Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for the Psychology major?
The Psychology Majors Checklist contains all of the course requirements for the major. You may also find the Four-Year Plan helpful in planning classes.

How do I declare the Psychology major? 
In order to declare the psychology major a student must successfully complete Intro Psychology (Psych 201 or 202) with a grade of “C” or better. Once this occurs, you should schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor. Students are only able to declare the major during an appointment, not during drop-in hours.

Can I still major in psychology if I am in a different school such as education or business? 
With permission from your school or college, yes! If you are interested in completing psychology as well, come in and see us to discuss this process.  However, students with PRE designations - Pre-nursing, Pre-engineering, etc. may not declare a second major in L&S until they have been officially accepted into their limited enrollment program.

Is it true that biology is required for the psychology major?
Yes. A student needs to complete animal biology for the psychology major. Most students take the zoology 101 and 102 sequence. This is a total of 5 credits- 101 is the lecture and 102 is a lab. It is recommended that they be taken together, but 101 can be taken in a semester prior to 102 if you want to take them separately. If you received a 4 or 5 on the AP biology test this is will fulfill our biology requirement for the psychology major. We also accept Zoology 151 or Biocore.

I received AP credit for statistics. Does this count for the major?
No. AP credit for statistics counts as Statistics 301, which does NOT satisfy the statistics requirement for the Psychology major. It was determined that Stats 301 did not adequately prepare students for the statistical analyses needed for Psychology 225, Research Methods.

I transferred in some psychology courses, but they transferred in as electives. Can they count towards the psychology major? 
Maybe. If you took a psychology course at another university and it transferred in as an elective (example: Psych X12) but would like it to count towards the major requirements, you will have to submit a copy of the syllabus to one of the undergraduate advisors. Electronic submissions are acceptable. Please e-mail them to advisor@psych.wisc.edu. Your syllabi will be reviewed and a determination will be made on if it qualifies as a major requirement.

What breadth requirements are fulfilled by the psychology major requirements?
The major requirements for Psychology satisfy many of the breadth requirements for the BA and BS degree requirements in the College of Letters & Science. Required courses that will assist you in completing breadth and general education requirements include: Psych 202 (Social Science), Statistics (QR-B), Psych 225 (Comm B and Biological Science), Zoology 101 and 102 (Biological Science). Psychology breadth courses also carry breadth designation from social science and biological science requirements. You will not be able to receive either Literature or Humanities through the Department, and only one elective course (Psych 349) fulfills a Physical Science breadth requirement.

What are the prerequisites to enroll in Psych 225? 
In order to enroll in Psychology 225- Research Methods, students must earn a C or better in Introductory Psychology and Statistics. 

I transferred in Intro Psych and/or an acceptable statistics class (Psych 210, Stat 371, Soc 360, Bus 303), will I be able to enroll in Psych 225?
Yes. However, you must contact a Psychology advisor(advisor@psych.wisc.edu) about your grade in your transferred course(s) so you will be able to register during your enrollment time. For more information about Psych 225 enrollment, please read this document.

I didn’t earn a C in Intro Psych and Statistics, now what? 
If you didn’t earn a C, meet with a psychology advisor as soon as possible. We will discuss options that you have and work together to come up with an optimal solution.

I received a D in a breadth or depth course, do I have to retake it?
No. If you receive a D in either a breadth or depth course, it will still count towards the psychology major requirements. However, you need to earn an average of 2.0 or above in all psychology courses, and all upper-level courses within the psychology department. Only Psychology courses numbered 300 or above are included in calculating the upper-level GPA requirement.

Is it okay to take a psychology course pass/fail? 
No. You are not allowed to take any courses within your major pass/fail, even if it is an elective.

I want to study abroad… how will this affect my psychology major and graduation timeline?
Many psychology students study abroad and graduate in a timely fashion. If you plan to study abroad meet with a psychology advisor to discuss your intended graduation date and semester/year you wish to go abroad. The earlier you plan for study abroad, the better. Also, go to the study abroad resource room in the Red Gym for more information on study abroad programs and opportunities. Often students are able to study abroad without taking any psychology courses and still graduate on time. Study abroad is a time to immerse yourself in another culture, so we frequently encourage students to take courses that you may not be able to take at UW-Madison.

I’m not currently a psychology major. Can I meet with someone in the psychology department for advising? 
Absolutely! We want to meet with students as early as possible to discuss not only requirements and coursework, but outside classroom experiences as well. Schedule an appointment now!