Advising

Psychology majors: If I am listed as your advisor, or if you simply want to ask me for advising information even if someone else is your official advisor, send me an email, and we’ll set a time to meet, or maybe we can handle it by email. Meanwhile, have a look at the information below.

If you are new to the psychology program at MCC, start by looking it over on the college’s website. There are a number of required courses, which include English, science, statistics, and SUNY general-education categories, as well as psychology courses.

The SUNY gen-ed requirements for the psychology program are as follows:

1 Natural Science course (with lab; 4 credit hours total)
1 Humanities course
1 course from either American History, the Arts, Foreign Languages, or Western Civilization
1 course from any SUNY gen-ed category

See the SUNY Gen-Ed listing on MCC’s website for course eligibility.

Many students find statistics (MTH 162) to be a hurdle, but it is a requirement, and if you transfer to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will find that it is required just about everywhere. Don’t avoid your math preparation. If you do not yet qualify for MTH 162, the math department offers MTH 096 as a preparation course for MTH 162. MTH 096 counts toward full-time status and financial aid, but it is not a credit-bearing course. An alternative (which I seldom recommend) is MTH 104 (Algebra); MTH 104 will count as elective credit toward your degree. MTH 162 is also a prerequisite for our required PSY 220 (Research Methods).

PSY 101, Introduction to Psychological Science, is our basic introductory course. If you struggle to get a C in PSY 101, maybe being a psychology major isn’t a good choice. On the whole, psychology is not a difficult college major, but it isn’t easy either.

One way to see all of the courses that you need is on the Psychology Program page on MCC’s website; scroll to the bottom and reveal the program details. It lists courses in a semester-by-semester sequence, which you need not follow, but is a typical pathway through four semesters at MCC. Alternatively, I have created a sheet summarizing all the requirements: open it as a PDF here.

Another option is to log into Degree Works and try to make sense of what it shows. Many students find Degree Works confusing if not downright incomprehensible. First, note that you’ll need a compatible web browser just to get into it. Chrome does not work (nor does Safari). You’ll either need Microsoft’s IE (or whatever is it’s latest version) or Firefox. I recommend Firefox. Then, once in, you need to pay very close attention to the notations in Degree Works.

For your psychology program electives you should take courses that best suit your interests and goals, and that is best decided by talking to your advisor. Many students want to head into the helping professions (whether as counseling psychology, social work, clinical, school, or some other professional psychology branch), and I often recommend PSY 200, Behavior Modification, as a choice for one program elective. Most students don’t realize how important behavior modification (aka applied behavior analysis) is to the helping professions in psychology. This is also a good course for students who want to pursue cognitive or behavioral science because it’s our only advanced course in the core subfield of learning and conditioning. I also tend to recommend SOC 101 (Intro Sociology), although you can fit that in as the one SUNY gen-ed open elective. But talk with your advisor.

One further little thing to watch out for: You need one course that carries an MCC “Health and Wellness” designation; this is shown by an MCC-HW notation in the course description; titles of courses (e.g. with “wellness” or “psychology” in them) are not necessarily MCC-HW designated, so be careful.

For the remainder of your “open” electives, take whatever you want. Try something. Explore an interest or a hobby. Take a class in something that might be interesting. Take a class that might be fun.

Find all MCC course descriptions HERE.

And if I am your advisor, just get in touch with me before you register for classes each semester. Click on my “Find Me” page for contact information.