In order to earn the psychology certificate, students must complete 28 credits and fulfill all the requirements listed below. Each semester, prior to registration, you should arrange to meet with the program advisor to discuss your schedule.
Science of Psychology (UN1001) is the basic introductory survey course. Many postbacs have already taken an introductory psychology course and can apply that course to meet this requirement. However, many students opt to retake this class as a refresher as they begin a more serious program in psychology. You can discuss this with the program advisor before making this decision.
Most students fulfill the statistics requirement in their first semester. In your statistics course, you will develop foundational skills that will be relevant for lab work and for many upper level courses, including Research Methods (Requirement #3).
The statistics requirement can be fulfilled in the Psychology department (PSYC UN1610) or in the Statistics department (STAT UN1001, STAT UN1101, STAT UN1201). In general, we recommend enrolling in UN1610 in the Psychology department rather than a course in the Statistics department because it will have a more psychological orientation and includes a hands on lab component. If you decide to take a course from the Statistics department, the best course for most students is STAT UN1101. This course provides a stronger foundation than STAT UN1001, but does not require a calculus background like STAT UN1201.
Research methods courses are numbered in the UN1400s. These courses all offer a conceptual overview of basic research design as well as practical experience in developing, conducting and presenting research. The goal is to develop your research skills and your understanding of the research process.
Research methods is typically taken in the second semester or later because it has two prerequisites - intro psych (Requirement #1) and Statistics (Requirement #2). It is advisable to complete the research methods course before applying to graduate school.
Group I. Perception & Cognition: UN2200's, UN3200's, or UN4200's.
Group II. Psychobiology and Neuroscience: UN2400's, UN3400's, or UN4400's.
Group III. Social, Personality, and Abnormal: UN2600's, UN3600's, or UN4600's.
You will need to take at least one advanced (3000-4000 level) seminar. Because these courses often have pre-requisites, they are almost always taken after the first semester. You should choose the seminar that most closely matches your proposed area of graduate study. If you can, take more than one seminar. Besides providing you with more in-depth information on a topic, these courses most closely represent the type of class interaction that you will experience in graduate school. They also give you more personal interaction with a professor. Most professors are much more amenable to writing letters of recommendation for students in their seminars than in their large lecture courses.
IMPORTANT: All seminars have limited enrollment and require permission of the instructor to register. Many popular seminars fill up well in advance. You should try to contact the professor of a seminar you would like to take several weeks prior to early registration (e.g., in October for Spring classes or in March for Fall classes). Don’t forget that you are eligible to enroll in courses listed in the 4000’s. These are open to graduate students as well as undergraduates and postbacs.
You must be involved in at least 2 semesters of independent supervised research. One semester must be taken for credit (UN3950). The other can be done on a volunteer basis. You should have at least 1 semester of research experience before applying to graduate school, and the more the better. Generally, students are encouraged to get involved in a research lab as early as possible. Students typically begin volunteering in a research lab 10 hours per week sometime in their first semester and then register for UN3950 in their second semester. See Research Opportunities for more information on this requirement.
Postbac students need to complete a total of 28 points and fulfill these 8 requirements in order to earn the certificate. Courses taken at other institutions cannot be counted towards the credits required for the certificate, though they can be used for advance placement. For example, if you have previously taken an Introductory Psychology course, you may be able to pass out of the Introductory Psychology requirement, but you would need to replace it with something else in order to earn the 28 credits required for the program.
You may want to take Barnard courses as part of your certificate program. You may take up to three approved Barnard courses and apply them towards the requirements of the certificate.
With approval, you can substitute up to two alternative courses for specific course requirements of the certificate. This enables you to have a great deal of flexibility in your program. Please discuss any proposed substitutions with the program director prior to registration.