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Psychology

Administrative Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Undergraduate Programs, and Laboratories:
Prof. Lois Putnam, 314 Schermerhorn; 854-4550; putnam@psych.columbia.edu

Directors of Psychology Honors Program:
Prof. Kevin Ochsner, 369 Schermerhorn Extension; 854-5548; ochsner@psych.columbia.edu
Prof. Daphna Shohamy, 368 Schermerhorn Extension; 854-7560; shohamy@psych.columbia.edu

Directors of Undergraduate Studies:

Psychology Major and Concentration:
Prof. Patricia Lindemann, 358E Schermerhorn Extension; 854-8285; pgl2@columbia.edu
Prof. Betsy Sparrow, 355C Schermerhorn Extension; 854-1348; bjs8@columbia.edu
Prof. Dean Mobbs, 406 Schermerhorn; 854-3608; dm2912@columbia.edu

Neuroscience and Behavior Major:
Psychology:
Prof. Donald Hood, 415 Schermerhorn; 854-4587; dch3@columbia.edu
Psychology:
Prof. Carl Hart, 316 Schermerhorn; 854-5313; clh42@columbia.edu
Biology:
Prof. Jian Yang, 917A Fairchild; 854-6161; jy160@columbia.edu
Biology:
Prof. Deborah Mowshowitz, 744D Mudd; 854-4497; dbm2@columbia.edu

Preclinical Adviser: Prof. E'mett McCaskill, 415O Milbank; 854-8601; emccaski@barnard.edu

Administrative Coordinator: Joanna Borchert-Kopczuk, 406 Schermerhorn; 854-3940; jb2330@columbia.edu

Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant: Andres Torres, 406 Schermerhorn; 854-8859; uca@psych.columbia.edu

Departmental Office: 406 Schermerhorn; 854-3608; http://www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/

Undergraduate InfoPack: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/dept/ugrad/infopack.html

Professors
Niall Bolger
Geraldine Downey
David Friedman (Psychiatry)
Norma Graham
Tory Higgins
Donald C. Hood
Sheena S. Iyengar (Business School)
David Krantz
Leonard Matin
Janet Metcalfe
Walter Mischel
Michael Morris (Business School)
Lois Putnam
Rae Silver (Barnard)
Ursula M. Staudinger (Mailman School of Public Health)
Yaakov Stern (Neurology and Psychiatry)
Herbert Terrace
Elke Weber

Associate Professors
Frances Champagne
Carl Hart
Hakwan Lau
Kevin Ochsner
Brian Rakitin (Neurology)
Daphna Shohamy
Sarah M.N. Woolley (chair)

Assistant Professors
Adam Brickman (Neurology)
Stephanie Cosentino (Neurology)
James Curley
Michelle Levine (Barnard)
Dean Mobbs
Valerie Purdie-Vaughns
Betsy Sparrow

Adjunct Faculty
Karen Kelly
Stacey Lutz
E'mett McCaskill
Michele Miozzo
Katherine Nautiyal
Kathleen Taylor
Maria Ter-Mikaelian

Lecturer in Discipline
Patricia Lindemann

On Leave
Profs. Bolger, Downey (2013-2014)
Profs. Champagne, Krantz (Fall 2013)

The mission of the undergraduate programs in the Department of Psychology is to offer students a balanced curriculum in psychological science, including research methods, perception, cognition, neuroscience, developmental, social, personality, and clinical areas. The curriculum prepares majors for graduate education in these fields and provides a relevant background for social work, education, medicine, law, and business. Psychology course offerings are designed to meet the varying needs and interests of students, from those wishing to explore a few topics in psychology or to fulfill the science requirement, to those interested in majoring in psychology or in neuroscience and behavior. The department's program goals start with the development of a solid knowledge base in psychological science. Consistent with the value psychology places on empirical evidence, courses at every level of the curriculum nurture the development of skills in research methods, quantitative literacy, and critical thinking, and foster respect for the ethical values that undergird the science of psychology.

Most of these program goals are introduced in The Science of psychology (PSYC W1001), the recommended first psychology course required for all majors, which satisfies the prerequisite for most 2000-level courses. These goals are extended and reinforced in our statistics (PSYC W1610) and research methods (1400s) laboratory courses, as well as in the 2000-level lecture courses and 3000- and 4000-level seminars. Each of the 2000-level lecture courses enables students to study systematically, and in greater depth, one of the content areas introduced in PSYC W1001. These lecture courses are the principal means by which psychology majors satisfy the distribution requirements, insuring not only depth but also breadth of coverage across three central areas of psychology: (1) sensation/perception/cognition, (2) behavioral neuroscience, and (3) social/personality/abnormal. To complete the major, students take one or more advanced seminars and are encouraged to participate in supervised research courses, where they have the opportunity to explore research questions in depth and further develop their written and oral communication skills.

All qualified students are welcome to participate in research project opportunities within the Department of Psychology. Students may volunteer to work in a lab, register for supervised individual research (PSYC W3950), or participate in the department’s two-year Honors Program. Information on faculty research is available on the department’s website. Students are advised to read about research laboratories on faculty lab sites and visit the professor’s office hours to discuss opportunities. At the beginning of the fall term, the department also hosts a lab-preview event for students to learn about research opportunities for the upcoming semester.

Majors and concentrators in psychology and majors in neuroscience and behavior should begin planning a program of study as early as possible. All necessary forms and information are available in the Undergraduate InfoPack. Students should complete a Major Requirement Checklist before consulting a program adviser; seniors are required to submit a checklist prior to the start of their final semester.

Advising

The Department of Psychology offers a variety of advising resources to provide prospective and current undergraduate majors and concentrators with the information and support needed to successfully plan their programs. An overview of these resources is provided on the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Resources website.

