Undergraduate Requirements FAQs | Psychology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



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Frequently Asked Questions

I've taken an introductory course in psychology. What course should I take next?

You should take PSYC 202 and PSYC 211 as soon as possible.  PSYC 202 provides students with an overview of the major, the department, and how to best prepare for future career options in psychology.  PSYC 211 is a prerequisite for many other courses, including all of the senior (400 level) courses.  Otherwise, take any 300 level course that interests you.

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PSYC 311 is also a required course. Should I take that course now?

It is a good idea to take PSYC 311 the semester after completing PSYC 211. It will help you to better understand the research presented in many psychology courses.

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Which 400 level courses count towards fulfilling the requirement of three senior level courses? 

Any of the courses listed in Areas A, B, or C, plus PSYC 489 (See the list of major requirements).  PSYC 499 does not count.  Nor does EPSY 402.

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I took a 489 seminar already.  Now I would like to take a different one. Will they both count towards the senior course requirement.

Yes, if they are different seminars--with different titles. You may take as many different 489 seminars as you wish, and count them all.

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I’ve taken three hours of 391 and three hours of 393. Will they both count towards the psychology degree?

Yes, of all credits that a student completes for PSYC 391, PSYC 392, PSYC 393 and PSYC 394 a maximum of six hours will count towards the major requirements. However, you may count twelve hours towards university requirements of 120 hours to graduate.

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Can I combine credits from Research Assistant (PSYC 391/392), Internship (Psyc 393), and Teaching Assistant (PSYC 394) positions?

Yes, but only 6 credits can count toward your bachelor's degree in Psychology at SIUC. If you do complete more than 6 credits (you can complete up to 12 credits in any one of these), they would count toward your bachelor's degree at SIUC.

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Can I combine credits from different Research Assistant (PSYC 391/392) positions?

Yes.  You can work in different research labs to accumulate a total of 6 credits to count toward the Psychology major or minor requirements.

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If I take PSYC 389 for 1 credit, can it be combined with 2 credits of being a Research Assistant (PSYC 391/392)?

No, a 1-credit seminar (PSYC 389) is a "bonus" class that counts as an elective credit but does not count toward your requirements for a major in Psychology.

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How can I register for PSYC 394 (Teaching Assistant for PSYC 102) or PSYC 499 (Senior Honors Thesis)?

PSYC 394 and 499 are by invitation only, for students who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 when they begin spring semester of the junior year.  Invitations are sent via email. If you do not receive an invitation but meet the eligibility requirement, please contact Dr. Kathleen Schmidt at kathleen.schmidt@siu.edu or call (618) 453-3543.

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Will PSYC 499 count toward the Psychology requirement as a 400-level course?

No. The honors thesis is an extra course and does not count toward completing the requirements for a Psychology major.  However, this course provides students with the skills necessary for graduate school and help them get connected with departmental faculty.

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What happens if I do not get a C or better in one of the required Psychology classes (PSYC 102, 202, 211, 311)?

You will need to re-take the course until you earn a C or better.

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If I fail one of my Psychology courses, will the grade be replaced if I take the course again?

No. If you re-take the course, both grades you earned will be calculated into your GPA.  Courses cannot be taken off of your transcript to boost your GPA. If you fail a Psychology course, you will need to take different Psychology courses to reach an overall Psychology GPA of 2.0. 

We do not recommend re-taking non-required psychology courses. Make sure you see an Undergraduate Psychology Advisor right away to talk about your options (send an email to ugpsych@siu.edu or call 453-3544 to make an appointment).

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If I'm majoring in psychology, do I need to have a minor too?

No. Adding a minor is not required. It really depends on your interests and future career plans. For example, if you are interested in working in a business setting after graduation, a minor in business could make you more marketable.

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How can I find out when classes will be offered (Fall, Spring, or Summer) so that I can plan my major?

The best way to plan a tentative schedule is to see an Undergraduate Psychology Advisor. Some classes will be offered every semester while others are only offered once every two years. To make an appointment to talk to an Undergraduate Advisor, call (618) 453-3544. You may also get a copy of the schedule of courses for the upcoming semester from the Undergraduate Program office in Life Science II 229C.

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How can I find out how many credits a class is worth?

Look in the course catalog; the number of credits is listed after the course number. For example, PSYC 102-3 is worth 3 credits and PSYC 211-4 is worth 4 credits. You can also check listings on SalukiNet.

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How many classes can I transfer toward my Psychology major or minor from a different institution?

You may transfer 5 Psychology courses and a math course for the major, and you may transfer 2 courses for the minor. However, an internship (PSYC 393) will not transfer toward a Psychology major or minor.

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My psychology course didn't transfer, what can I do?

If your psychology class did not automatically transfer you can visit the Undergraduate Psychology office (LS II room 229C) to pick up a transfer form. You then may submit the form with your course syllabus to be reviewed and approved. For the course to be eligible for transfer, it should have a PSYC prefix, be similar in content, and offered at a level that is similar to what is offered at SIUC (example, 200, 300 or 400). You should also have received at least a “C” in the course. Not all psychology classes will be approved to transfer.

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Will a course in statistics count as fulfilling the Math requirement?

No, but a course in statistics can be counted toward the 14 courses required for a major in Psychology.

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I’ve heard that it’s impossible to get a job without a graduate degree.  Is that true?

No. It is true that to work as a professional psychologist you must have at least a master's degree. However, there are many other opportunities for graduates in psychology.  Check out our Careers page.

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What should I do if I want to go to graduate school. 

Many graduate programs in psychology are very competitive.  Check out the page titled Grad School--it has lots of useful information.

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Where do I go if I need to talk to someone about psychology transfer classes, problems with my psychology classes, or special issues regarding my progress in psychology?

See Dr. Kathleen Schmidt, the Psychology Undergraduate Program Director. Her office is Life Science II 229D, telephone 618/453-3544, email: kathleen.schmidt@siu.edu

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How do I join the Psychology Department listserve?

Send an email (from the account you wish to be added) to listserv@siu.edu.  Leave the subject line blank and in the body of the email, write SUB UGPSYCH-L yourfirstname yourlastname.  For example:  SUB UGPSYCH-L Joe Smith.  You can also be added to the list by informing the Undergraduate Psychology Advisor in Life Science II, 233, that you would like to be added.

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I have lots of other questions.  Where can I get answers?

Make an appointment to talk to an Undergraduate Advisor (call 618-453-3544).  An advisor can help you plan your course schedule and make plans for graduate school or a post-BA career.

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