Psychology

Psychology, as a science of the mind, connects naturally to other fields in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. Completion of a secondary field in Psychology can serve as a complement to other concentrations or allow students to explore an independent interest in psychology. The secondary field provides a basic foundation in psychology and its research methods while also permitting a more focused exploration of a subfield, including experimental psychopathology, social psychology, cognition/brain/behavior, and developmental psychology.

Requirements 6 half-courses

  1. Tier 1: Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science, half course, or an approved substitute:

    1. PSYC S-1, offered in the Harvard Summer School.

    2. A Psychology AP score of 5 or IB score of 7, in which case an extra elective will be required.

    3. PSY 1 if taken Spring 2009 or earlier

    4. SCI B-62 will meet the Tier 1 Introductory Psychology requirement if taken in Spring 2006 or Spring 2009. If PSY 1 and SCI B-62 were both taken prior to the 2008-09 academic year, SCI B-62 can count as a departmental elective (see #4.) If PSY 1 and SCI B-62 were both taken in the 2008-09 academic year, only one may count as the Tier 1 requirement and the other cannot count as an elective.

  2. Psychology 1900 or Stat 100, 101, 102 or 104, passed with a grade of C or higher.

  3. Petitions to substitute other quantitative methods courses taken as part of a student's concentration will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are approved only if there is substantial overlap in content with Psychology 1900.
    Note: Harvard Summer School courses cannot fulfill this requirement.

  4. At least one Tier 2 foundational half-course from: Psychology 13, 15, 16, 18, or  Molecular and Cellular Biology 80
    Note: Harvard Summer School courses cannot fulfill this requirement.

  5. Three elective half-courses in psychology of the student's choosing, which reflect the student's area(s) of interest, including:  

    1. Most courses listed under Psychology in Courses of Instruction.

      1. Psychology courses that will not meet this requirement are marked in Courses of Instruction as not counting toward concentration requirements. For courses that may not count this year, see the FAQs on the department website.

      2. Only the first half of Psychology 970 may count for the secondary field.

      3. Any of the following courses that are not taken to meet the Tier 2 requirement may count as electives: PSY 13, 15, 16, 18, and MCB 80.

      4. Only one lab course (from a list at http://wjh.harvard.edu/psych/ug/requirements/charts/Req.LabMeth.htm) or PSY 910r may count toward this requirement.

    2. Courses taught by regular Harvard Psychology Department faculty members but offered outside of the department (e.g., specified Freshman Seminars, Core or General Education courses, or classes offered through other departments). See list at http://wjh.harvard.edu/psych/ug/requirements/charts/electives.departmental.html.

    3. Only one non-departmental course that is listed as an affiliated elective on the Electives page. Courses listed as expedited electives for the concentration cannot count toward the secondary field. Petitions for elective credit will not be accepted.

    4. Harvard Summer School Psychology courses may only count toward this requirement if taught by regular Harvard Psychology Department faculty and listed at http://wjh.harvard.edu/psych/ug/requirements/charts/electives.departmental.html.

    5. Only one Freshman Seminar (taught by a regular Harvard Psychology Department faculty member and listed as a departmental elective) may count toward this requirement.

Other Information

Students are encouraged to take Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science as early as possible. Ideally, Psychology 1900 or Statistics 100, 101, 102, 104 should be taken before electives as well, because the course provides grounding in the analytic tools central to psychology as a science. Tier 2 courses should be taken after taking Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science but prior to any other electives, because these courses provide a solid foundation required in upper level courses and are often prerequisites for these courses.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless that option is not available, and Psychology 1900/Statistics 100/101/102/104 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

Students pursuing a secondary field in Psychology will not be given preferential access to limited enrollment courses.

Advising Resources and Expectations

Students should notify the department as early as possible of their intent to pursue a secondary field using the secondary fields web tool so that they will be informed of department policies and deadlines.

Students should review the Frequently Asked Questions page as early as possible to be aware of specific guidelines that apply to the secondary field requirements. General information requests and questions can be sent to psychology@wjh.harvard.edu. Students requiring additional advice about the program and course selection may meet with someone in the psychology undergraduate office, William James Hall 218, during walk-in hours posted online. Any issues that cannot be addressed via these routes may be addressed to the undergraduate coordinator, Rebecca Stoodley, at stoodley@wjh.harvard.edu.

The college deadline for filing the signed paperwork for a secondary field is the seventh Monday of the student's final term. However, the Psychology Department requests that the form be turned in to the undergraduate office, William James Hall room 218, no later than the fifth Monday to allow time for the department to review and sign the form prior to the College deadline.