How to Get Permission for Exceptions to Psychology
Requirements of the Neuroscience and Behavior Major

including credit for courses taken elsewhere

Please read the following instructions carefully before completing the
Major Requirement Substitution Form.

You need the signature of your Psychology Program Advisor for all exceptions to the psychology requirements of the Neuroscience and Behavior major. In the case of a psychology course taken at another institution prior to your admission to Columbia, the fact that you were given transfer credit upon entrance does not imply that the course is approved for credit toward the major.

Transfer Credit for Psychology Courses taken elsewhere. You should consult your Psychology Program Advisor before registering for psychology courses offered outside the Department. With your advisor's signed approval, one Barnard psychology course, but not more than one, may be applied toward the 1st, 3rd, 4th, or 5th psychology requirement. Alternatively, you may apply to the advisor to have one course from another institution applied toward the psychology portion of the Neuroscience and Behavior major. To be approved for transfer credit a course taken at another institution should be substantially similar to one offered by the department and the grade received must be B- or better.

How to apply for an exception.

1. In many cases, you will need to see the Dean first before seeing your Program Advisor. If you are seeking credit toward the major for a psychology course taken elsewhere, you must first obtain transfer credit through CC or GS. You also need (conditional) advance approval for a course to be taken outside Columbia University during the summer. See the Dean first and obtain the relevant forms before seeing your Psychology Program Advisor.

2. Assemble all required materials.

  • The Major Requirement Substitution Form with 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 grade received
  • The appropriate Dean's form [not needed for Barnard courses]
    • transfer credit report for course completed elsewhere
    • conditional advance approval form for summer course

3. Take assembled materials to 406 Schermerhorn where the Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant, will check them for completeness. IMPORTANT: If you are a GS Student, you must submit all required paperwork in the same semester in which you declare a major; failure to meet this deadline will result in the loss of eligibility for transfer credit toward the major or concentration.

4. See your Program Advisor during posted office hours and bring all necessary materials with you. Your advisor will usually evaluate the course(s) while you wait.

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

  • 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 in your docket. Permissions for exceptions to major requirements are kept on file in the Psychology Department office. They will be consulted shortly before you graduate, when the Department is required to certify that you have completed the requirements for the major.
  • In your own files. Be sure to keep one copy of the signed permission you have received for any exception.
  • In the Program Advisor's files. Give one copy of the signed permission form to the Program Advisor who signed it.
  • In the Dean's Office. If the exception you have been granted involves advance (conditional) approval to take a course elsewhere, you should take one copy of the permission form to the appropriate Dean's office to be processed.

IMPORTANT! As soon as you declare your major you should complete the above steps to verify that any exception you are counting on has been authorized and is on record in the appropriate offices. Under no circumstances should you wait until your final semester to do this!

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This page is maintained by lep1 and asj2124. It was last modified by asj2124 on April 14, 2009