Undergraduate Degree

Advising

The Psychology Department takes pride in our work to provide quality advising to our students.

The Psychology Department has developed advising sheets that detail academic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in psychology.  Hard copies of these sheets are available in the Psychology Department office.  You can also access degree requirements and our advising worksheet on our website. 

Students are assigned to a single advisor in the Psychology Department. This approach allows advisors and advisees to know each other better over the years.  You may request a different advisor than the one originally assigned to you by speaking to the Psychology Department administrative assistant.

The department offers a 1-credit course called Psychological Forum.  This seminar is designed for Psychology majors in their sophomore year and includes discussing and applying information on academic planning, career development, and graduate school.

How To Use Your Advisor

Sometimes students think that they should only see their advisor for a few minutes each semester to get their PIN so that they can enroll in classes. This is incorrect.  It's recommended that you talk to your advisor about a range of things--your major, a course you are concerned about, your career, or simply school in general.  If you are not doing well in a course (any course – not just courses your advisor teaches), go talk to your advisor.  If you are overwhelmed by things in your life and it is affecting school, talk to your advisor about resources and things you can to do protect your good academic standing.  Your advisor is also there to get to know you as a person and wants to help you to succeed in achieving your goals.

When you go to see your advisor, go in with the attitude that he or she is there to be your advocate.  He or she is there to help.

You advisor is your best source of information on how to earn departmental honors, graduate with distinction, pursue an internship, get involved in research, complete one or more transformational experiences, and many other topics relevant to getting the most out of your time at Washburn University.

Sometimes your advisor may be busy, preoccupied, at a conference, or otherwise unavailable. In these cases, check your advisor's office hours and make an appointment. Advisors welcome the chance to take time out to chat informally with students and will work you into their schedule within a day or two during the academic year.

Responsibilities of Advisees

Students need to understand and actively participate in the advising process. Advising is not just something the professor does. It is an active, collaborative process requiring preparation by the student.

The psychology faculty take the responsibility of departmental advising seriously and expects students to do the same. In order for us to advise you effectively, you should, at a minimum, do the following:

Meet with your advisor during the university advising period each semester. Make an appointment to see him or her as early as possible during the registration period.  Doing this is to your advantage because it increases the likelihood that you will be able to get into the classes you need and that you will be able to get the schedule that you want next semester.  Be advised, that faculty are on either 9 or 10 month contracts.  What this means is that advisors have very little or no availability during semester breaks.  You need to talk to your advisor during the regular semester.

Run a degree audit.  Examine it carefully and bring any potential discrepancies, problems, or concerns to the attention of your advisor.  If you are a transfer student and have questions about how any of your courses transferred in, talk to your advisor (sometimes courses do transfer in incorrectly). Choose your classes carefully based on the needs suggested by your degree audit.

Talk to your advisor about any questions you have about Washburn University’s academic policies.  For example, did you know that you can retake a class that in which you received a D or F to improve your GPA?  You can even retake a course in which you received a C with special permission from the department chair. The new grade will replace your old one in your GPA. As another example, did you know about the A/Pass/Fail is a course option? You can use it if you meet these requirements: 1) you must have completed 24 semester hours, with the exception of PE 198, 2) you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; 3) you may not take an A/Pass/Fail course in your major or minor; and 4) you may enroll in only one A/Pass/Fail course per semester. If you receive an A for an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive an A on your transcript; if you receive a B, C, or D in an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive credit for the course (not a letter grade) and it will not affect your GPA. If you receive an F in an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive an F grade on your transcript.

Read the Washburn University Undergraduate Catalog and the undergraduate section of the Psychology Department website. You should become familiar with the psychology major, the general education and other degree requirements, and all academic regulations. You should consult the catalog descriptions of any course you plan to take, and you should make sure that you have all necessary prerequisites for courses.

Keep us informed of changes in your program. If you declare a minor or second major, please inform us. If you want to seek Departmental Honors, consult your departmental advisor and prospective honor’s chair.  If you plan to study abroad, consult with the Department Chair early in the planning process.

Remember: Faculty are here to help, but you have the ultimate, final responsibility for your academic progress.

Advising Misconceptions and Problems

Academically it is ALWAYS better to get a W than an F on your transcript.  Both W’s and an F’s are bad for financial aid as well, although it is complex and there can be some different implications financially between the two.  To understand the academic consequences of a W or an F, talk to your advisor.  To understand the financial consequences, go to the Student One Stop (or call at 670-1151) and ask to speak to a financial aid processor.

Students should be aware that they can develop minors by judiciously using general education and upper division courses as part of their degree plan.

If math is not your strength, it can be OK to delay taking a math course during your first semester as you adjust to being a college student.  For most PY majors, we recommend Math 112, in which 75% of students get a C or better (versus Math 116, in which only 33% of students get a C or better).

