Psychology offers a broad array of courses across many different areas within the field. To help our students get the most out of our courses, we have designed a structured course progression.
Students start with an Introductory Course, followed by Foundational Courses that provide a more in-depth survey of one of the major sub-areas of psychology, and eventually choose Advanced Courses in various specialized areas (which have Introductory and Foundational Courses as prerequisites). In addition to these, students will gain hands-on experience with research by taking Methods Courses, and take a Sophomore Tutorial that provides an intimate learning opportunity to develop critical thinking and writing skills. Many students also work in a research lab for credit, and have the option of pursuing an honors thesis in their senior year.
Students may also have to take additional courses specific to their track. See the Requirements Chart for more information about the specific requirements.
Once you declare a concentration or secondary field, you can always check which of your courses are counting for concentration credit by accessing your Academic Advising Report (AAR) on my.harvard. But if you ever have questions about what's counting, just e-mail the Undergraduate Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask!
Recommended First Courses
At a minimum, all students should take the Introductory Course Psychology 1, Introduction to Psychological Science as early as possible. Students who received a qualifying score on the AP or IB psychology exam can choose to begin with a Foundational Course.
Students planning to complete the Life Sciences (Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology) Track should also take one of the following courses in their first year: Life and Physical Sciences A, Life Sciences 1A, Life Sciences 1B, or Life Science 50A.
Click on the tabs below the "Courses" header to see details on courses by area.
Letter Grades versus SAT/UNSAT
All courses taken for concentration credit must be taken for a letter grade - with the exception of PSY 985, PSY 991, and approved Freshmen Seminars, which are only graded SAT/UNSAT. If you have questions about other course, please contact the Undergraduate Office.
You will need to petition the Undergraduate Office to count SAT/UNSAT courses towards your concentration - please e-mail the UGO to do this!