Advising for Psychology Majors
Most students majoring in psychology are assigned a full-time faculty member in the Psychology Department as an advisor. Some exceptions include freshmen and students for whom psychology is a second major. Only double majors who list psychology first, (i.e., as their primary major) will be assigned an advisor from within the Psychology Department.
If for any reason you have not been assigned a major advisor from within the Department, you should seek some form of departmental advising prior to registering for courses. You can obtain advising from any faculty member. You need only pick up your degree audit from your assigned advisor.
Faculty advisors can be highly valuable as sources of opinion and guidance. However, it is unlikely that any one person will be able to answer all of your questions. Here are some suggestions:
- The Department holds informational sessions for students considering graduate work in clinical psychology.
- The main office has syllabi for almost all psychology courses. You can request that a syllabus be emailed to you.
Meeting Your Advisor
Keep in mind that the registration period is particularly busy. Each faculty member in the Psychology Department has many advisees who all need to pick up forms and receive advising during a brief period of time. To keep this process running smoothly, consider the following suggestions.
- Prepare your questions carefully ahead of time so that you get the answers you need.
- Read and know the specific requirements for the major before you meet with your advisor. These detailed requirements are listed in the Boston College Undergraduate Catalog and in the CoRSS. You must assume responsibility for knowing what you must take in order to graduate. Your advisor is there to offer advice and some perspective on larger issues rather than to repeat what is readily available in print or to tell you what to do.
- Make an appointment to talk to your advisor at some other time during the semester when things are not so hectic. Doing so will give you an opportunity to discuss the longer-term issues which are certainly relevant to your Boston College experience.
- If you are interested in some special programs, make an appointment to see the relevant advisor: pre-medical advisor Prof. Robert Wolff of the Biology Department in Higgins Hall, pre-law advisor Dean Joseph Burns in the A&S Associate Deans Office Gasson 109B, junior year abroad advisor Prof. Jeff Flagg at the Foreign Study Office, etc. Again, it is best to make these appointments before the registration period starts.
Your degree Audit
Your DeGRE (Degree and Graduation Requirements Evaluation) audit, which contains your access code number, is mailed to your advisor. (Seniors' degree audits are sent to them directly.) You contact this person to pick up your audit form and access code and to review your course selections for the coming semester.
This document lists all courses that Student Services is counting towards your requirements for graduation. A completed requirement has *** in front of it. After you have declared a Psychology Major, there should be a separate listing of the major requirements you have satisfied and those which you have not. If you have a question about some requirement that is not marked as completed, you should check with Student Services. If the question concerns the Psychology Major, you may be referred to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. It is a good idea to straighten out these problems as early as possible.
Your Boston College degree audit will list all courses that BC is counting towards your degree. This document should also indicate whether you are listed as majoring in psychology. If you are listed as a Psychology Major, then your degree audit will indicate which major requirements you have completed, and which you have not, according to Student Services' records. For example, a course may be listed as something else (perhaps "PS 002 Psych Major Equiv") at the end of the degree audit under the heading "Courses not counted towards the above requirements." Courses do not count as fulfilling major requirements unless they appear under the Psychology Major portion of your degree audit. Someone in the Psychology Department, usually the Director of Undergraduate Studies, needs to fill out a form to inform Student Services precisely how a particular psychology course you took somewhere else should be counted with respect to your Boston College Psychology Major.