Students are encouraged to consult with Peer, Faculty, and Program Advisers as they plan their course of study in psychology or neuroscience and behavior. Faculty and Peer advisers are important contacts for general advice on class choices, research opportunities, and post-graduation plans. For definitive answers to questions regarding major requirements and other aspects of your degree, including transfer credit, current and prospective majors should consult their Program Adviser or the Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant in the department office. Program Adviser assignments and contact information are provided on the Program Adviser page. Students who cannot contact their adviser should consult Prof. Putnam. For additional information about program, faculty, peer, and pre-clinical advising, please see the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Resources website.

E-mail Communication

The department maintains an e-mail distribution list with the UNIs of all declared majors and concentrators. Students are held responsible for information sent to their Columbia e-mail addresses. Students should read these messages from the department regularly and carefully. They are intended to keep students informed about deadlines, requirements, events, and opportunities.

Guide to Course Numbers

Course numbers reflect the structure of the psychology curriculum. The 1000-level contains introductions to psychology, introductory laboratory courses, and statistics. PSYC W1001 The Science of psychology and PSYC W1010 Mind, brain, and behavior are introductory courses with no prerequisites. Either one can serve as the prerequisite for most of the 2000-level courses. However, most students find it advantageous to take PSYC W1001 first. The 2000-level contains lecture courses that are introductions to areas within psychol­ogy; most require PSYC W1001 or PSYC W1010 as a prerequisite. The 3000-level contains more advanced and specialized undergraduate courses; most are given in a seminar format and require instructor permission. The 3900s are the courses providing research opportuni­ties for undergraduates. The 4000-level contains advanced seminars suitable for both advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

Subcategories within the 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-levels correspond to the three groups in our distribution requirement for undergraduate psychology majors:
(1) per­ception and cognition (2200s, 3200s, and 4200s),
(2) psychobiology and neuroscience (2400s, 3400s, and 4400s), and
(3) social, personality, and abnormal (2600s, 3600s, and 4600s).

Note that Barnard psychology courses do not follow the same numbering scheme.

Honors Program

The department offers a two-year Honors Program, designed for a limited number of juniors and seniors interested in participating in research. Beginning in the first term of junior year and continuing through senior year, students take the Honors seminar (PSYC W3910) and simultaneously participate in an honors research course (PSYC W3920) under the supervision of a member of the department. Students make a formal presentation and complete an honors essay based on this research toward the end of their senior year. To qualify for honors, students must take a total of 6 points beyond the number required for their major and satisfy all other requirements for the major. The additional 6 points may include the Honors seminar and research courses. Interested students should apply at the end of their sophomore year. Instructions and an application form are available on the department's website. Normally no more than 10% of the graduating majors each year may receive departmental honors.

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Programs in Psychology

Most graduate programs in psychology, including those in clinical psychology, require an undergraduate course in introductory psychology (PSYC W1001), a course in statistics (e.g., PSYC W1610, STAT W1001, STAT W1111, or STAT W1211), and a laboratory course in experimental psychology (PSYC W1420W1450, W1455, or W1480). Students should also take a variety of more advanced undergraduate courses and seminars and participate in Supervised individual research (PSYC W3950).

Students interested in clinical psychology should obtain experience working in a community service program and supervised individual research experience. Students should consult the department's pre-clinical adviser, Prof. E'mett McCaskill, and attend the department's pre-clinical advising events for more information. Additional resources to help prepare students for graduate study in psychology, and for careers in clinical psychology, are available on the Department of Psychology’s website.

On-Line Information

The Department of Psychology maintains an active website, in which the Undergraduate InfoPack for Current Students provides access to a wide variety of information for majors and prospective majors. Among other useful resources, students will find syllabi posted for most lecture and lab courses and for many advanced seminars. Students should read the on-line course syllabi prior to registering for psychology courses. For assistance in finding all necessary resources, students should contact the undergraduate curriculum assistant, 406 Schermerhorn, 854-8859, uca@psych.columbia.edu.

Science Requirement

PSYC W1001 The Science of psychology, PSYC W1010 Mind, brain, and behavior, and any PSYC course numbered in the W2200s or W2400s may be used to fulfill the science requirement. W2600-level and some other psychology courses (including PSYC BC1001 Introduction to psychology and all other Barnard psychology courses) may not be used to fulfill the science requirement. For more detailed information regarding psychology courses that may be applied toward the science requirement, see Core Curriculum in this bulletin.

PSYC W1001 The Science of psychology, PSYC W1010 Mind, brain, and behavior, and any PSYC course numbered in the W2200s or W2400s may be used to fulfill the science requirement. W2600-level and some other psychology courses (including PSYC BC1001 Introduction to psychology and all other Barnard psychology courses) may not be used to fulfill the science requirement. For more detailed information regarding psychology courses that may be applied toward the science requirement, see Core Requirements.

Evening and Columbia Summer Courses

The department normally offers at least one lab course (currently W1420 and W1450) in the late afternoon with evening labs. A number of other courses are occasionally offered in late afternoon and evening hours. No more than one quarter of the courses required for the major are normally available in the evening. Working students may find the wide variety of early morning (8:40 a.m.) classes, as well as Summer Session offerings, helpful in completing degree requirements.

Any “S” course offered by the Psychology Department during the Summer Session is applicable toward the same major requirement(s) as the corresponding “W” course of that same number offered during the academic year. (For instance, PSYC S1001 meets the same major requirements as does PSYC W1001.) See Programs of Study—The Columbia Summer Session in this bulletin for additional information.

Any “S” course offered by the Psychology Department during the Summer Session is applicable toward the same major requirement(s) as the corresponding “W” course of that same number offered during the academic year. (For instance, PSYC S1001 meets the same major requirements as does PSYC W1001.) See Summer Courses for policies governing Summer Session courses.