In order to receive a certificate, students 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.


PSYC UN1001 Science of Psychology

Many postbacs have already taken an introductory psychology course and can apply that course to 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.

This course can be taken either in the Psychology department (UN1610 or UN1660) or in the Statistics department (UN1001, UN1101, UN1201). For many students, this is a good course to take in your first semester. 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 1001, but does not require a calculus backround like STAT 1201.

These courses are numbered in the UN1400s. The research methods course can be taken at almost any point during the program, although it is advisable to take it before applying to graduate school. The course includes a 2-hour lecture plus a 2-hour laboratory section each week. Students are required to complete statistics (Requirement #2) prior to taking the lab course.

Group I. Perception & Cognition: 2200's, 3200's, or 4200's (also 1420, 1480, 1490)

Group II. Psychobiology and Neuroscience: 1010, 2400's, 3400's, or 4400's (also 1440)

Group III. Social, Personality, and Abnormal: 2600's, 3600's, or 4600's (also 1450, 1455)

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, they 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 giving letters of recommendation to 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 6-10 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.