In order to receive a certificate, students complete 28 credits and fulfill all the requirements listed below (these are also listed in the checklist). Each semester, prior to registration, you should arrange to meet with the program advisor to discuss your schedule. The Postbac Psychology Requirement Checklist can help you and your advisor plan and keep track of your progress. Please bring your up-to-date checklist with you to your meetings.
Web-Submittable Requirements Checklist
Requirement #1. Science of Psychology: W1001.
Many postbacs have already taken an introductory psychology course and
can apply that course to this requirement. However, many students opt
to retake this class as a refresher as they begin a more serious program
in psychology. You can discuss this with the program advisor before
making this decision.
Requirement #2. Statistics.
This course can be taken either in the Statistics department (W1001,
W1111, W1112) or in the Psychology Department (W1610). For many
students, this is a good course to take in your first semester. In
general, we recommend enrolling in W1610 in the psychology department
rather than a course in the statistics department because it will have a
more psychological orientation, however, W1610 is not offered every
semester and scheduling concerns may make a course in the statistics
Requirement #3. Research Methods.
These courses are numbered in the 1400s. The research methods course can be taken at almost any point during the program, although it is advisable to take it before applying to graduate school. The course includes a 2 hour lecture plus a 2 hour laboratory section each week. Students are required to complete statistics (Requirement #2) prior to taking the lab course.
Requirement #4-6. Group I-III Requirements.
- Group I. Perception & Cognition: 2200's, 3200's, or 4200's (also 1420, 1480, 1490)
- Group II. Psychobiology and Neuroscience: 1010, 2400's, 3400's, or 4400's (also 1440)
- Group III. Social, Personality, and Abnormal: 2600's, 3600's, or 4600's (also 1450, 1455)
Requirement #7. Advanced Seminar.
You will need to take at least one advanced (3000-4000 level) seminar. Because these courses often have pre-requisites, they are almost always taken after the first semester. You should choose the seminar that most closely matches your proposed area of graduate study. If you can, take more than one seminar. Besides providing you with more in-depth information on a topic, they most closely represent the type of class interaction that you will experience in graduate school. They also give you more personal interaction with a professor. Most professors are much more amenable to giving letters of recommendation to students in their seminars than in their large lecture courses.
All seminars have limited enrollment and require permission of the instructor to register. Many popular seminars fill up well in advance. You should try to contact the professor of a seminar you would like to take several weeks prior to early registration (e.g., in October for Spring classes or in March for Fall classes). Don’t forget that you are eligible to enroll in courses listed in the 4000’s. These are open to graduate students as well as undergraduates and postbacs.
Requirement #8. Independent Supervised Research.
You must be involved in at least 2 semesters of independent supervised research. One semester must be taken for credit (W3950). The other can be done on a volunteer basis. You should have at least 1 semester of research experience before applying to graduate school and "the more the better." Generally, students are encouraged to get involved in a research lab as early as possible. Students typically begin volunteering in a research lab 6-10 hours per week sometime in their first semester and then register for W3950 in their second semester. See Research Experience for more information on this requirement.
Postbac students need to complete a total of 28 points and fulfill these 8 requirements in order to earn the certificate. Postbac students can apply up to 3 undergraduate courses (9 points) towards the postbac certificate with the approval of the program advisor. Barnard courses are considered part of these 9 points. In general, postbacs should not plan to take Barnard courses to fulfill requirements #2 – #8 of the postbac certificate program. Students who wish to enroll in Barnard classes and to use them to complete the certificate requirments should speak to the program advisor. Also note: Because the certificate program is not a degree program, transferred courses from institutions other than Barnard will not appear on your transcript