Planning Your College Career

A useful site for planning your college career: Academic Advising Services

Keep your end goals in mind with the Career Center!

Keep in mind that about 1/3 of your courses are in your major, 1/3 are your Liberal Arts Core requirements, and about 1/3 (yes 1/3!) are of your choosing! So choose wisely. You can 'spend' that 1/3 in a few ways:

1) Frantically (or lethargically) take whatever is open the whole time you are here. Result--a wide mix of classes.

2) Take what you enjoy and find interesting. Result--you've gained a lot of knowledge and fun experiences.

3) Create an emphasis. In other words, strategically choose those classes to demonstrate a coherent and cohesive interest that you have either for your personal or future professional life. Result (especially if #3 also happens to be #2)--a valuable (and marketable) way to prepare yourself for your future.

Some Possible Emphases (more in development)

Psychology & Law

What About Minors and Double Majors?

Minors and majors serve to differentiate your coursework experience from others who don't have a minor or double major. They should reflect your interests and ideally complement one another and thus demonstrate a particular knowledge base and skill level that you have.

You may find that doing #2 or #3 above will get you a minor if you do a little bit of planning.

Particularly if you are planning on attending graduate school, a high GPA is more important than having a minor or double major. If you can add a minor or double major and not have it affect your GPA--go for it. If it proves too much, you should consider staying with a single major and getting the highest GPA possible for you.

Choosing Classes in the Major

Use the Psychology Department website.

Use our course description site for an easy-to-understand, color coded way of deciding on classes.

UNI Academic Advising Home Page

Professional Skills Gained Outside the Classroom

There are some skills you can't get in the classroom: some you have to seek out on your own. These skills will serve you well whether your plan to go to graduate school, or onto a career.

By the time you graduate you should make sure that you:

Write a vita (an academic resume)

Have TA'd a course (Practicum in Teaching Psychology 400-192g)

Are a member of a laboratory or at least have been a research assistant (Research Experience in Psychology 400-193g)

Attended a research conference

Presented at a research conference (your Advisor, or research experience supervisor can direct you. One local one is the CSBS Student Research Conference.

Not required, but good experience: creating a professional webpage

A Suggested Timeline

This is an optimal timeline. Your own schedule, interests and drive will determine how quickly you are able to jump on this timeline, in large part determined by when you settle on Psychology as a Major.

Freshman Year--Take Introductory Psychology and 2 "green" courses (see course description site). Join the Psychology Club

Sophomore Year--Start shopping around for labs. Review professors' websites, talk to them, offer to help out. Become a prospective major. If you weren't able to take your 2 green courses last year, take them this year. You need intro and 2 green classes before you can declare the major and take Research Methods where you will learn about how to conduct research in psychology and write your own research proposal.

Junior Year--Declare the major. Take Research Methods, then Statistics. Then work on the other Psych requirements. Be actively involved in a Lab. TA a course. Write a vita. Attend a research conference.

Summer--(If you are interested in Grad School) Study for the GRE and start researching schools to apply to. If you the schools you are applying to require the Psychology Subject Test, go here.

    Practice GRE Test

Senior Year--Take GRE (in the Fall). Take Subject GRE if required by schools you are applying to. Ask professors to write letters of recommendation for you. Apply to schools, work in the lab, present at a research conference. Attend UNI Job Fair.

Helpful Links

Financial Planning


Applying to Graduate School in Psychology

Andy Gilpin's Advising Page

See Other Helpful Links