How to Get Permission for Exceptions to the College Science Requirement:

Psychology Courses

For all exceptions to the Columbia College science requirement that involve psychology courses, you need to go to the College Dean's Office.

Criteria for granting exceptions. A large number of psychology courses count toward the science requirement. In general, therefore, courses taken outside the Columbia Psychology Department will be allowed to substitute for required psychology courses in the Department only if:
(1) you are a transfer student to Columbia and had already taken suitable psychology courses before you transferred; or
(2) you have a compelling reason for taking a course elsewhere.

In either case, the course taken elsewhere should be very similar to the course for which it is substituting. (Note: The College Committee on Science Instruction has decided that, except in extraordinary circumstances, the science requirement must be fulfilled by courses taken at Columbia. In general, only transfer students have been allowed to substitute courses taken elsewhere.) Barnard courses do not fulfill the College Science Requirement except when explicitly listed in the Columbia College list of aproved courses.

How to apply for an exception. For any exceptions involving the College Science Requirement, you need to go to the College Dean's Office, NOT to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or your Program Advisor. This applies both to transfer credit for a psychology course taken elsewhere, and to (conditional) advance approval for a course to be taken during the summer.

If permission is granted. Once you have received signed permission, 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 Central Administration Office. If the exception you have been granted involves the science requirement, or advance (conditional) approval to take a course elsewhere, one copy of the permission form needs to be taken to the appropriate dean's office to be processed.

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.

Return to the Psychology Undergrad Infopack

This page is maintained by Prof. Lois Putnam. It was last modified on March 6, 2001