How to Get Permission for Exceptions to the
G.S. Science and Social Science Requirements

Psychology Courses

You need the signature of the appropriate Psychology Dept. Program Advisor for all exceptions to the science and social science requirements that involve psychology courses. In the case of a course taken at another institution prior to your admission to General Studies, the fact that you were given transfer credit by G.S. does not imply that the course is approved for the science or social science requirement. To obtain approval for such a course you must complete the G.S. Science Requirement Substitution form, following the instructions below.

Criteria for granting exceptions. A course taken outside the Columbia Psychology Department will only be allowed to substitute for a psychology course in the Department if:

  1. you are a transfer student to Columbia and had already taken the psychology course before you transferred; or
  2. you have a very compelling reason for taking a course elsewhere and obtain advance approval.

In either case, the course taken elsewhere should be very similar to the course for which it is substituting. In addition, you must have received a B- or better and have completed the course no more than 8 years prior to applying for substitute credit.

How to apply for an exception:

1. In some cases, you will need to see the Dean first before seeing a Psychology Program Advisor. If you are seeking transfer credit for a psychology course taken elsewhere you must first obtain permission from the relevant Dean. You also need (conditional) advance approval for a course to be taken during the summer. See the Dean first and complete the relevant forms before seeing a Program Advisor.

2. Assemble all required materials for the course(s) you want us to consider.

These materials should include any Dean's forms, such as the transfer credit report, plus the G.S. Science Requirement Substitution form, available here and in 406 Schermerhorn. Note that the form asks you to indicate why you think the exception is justified. The justifications listed are generally required for any course taken outside the Columbia Psychology Department, and you must provide material that describes the outside course quite completely. Blurbs from course catalogs are helpful but not sufficient.

Here is a list of the items we need to evaluate the substitute course:

  • G.S. Science Requirement Substitution form with the top half completed
  • Course syllabus clearly indicating weekly topics and reading assignments as well as course requirements
    • If the syllabus is not sufficiently detailed, you may be asked to bring in the textbook, quizzes and tests, and/or term papers
  • Course description from school bulletin
  • Your transcript showing the grade received
  • GS Transfer Credit Report for course completed elsewhere

3. Take assembled materials to 406 Schermerhorn Hall where the Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant will check them for completeness.

4. Please see your Program Advisor during posted office hours and bring all necessary materials with you.

If permission is granted. Once you have received signed permission of the Psychology Program Advisor, you need to make copies of the permission form and see that it gets filed in the necessary places:

  1. In your own files. Be sure to keep one copy of the signed permission you have received for any exception.
  2. In the Program Advisor's files. Give one copy of the signed permission form to the Program Advisor who signed it..
  3. In the Psychology Dept office. Return the original signed copy of the permission form to the Undergraduate Curriculum Assitant, in 406 Schermerhorn, so that it can be filed there.
  4. In the Dean's Office. Return one copy of the permission form to the G.S. central administrative office to be kept in your docket there.

IMPORTANT! Well before your final semester you should verify that any exception you are counting on has been authorized and is on record in the appropriate offices. Failure to do so may delay your graduation date.

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This page is maintained by lep1 and asj2124. It was last modified by asj2124 on May 25, 2010