GPA?KSU calculates three different GPAs for students: the “semester” (or most recent term) GPA, the “cumulative” (or Regents) GPA, and the “institutional” (or adjusted) GPA. All three appear in Owl Express on your unofficial transcript, but only the institutional GPA appears in DegreeWorks. The semester GPA is your GPA for the most recent completed term. The cumulative GPA is your GPA across all courses attempted at KSU. The institutional GPA takes into account any KSU course repeats to improve a grade of D, F, or WF by only including the higher grade. At KSU, the institutional GPA is primary in that it is used to determine academic standing. Note that none of these GPAs include transfer courses. As a result, if you need to report a GPA to a potential employer, graduate program, or scholarship program, you typically need to calculate a true cumulative GPA that includes all courses attempted at all institutions. There are many GPA calculators available online to assist you. In addition, you may at times need to calculate other types of GPAs such as your major GPA (i.e., your GPA across all attempted PSYC courses) or your GPA during a set period of time (e.g., the last year of study)