NYU Psychology Undergraduate Program


Psychology is the most popular major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and for good reason. Three of our faculty have won the University's Distinguished Teacher Medal, another six have won Golden Dozen teaching awards from our Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and our Graduate Teaching Assistants have won numerous awards. The commitment of our department faculty to our undergraduate teaching program is revealed by our recent deepening and broadening of our required curriculum, the involvement of all faculty in undergraduate teaching, and the many opportunities provided for students to participate in research projects. Our faculty are almost all actively involved in funded research projects and students work shoulder to shoulder with us through our several Research Experience courses and our Honors Program. In all, ours is a rigorous major that provides the student with a broad survey of our very diverse field and the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in fields of specific interest.

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The major in Psychology is designed to assure that the student acquires the basic skills needed to achieve a sophisticated understanding of the field, a broad grasp of the varied areas of inquiry that comprise psychology, and an opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of particular areas of interest. All students take Introductory Psychology and Statistics. If a student took the AP Psychology or Statistics exam and received a score of 4 (as of Fall 2009) or 5, that will count as fulfilling this requirement. Students then choose two courses from each of two lists of courses that provide close reviews of areas of psychology that are closest to the natural (Core A) or social sciences (Core B). Students next select a laboratory course that provides training in the research methodology related to one of the core courses that the student has taken. Finally, each student takes two advanced elective courses selected from a wide array of courses reflecting the various areas of expertise on our faculty. Top students are invited to join our Honors program in which students take specialized courses and submit an honors thesis prepared with the sponsorship of a faculty member.

Major/Minor Declaration Form
Major/Minor Requirements
Course Catalog and Schedule
CAS Bulletin

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Undergraduate Honors

The goal of the Honors Program is to provide the best intellectual training the department can give to psychology majors, regardless of ultimate career paths. Honors students typically gain admittance to the best graduate and professional schools. Applications are accepted from juniors who plan to graduate the following Spring term. Honors courses are required Fall & Spring semesters of your senior year. Requirements for application to the program include: an overall and Psychology GPA > 3.65, successful completion of Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences and the Psychology Lab Course requirement, involvement in research either independently (strongly preferred) or through the Research Methods & Experiences course, and commitment from a faculty member to be your Honors Research Sponsor. Acceptance into the Honors Program is based primarily upon grades, faculty recommendation and research experience. The committee selects the top applicants each Spring and also considers factors such as the strength of applicants' background in psychology in making its decision.

If you're qualified, we encourage you to join the Honors Program by completing the application form

The department hosts two psychology-related student organizations. Psi Chi is the NYU chapter of the National Honor Society in Psychology. The Psych Club enhances the community spirit among psychology majors at NYU.

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How to get involved in psychology research

There are several ways to get involved in research at the NYU Psychology Department. These include expanding a project started in a lab course, or simply volunteering to work with a faculty member. Students who want to do research usually register for the “Research Experiences & Methods” course for a semester or two in their junior or senior year. Each term, a booklet is issued listing about 60 potential research sponsors, with brief project descriptions and contact information. (Or use the faculty page.) Students choose a sponsor with whom they share interests. The student forms a research team with an NYU faculty member, an advanced graduate student, a research scientist, or with outside sponsors at various medical schools, hospitals or other NY-area institutions.

In addition, “Research Experiences & Methods” students meet weekly as a class for lectures on research methods and design, research ethics and applications of statistics to evaluate research findings. There are brief writing assignments to relate the student's research project to the technical information in the lectures and text. Students give brief talks on their projects and write an APA-style research report. Students are encouraged and helped to polish these talks and reports for presentations at the NYU Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference, and at professional conferences such as the Eastern Psychological Association Meetings. All of these student research activities are helpful in gaining admission to strong graduate programs.

Please visit our research opportunities page.

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After the BA

One of the reasons that psychology is such a popular major is its value beyond the BA. It is a welcomed by all the professional schools including, medical, dental, law and business. Although graduate training in Clinical Psychology is enormously competitive, many of our students are successful applicants and many more go on to related and more reasonably competitive fields, such as counseling psychology, school psychology, educational psychology, health psychology, and social work. Graduate training is available in all the specialty fields of psychology and our program has been particularly successful in placing students in areas such as cognition, perception, behavior analysis, social psychology, industrial/organizational psychology and community psychology. Finally, with the American economy becoming increasingly service oriented, our psychology majors have a broad range of entry level opportunities in fields requiring psychological skills such as management, personnel, human services, marketing, advertisement, sales and public relations.

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