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How do I get psychology advising?

  • Psychology advising for freshmen and sophomores is handled by the Center for Advising and Student Success. Information for scheduling an appointment is on their website.
  • Psychology advising for juniors and seniors is conducted by psychology department faculty who are designated advisors. You are assigned one of these advisors according to the first letter of your last name: A-F with Dr. Matthew Genuchi, G-M with Dr. Cindy McCrea, and N-Z with Dr. Teresa Taylor.
  • Click here to schedule an appointment with your psychology department faculty advisor.

Useful forms

Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant

  • Psychology majors have unique opportunities to work with faculty members in their individual programs of research. This is especially important for students interesting in applying for graduate school. Interested students should first review the research areas of faculty members and then make appointments with individual faculty to discuss possible openings for research assistants. Students receive course credit (see PSYC 488 below) for their participation in research.
  • PSYC 488 — Directed Research in Psychology
  • Junior or senior status
  • G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher and permission of instructor
  • No more than 9 credits of directed research can go towards a degree
  • Psychology majors can also serve as teaching assistants for specific classes.
  • Teaching assistants for PSYC 101 enroll in PSYC 401. This course provides a “systematic coverage of the general principles of psychology and an opportunity to teach them to others” and “practical experience in rendering academic assistance to beginning students and managing large classes” (from BSU Catalog). Teaching assistants for other courses enroll in PSYC 402.
  • Interested students should make appointments with individual instructors to discuss possible openings for future semesters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists?

  • Counselors come from a variety of different types of training programs (education, social work, family development, to name a few) but most have two years of graduate education leading to a master’s degree followed by about 18 months of supervised experience before they are eligible for licensure. Psychiatrists first go to medical school for four years and then enter a three- or four-year residency in psychiatry during which they study psychology, neurology, biologically-based disorders, and the use of psychiatric medicines. Unlike most psychologists, psychiatrists prescribe medications. Clinical psychologists have an average of about eight years of graduate training in psychology by the time they are licensed to practice independently. PhD psychologists become researchers, professors, and clinicians. If you want to be a professional psychologist in clinical, counseling, school, or other health service areas of psychology, you will also have to complete a 1-year internship as part of your doctoral study in these areas of practice. Some universities and professional schools offer a PsyD degree in lieu of the traditional research doctoral degree PhD or EdD degree.
  • More information about different types of helping professions can be found at this link (clinical vs. counseling psych; social worker, school psychologist, etc.). Additionally, for independent practice as a psychologist anywhere in the United States or Canada, you must be licensed for such. Before granting you permission to take the licensing exam, the state licensing board will review your educational background. A doctoral degree does not automatically make you eligible; requirements vary from state to state. At a minimum, states require that the doctorate be in psychology or a field of study “primarily psychological in nature” and that it be from a regionally accredited institution. You also must have had at least 2 years of supervised professional experience.Information about state and provincial licensing requirements can be obtained from the American Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPS) at
  • If you are interested in graduate school or think you might be, start with our page full of graduate school information.  More information can be found on Dr. Landrum’s webpage.

Why are BIOLOGY 227 and 228 requirements for the Psychology degree?

  • The general undergraduate psychology degree is a meant to do several things. First, the program is designed in a generalist fashion because students pursue many different paths upon graduation. It is important for tasks like taking the GRE that one have background in many aspects of psychology. The department diversifies the requirements to provide the student with a wide degree of knowledge in the psychology field. One of those areas is Neuroscience. Neuroscience is an increasingly important field in psychology.
  • Biology studies the structures and functions of living organisms. Although much of psychology focuses on the individual and society and how individuals function within society, psychologists also study the intersection between brain function and behavior. Students pursuing this field must have an in-depth understanding of biological processes. Regardless of whether students intend to pursue a degree in Neuroscience, it is important that they understand the connections between psychological processes and the brain.
  • Many students pursue degrees or careers where having biology provides then with an added edge to success. Additionally, psychology is becoming rapidly more reliant on biology to help explain the processes and motivations that drive our behavior. As scientists, psychologists are responsible for understanding these biological mechanisms that intersect with our research and our clinical practices.

