Undergraduate Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Do CLPS (College of Liberal and Professional Studies) Courses count towards the Major/Minor?

Yes, CLPS courses in Psychology count towards the Major and Minor just like their regular College counterparts.

How do I register for a CLPS course?

Permits for CLPS courses are issued only by CLPS, never by the Psychology Department.

CLPS courses are offered under the auspices of CLPS, not the Psychology Department, and priority is given to CLPS students, limiting the number of regular College students who can register.

CLPS usually opens enrollment in undersubscribed courses to SAS students around the day of the second class meeting; check with CLPS to find the exact date and time enrollment will be opened. The best course of action in any case is to go to the first meeting of the course, and ask the instructor for permission to enroll.

Why can't I take Stat 111 or 112 in CLPS?

This is a decision that was made by the Statistics Department, based on their experience with the course. This is not a matter over which the Psychology Department has any control. The DUS has discussed the matter with them, and agreed that their call is a rational one.

That said, the matter is not negotiable.

How do I get on the waiting list for a class?

The Undergraduate Office does not keep waiting lists for classes.

You are free to show up at the first meeting of the class and make your case for admission--this is a strategy that sometimes meets with success.

How do I enroll in Independent Study?

Begin by reading the description of Independent Study in the Undergraduate Handbook.

Independent Study is something you must arrange on your own. It is helpful if --

  • You know something about the area you want to work in.
  • You have a strong interest in the area.
  • Your interest is genuine, not feigned.

The application form for Indendent Study (399 and 299) can be found on the Department website.

When do I enroll in Independent Study?

The application form, which can be found on the Department website, should be returned to Room B24 Solomon Lab Bldg. by the end of the "Add" Period for each semester of enrollment, with all signatures except that of the Undergraduate Chair.

Does Independent Study involve work during Exam period?

There are no formal restrictions on days and hours for Independent Study, but it is customary to release students from work during Reading Days, Exams, and Vacations.

Because Independent Study is very loosely structured to allow for the requirements of different projects, the operative rule about arrangements is "truth in advertising." Any exceptions to the ordinary expectation (release during Reading Days, Exams, and Vacations) should appear in writing under "Student Responsibilities" on the enrollment form. Then there can be no question about legitimate expectations by any party to the Independent Study agreement.

The DUS will assume no work is expected during Reading, Exam, or Vacation days unless an explicit statement to the contrary appears on the agreement form.

How do I declare a Psychology Major?

To declare a Psychology Major you must meet with Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill, Director of Undergraduate Studies (dus@psych.upenn.edu). Your Psychology Major Worksheet must be completed prior to your advising meeting and brought with you to the meeting.

How do I get credit for a study-abroad course?

Submit the syllabus (not just the course description) online at xcat. Within a few days the DUS will review the materials. If you are planning to study abroad it is best to get courses approved before you leave.

Does a second term of statistics count as one of the additional psychology courses?

Yes, but for Psyc Majors ONLY.

What should I do to prepare for graduate school?

There is an excellent video stream on the web page of the Undergraduate Psychology Society, at http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~upsych/links.html. This records a panel discussion of psychology faculty and graduate students and focuses particularly on applying to graduate school in clinical psychology.

How do I get into small seminars and research experience courses?

Admission to limited enrollment courses is done by an application process the week before Advanced Registration for the next term. The necessary information will be posted on the Psychology Web Page and sent to all majors by email several weeks in advance.