When should I consult with my academic advisor?
You must have your advisor review the courses that you plan to take each semester in order to release your advising hold; therefore, at minimum, you should be in touch with your academic advisor once a semester. You can also consult with your academic advisor about career goals; however, if you are serving as a research assistant in a faculty member’s lab, that faculty member may also be able to provide you with helpful advice.

How should I choose which psychology classes to take?
Please consult with the requirements for psychology majors and minors and also with the pathways for psychology. Then consult with your academic advisor.

What is the 42 credit rule?
Please see the College of Arts and Sciences BA Requirements. No more than 42 credit-hours beyond the 100-level in any one department to be applied to the 120 credit-hour total towards graduation. Credits beyond the 42 credit-hours are deducted from your credits towards graduation.

What are the Undergraduate Psychology Pathways?
Pathways are suggestions of courses to take based on your career goals. The pathways are: Clinical, Lifespan Development, Pre-health, Neuroscience, and Research. You do not officially declare a pathway. Your pathway does not appear on your transcript and no certificates are awarded based on the pathways. These are simply a guide to help you to choose which courses to take. Please see the Pathways website for more information.

How do I complete a Capstone in Psychology?
A Capstone is psychology is not required for the psychology major. Completing a Capstone in some department at Case Western Reserve University is required in order to graduate, however, majors and minors can complete a Capstone in any department at the University.

There are numerous options for completing a Capstone in psychology. Many students take a Capstone course in psychology. These courses often require you to write a review paper on a topic of your choice and to present a poster on the review at ShowCase. This option is ideal for students who are not looking to pursue a research intensive career or a Ph.D. in psychology.

Students may also complete an honors Capstone in psychology. Please see the eligibility requirements for the honors program here. This requires students to do independent research with a faculty advisor. Most faculty advisors will only advise honors Capstones with students who have been conducting research in their lab for at least one year; therefore, it is recommended that those students who are interested in completing an honors Capstone begin serving as a research assistant in a faculty member’s research lab at least one year before they wish to complete their Capstone. Honors Capstone projects involve designing and conducting your own research project and/or analyzing data that is being collected in a research lab. Because these projects often require IRB approval or modifications to an IRB, students may need to begin working on their project a semester or two before they plan to sign up for Capstone credits. Honors Capstone projects require you to write a journal manuscript style paper and to present the study results at ShowCase.

What is the honors program?
Qualified psychology majors who are interested in a career in research are encouraged to consider the department’s Honors Program which leads to a B.A. with honors in psychology. The program’s purpose is to provide an intensive, supervised research experience. To learn more about the requirements go here.

Is the Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) program in psychology right for me?
The Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) program enables qualified undergraduates to complete the academic work for both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts degree within five years. The IGS program may be of interest to students who want to serve as developmental psychologists and who are interested early intervention.

However, it is important that students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology recognize that often a Ph.D. program may not transfer over the credits or the MA degree. Further they should recognize that this program is not a research-intensive program and that intensive research is essential in gaining admittance to most Ph.D. programs; therefore, this program may not be ideal for those who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology.

What should I choose as my major? Psychology? Cognitive Science? Communication Science? More than one?Students should consider majoring in Psychology if they are interested in graduate training in psychology–whether clinical/abnormal psychology, cognitive psychology (which includes research on reasoning, memory, skill acquisition, expertise, language, and learning), developmental psychology, emotions, or neuroscience–medicine, social work, allied health professions, education, business, computer science, or law. The undergraduate degree directly prepares students for careers that require knowledge and understanding of behavior, research design, and the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data.

Students should consider majoring in Cognitive Science if they are interested in higher-order cognition, particularly in creativity, innovation, communication, design, art, and social cognition.

Students should consider majoring in Communication Sciences if they are interested in providing assessments and/or intervention services to persons with communication disorders which includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, thinking (cognition), swallowing, or hearing difficulties. A degree in Communication Sciences would lead you to a graduate program (typically M.A./M.S.) in Speech Language Pathology or Audiology (typically an Au.D.).

Many students choose double major.

Other resources:
General information about being a psychology major.

Career options and information.