Why are Psychology majors required to take 2 math courses?

  • Math classes are important for a psychology degree as part of a well rounded education. They are also useful in helping with statistics, another requirement for all psychology majors. In addition to this, if you are planning to go to graduate school, you will need to take the GRE; math classes are very helpful for the math portion of this test. In general, mathematics is an important and integral part of the study of psychology.

Is there an order in which Psychology courses should be taken?

  • There is not a specific order for most classes. However, there are a few that are important to take as early as possible, either because they are prerequisites for other classes or because they may be necessary for Research Assistant positions. The classes you need to concentrate on and take in order are: PSYC 101, PSYC 120 (prerequisite = PSYC 101), PSYC 295 (prerequisite = PSYC 101, can be taken at the same time as PSYC 120), and PSYC 321 (prerequisites = PSYC 120 and PSYC 295). Another class to notice is PSYC 487 (Capstone). This class should be taken during your final semester; you CANNOT enroll in this class unless you have successfully completed PSYC 321 with a “C” or better.  DO NOT PUT OFF TAKING PSYC 321.  Take PSYC 295 as early as you can.

Can you get a job in another field of study with a Bachelor’s in Psychology?

Yes, it is possible to find a job in another field besides psychology. According to The College Majors Handbook, the top ten occupations that employ persons with a bachelor’s degree in psychology are:

  1. Top- and mid- level managers, executives, and administrators
  2. Sales occupations, including retail
  3. Social workers
  4. Other management-related positions
  5. Personnel, training, and labor-relations specialists
  6. Other administrative (record clerks, etc.)
  7. Insurance, real estate, and business services
  8. Other marketing and sales occupations
  9. Registered nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and physicians’ assistants (all include further certification)
  10. Accountants, auditors, and other financial specialists

See also: What Can I Do With This Major? from the BSU Career Center.

Transfer Students

  • If you are a transfer student, you should schedule a meeting with the SSPA general advisor to review your progress in meeting university and department requirements. Like other students, you should prepare for the meeting by:
  • Bringing a current copy of you Degree Progress Report (DPR), which can be found on BroncoWeb.
  • Preparing a list of questions you would like answered.
  • Reviewing information on how credits are transferred as well as bring a copy of your evaluation of transfer credits from the Registrar’s Office. Your advisor will discuss your transfer credits with you, review your evaluation from the Registrar’s Office on your transfer credits, and help you understand how your transfer credits will count toward your degree at Boise State.

What is core certification and what does this mean?

  • If you have earned an academic associate degree at a regionally
    accredited institution, you will be considered “core certified” by
    Boise State University. This means that you have fulfilled the
    lower-division general education or “core” classes at Boise State and
    can transfer to Boise State with junior standing. The statement “GENERAL
    UNIVERSITY CORE MET” will appear on your credit report.
  • If you are transferring from an Idaho school and have not earned an
    associate degree, you may still be considered “core certified” if your
    transcript is stamped “core certified” by the Registrar’s Office of
    your original institution.
  • For a transfer equivalency guide, visit the Registrar’s site and click on Transfers.

How do credits transfer and how can the transfer be contested?

  • Boise State University accepts all academic credits from regionally accredited institutions. There are two types of transfer courses: equivalent and non- equivalent. If a course you took at another college or university is equivalent to a course at Boise State, it will be counted toward your degree as if you had completed the course at Boise State.
  • However, upper division credit for courses will be based on the course numbering system of your transfer institution, not the Boise State course it has been equated to. Non-equivalent courses are designated on your credit report with an “F” at the end of a course number.
  • At the first stage of transfer credit evaluation, a transfer evaluator will compare the course descriptions at your original institution with the course descriptions at Boise State. Some of the reasons why a course may be transferred as non-equivalent are:
    • Boise State does not offer an equivalent course.
    • There was not enough information in the course description to make a determination.
    • The course is essential and/or specific to your major, and the department needs to determine if it equivalent.
  • If you have taken a course that does not appear on your credit report, that course was non-transferable. A course may be non-transferable if it is below college- level or technical in nature.
  • More information is available at the Registrar’s site on the Transfers tab.