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Frequently Asked Questions

Can AP Psychology substitute for Psy 101?

No. Completing an Advanced Placement Psychology course in high school provides a good foundation for college level psychology classes, but it is not the equivalent of completing Psy 101. Students wishing to major or minor in psychology, or those students wishing to enroll in psychology classes that have Psy 101 as a prerequisite, must complete college level Psy 101.

Note: A score of 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Psychology Exam will earn the student 4 elective units toward graduation and the Registrar’s Office will accept that Psychology AP class as fulfilling the Behavioral Science portion of the Social and Behavioral Science General Education Requirement.

Is Psy 101 a prerequisite for all upper division Psychology classes?

No, the following classes do not have a prerequisite: Psy 200 Psychology of Adjustment, Psy 305 Statistics, Psy 307 Child Psychology and Development, Psy 308 Social Psychology, Psy 327 Health Psychology, Psy 336 Psychology of Religion, Psy 407 Life Span Development, Psy 450 Selected Topics, and Psy 458 Stress Management.

Can I take a psychology class at another college and have it substitute for a required class in the psychology major?

Yes, but it is always best to get your Psychology Advisor’s preapproval. Fill out the Major Course Substitution or Waiver Form and bring it to your Psychology advisor when requesting prior approval. You may substitute up to 28 units from other colleges to meet the requirements for the psychology major.

I recently transferred to La Verne from another college; will all my previous psychology classes substitute for required classes in the psychology major?

Only classes taken at the University of La Verne or those classes evaluated by the Psychology Department as being the equivalent to those classes required in the major will be applied toward graduating with a degree in psychology. To have transfer classes evaluated as the equivalent to La Verne’s required classes in psychology, students are required to file the Major Course Substitution or Waiver Form with their Psychology academic advisor.

Psychology courses completed more than seven (7) years from the time of either transfer to the university or return to La Verne after a leave, will not be accepted without a Departmental review including a proposed academic plan to ensure currency of course knowledge.

Is there a sequence of classes that must be taken in order?

While Psy 101 Principles of Psychology establishes the foundation for all other classes in Psychology, some Psychology classes require Psy 101 as a prerequisite and others do not. Although some classes are recommended for those students just starting out in Psychology (e.g., Psy 312 Abnormal Psychology and Psy 407 Life-Span Development), most other classes can be taken as a student’s schedule permits. The only sequence that must be followed is that Psy 305 Statistics must be completed prior to Psy 390 Research Methods, both of which must be taken before Psy 404 Experimental Psychology or Psy 499 Senior Thesis can be taken as the capstone class for graduation.

Are there other Psychology classes designated as “electives” not listed in the Course Catalog online, on the Undergraduate Psychology web page, or on the undergraduate Psychology Checklist?

Yes, the Psychology Major Checklist only lists examples of psychology elective courses. Other Psychology Elective classes may be added to the Schedule of Classes that do not appear on the checklist. Consult with your Psychology Advisor to determine which elective classes best fit in your program.

How do I find an internship opportunity?

After you register for an internship, you will receive a letter instructing you to locate an internship by reviewing the options compiled by the Department in the Internship book.

How do I learn about careers in psychology or psychology graduate school options?

Your Psychology advisor is an excellent resource and a good person to assist you in your search. The Career Center has materials on a vast array of career and graduate school options. Psi Chi also devotes several meetings to exploring these options. Finally, Psy 102 Psychology as a Career (which will first be offered Spring 2018) will be an essential course for understanding the various paths one can take in Psychology as well as how and when to get started on those paths.

How can I get involved in psychology faculty research?

The Department has a Research Mentorship Program and accompanying webpage that lists faculty who are actively seeking research assistants to volunteer in their labs.

Beyond this, you can walk down the second floor hall of the Hoover Building and survey the research that surrounds you. Psychology faculty are active in the field with many of them looking to take on research assistants. Research opportunities require commitment and persistence. Knock on the doors of those faculty members that share your interests. Email faculty members that share your interests, or you can drop by their office to learn about additional opportunities.

How often should I see my Psychology advisor?

While students are required to contact their advisor at least once per semester (in order to receive your Academic Advising Code for registration), you are encouraged to contact your Psychology Advisor anytime you have questions or concerns.

What are my Senior Thesis options?

For students entering the University after Fall 2015, either Psy 404 Experimental Psychology or Psy 499 Senior Thesis can be taken as the capstone class prior to graduation. Students entering prior to Fall 2015 may also take Psy 404 Experimental Psychology as their capstone class but they must have their Psychology Advisor’s approval and file a Major Course Substitution or Waiver Form.

Which Psychology courses cannot be taken by Directed Study?

Psy 101, classes designated as Lab Classes, and Senior Thesis may not be taken as Directed Study.

Can I propose an Independent Study Course in Psychology?

Yes.  An Independent Study Course must be initiated and written by the student and the course must deal with material not covered in any approved catalog course. A Psychology instructor must approve of the student’s comprehensive written plan and timetable.