Do not delay taking PY 151 Psychological Statistics beyond your second or third semester if you meet the math requirement (MA 104 or test score equivalent to MA 104).  If you do not meet the math requirement, your highest priority should be getting the math requirement met so that you can take PY 151 as soon as possible. 

PY 151 and PY 251 Research Methods are prerequisites for our capstone courses. You are likely to run into difficulties completing your degree in a timely manner if you delay taking either of these courses. PY 299 Psychology Forum must be taken prior to or at the same time as PY 251, so it is also important not to delay taking it.

Students are unaware of the ideal timing for the Internship courses. If it is your capstone, it must be taken when you are senior.  You may also do more than one internship, which may be while you are a junior or a senior. 

Undergraduate research in psychology (PY 389, PY 390) is highly recommended for students who want to go on to graduate school.  This capstone experience, however, is not limited solely to students planning to attend graduate school. Any student may pursue this option as long as the prerequisite of PY 386 Advanced Research Methods has been completed.

Majors are advised to consider completing one or more Washburn Transformational Experiences in the areas of scholarship (our capstone research option would qualify), community service (our capstone internship option often applies here), leadership, or international travel.  Employers and graduate schools want students who do more than pass their classes.  Experiences like these will help you grow as a person while helping you to be more competitive in your future career or graduate school endeavors.

The PIN that you use to enroll in classes is the same one needed to change or drop classes.  Additionally, the PIN that is used to enroll in fall classes is the same PIN that is used to enroll in summer classes. The Psychology administrative assistant is not allowed to distribute PINs.

Advising Quiz

1. What is the prerequisite for PY 151 Psychological Statistics?

Answer: PY 100 and MA 104 (or test score equivalent)

2.  When should you take PY 252 Research Methods?

Answer: No later than during your sophomore year.  Remember, you must have taken PY 299 Psychology Forum or be concurrently enrolled in PY 299 in order to take PY 252.

3. Can you take PY 252 Research Methods prior to PY 151 Psychological Statistics?

Answer: Yes.

4. What course is PY 386 Advanced Research Methods and Scientific Writing a prerequisite for?

Answer: PY 390 Independent Research

5. Can you do more than one internship in psychology?

Answer: Yes.

6. When should you take the ACAT?

Answer: Ideally, during the semester that you graduate.

7. How do you graduate with distinction?

Answer: Score at the 75th percentile or higher on the ACAT or score one standard deviation about the mean or higher on 3 of the 9 sections of the ACAT. 

8. How do you graduate with honors?

Answer: There are three ways to earn honors.  One way is to do a research project, write up the project into a thesis, and defend it before a committee. Another way is to do two WTE projects.  Another way is to do an internships, present the project publically, and engage in significant departmental service.   For each option, you must have at least a 3.5 GPA overall and support of the faculty.

9. How many hours do you need to take each semester to be a full-time student?

Answer: 12

10. How many hours does a student need to take each semester to graduate in four years as a PY major?

Answer: 15 hours one semester and 16 hours the other semester.

11. Do you need to extra classes (beyond the 124 total required for a BA in Psychology) in order to have minor?

Answer: No, not if you plan your courses carefully.

12. What should you do if you are getting a D or F in a class after midterms?

Answer: Talk to the course instructor and talk to your advisor about how to improve or whether you need to drop the course.

13. How can I change or drop courses after registering?

Answer: Courses can be changed or dropped using the same pin that you used to register.  Please notify your advisor of any changes.

14. Is it OK to skip meeting with your advisor and get your PIN from the administrative assistant?

Answer: No.  You must get your PIN from your advisor.

15. What are the two student organizations in the psychology department?

Answer: 1) Psi Chi/Psychology Club; 2) To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA)

16. How often should you run a degree audit?

Answer: At least once each semester prior to advising.

17. How often should you meet with your advisor?

Answer: At least once semester prior to registration is the absolute minimum, but meeting more often is recommended (e.g., when you are having trouble with a class, when you have a question about resources at Washburn University).

18. Where can you seek mental health services on campus?

Answer: Student Counseling Services (670-1470; free; in Morgan Hall); Psychological Services Clinic (670-1750; $10 per session; Henderson Hall).

19. What are the four WTE options?

Answer: 1) Scholarly creative; 2) community service; 3) international travel; 4) leadership

20. Can you retake a course in which you received a D or an F to improve your GPA?

Answer: Yes.

21. Under what circumstances can you take a class A/Pass/Fail?

Answer: You can use it if you meet these requirements: 1) you must have completed 24 semester hours, with the exception of PE 198, 2) you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; 3) you may not take an A/Pass/Fail course in your major or minor; and 4) you may enroll in only one A/Pass/Fail course per semester. If you receive an A for an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive an A on your transcript; if you receive a B, C, or D in an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive credit for the course (not a letter grade) and it will not affect your GPA. If you receive an F in an A/Pass/Fail course, you will receive an F grade on your transcript.