Which Psychology courses can be challenged?

Since is it a university policy that all courses used to fulfill the Major must be taken for a grade and a challenged course can only receive a Credit grade, no Psychology class used to fulfill the Psychology major can be challenged.

How do I appeal a grade I received in a Psychology class?

The University of La Verne Catalog for your year will include a section on Grades, outlining the process for both requesting re-evaluation of a final grade and appealing a final grade.

How do I get into a closed class?

Psychology classes most often have a waitlist. If a particular class is closed during the registration period, register for the waitlist. If an enrolled student drops the class prior to the first day of class, the registration will notify the first person on the waitlist that a seat has opened and provides a 24 hour period for that student to enroll. If that waitlist student does not enroll within the allotted time period the next student on the waitlist will be notified with the same notification. This continue until all seats are filled. Once the first day arrives the waitlist notification system closes and students wishing to add a closed class may seek instructor permission to add by attending the first class. It is the instructor’s prerogative to grant permission to register for the class after submitting a Capacity Override through the registration system.

What courses are Psy 450 Special Topics and may I repeat Psy 450 with different Special Topics?

Courses listed as Special Topics may include Human Sexuality, Positive Psychology, Sports Psychology, Psychology of Women, Attitude Change and Persuasion, and others. You may take Psy 450 with as many different Special Topics as you like and apply two towards meeting the Elective requirement in the Psychology Major.

What is the best way to prepare for graduate school?

The answer to this depends on the type of graduate education that you wish to pursue. Beyond good grades and a strong performance on standardized tests like the GRE, many graduate programs like to see a strong record of student involvement in research or clinically oriented experiences (or sometimes both!). This question that should be discussed with your advisor who can consult with you based on your particular interests. In addition, information on this is provided in Psy 102 (Psychology as a Career), which will be offered every Spring beginning in 2018.

Will having a double major be an advantage when applying to graduate school?

This is a complicated question. Opinions may differ on the value of completing two majors. Completing two majors in many cases requires extra time in college which, in turn, adds additional expense. Your time and money may be better spent moving forward with course work leading to a Master’s Degree. Achieving better grades and “nailing” the GRE would probably lead to a greater likely of achieving graduate school admissions than having a double major. Also, a double major may indicate that you had a hard time making up your mind instead of having a determined focus in one field of study. Again, opinions may differ on this subject, ask several faculty members in both departments and then bring what you learned to your Psychology Advisor for further discussion.

I am a freshman and just finished Psy 101, what are the recommended courses to take next?

Congratulations on completing Psy 101! As a second semester freshman, you may consider psychology courses that do not require completion of Written Communications B as a pre-requisite. These courses include: Psy 305 Statistics, Psy 307 Child Psychology and Development, Psy 308 Social Psychology, Psy 312 Abnormal Psychology, Psy 316 Personality Theory & Research, Psy 327 Health Psychology, Psy 336 Psychology of Religion, Psy 405 Brain and Behavior, Psy 407 Life-Span Development, Psy 450 Selected Topics, and Psy 458 Stress Management.

Is it possible to graduate early?

Yes! Students that successfully complete 16 units per semester as well as 4 or 5 units during each January Interterm can complete all required course work in 3.5 years. If interested, your Psychology Advisor will be the best resource in helping you plan this out.

Can I study abroad?

Yes. Review the Study Abroad website for details for semester or yearlong programs and shorter Study Tours Abroad of a week or more during November, January Interterm, Spring Break, and summer.

Make certain that you have discussed your study abroad or study tour plans with your Psychology Advisor to ensure that you will be able complete your GE and Major requirements by your scheduled graduation date.

After graduation, what is the best way to prepare for admissions to grad school?

The best time to prepare for graduate school is long before you graduate. After you graduate studying for and excelling on the GRE is the best way to increase your options for graduate school. If you are graduating and want to make yourself more competitive for graduate school then it is recommended that you pursue a job or volunteer opportunities in the field. Students looking to attend more research oriented graduate schools (i.e., most Ph.D. programs) should pursue research assistant jobs, students pursuing a more clinically oriented graduate training (e.g., MFT or Psy.D.) should pursue clinically oriented jobs (e.g., Behavioral Technician at an Applied Behavior Analysis company).

I see in the schedule of classes that CAPA offers classes that restrict enrollment to CAPA students only; how do I get approval to enroll in a CAPA class?

In rare circumstances, particularly when a senior needs a particular class to graduate and no other options are available, a student may appeal to the Director of CAPA to be permitted to register for a CAPA class.

Can a statistics class taken in another Department at the University of La Verne or at another college be substituted for the statistics requirement in the Psychology Major?

Yes, it is possible to have a statistics class or any other class from another University of La Verne Department or another college substitute for a requirement in the Psychology Major. But, the same procedure applies whereby the student should request pre-approval or after the class is completed to have it evaluated as the equivalent to the Psychology Department’s course using the Major Course Substitution or Waiver Form.