The double concentration allows students to pursue a degree in Psychology and a second concentration of the student’s choice, by completing the requirements of the Psychology concentration in full alongside those of the second concentration. It is distinct from a joint concentration (Psychology does not participate in joint concentrations).
If you are considering or are pursuing a double concentration in Psychology, please read through the following information:
- Psychology Concentration Requirements & Psychology Requirements Chart
- Declaring a Double Concentration in Psychology
- What Counts Towards a Double Concentration in Psychology?
- Honors and the Double Concentration
- Departmental Policies for Double Concentrators
First, be sure you have read all the Psychology Concentration Requirements, the Double Concentration section of the Harvard College Handbook, and the Psychology Fields of Study. You are ultimately responsible for making sure you meet all the requirements, and you should take into consideration how you plan to balance all required courses across both concentrations over your time at Harvard. The Concentration Advisor in your house and the Undergraduate Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) can help you decide whether a double concentration will make sense for you.
Who can declare a double concentration in Psychology? The Psychology concentration welcomes double concentrators. We hope that a double concentration in Psychology will allow students to explore in-depth coursework in the field of Psychology alongside a separate concentration, and we feel that this will have the most benefit to students when the coursework in the two fields is significantly different. Students concerned about substantial overlap between the two fields may want to consider a Secondary Field, elective courses in Psychology, or an individual concentration in Psychology instead.
How to declare a double concentration: To declare a double concentration in Psychology, please follow the instructions on the Registrar's website, including completing the Declaration of Double Concentration form and submitting it to the Psychology Undergraduate Office (via email, at email@example.com).
After sending us your form, you must meet with the Concentration Advisor assigned to your house for a concentration declaration meeting. Fill out the New Concentrator Form and Plan of Study in preparation for that meeting, and be sure to indicate when doing so that you are double concentrating. After your Concentration Advisor approves your declaration, our office will return the signed Declaration of Double Concentration form to you to send to the Enrollment office. You must follow up with us by email to let us know once your double concentration is confirmed by the Enrollment office.
If you plan to write a thesis in Psychology or pursue non-thesis Honors in Psychology, please be sure to indicate Psychology as your designated honors field when declaring or by the end of the spring term of your second year, before the deadline for pre-registration. See more about Honors and the Double Concentration.
In general, the requirements for the double concentration are the same as the requirements for any track of the individual concentration in Psychology, including the requirements for petitioning non-departmental courses and counting lab courses.
Can I count courses I have taken for my other concentration towards a Psychology double concentration? Harvard College policy states that only 8 credits (generally 2 courses) may count for both of your concentrations at once (known as “double-counting”). In other words, you must take a minimum of 10 courses (for a non-thesis track, or 12 for a thesis track) that count only for the Psychology concentration.
How do I know which courses are counting towards my Psychology concentration? Your Academic Advising Report (AAR) will show you the courses that are currently counting towards your Psychology concentration. If you would like to change which courses are counting towards Psychology or have questions about what is appearing in your AAR, please email the Undergraduate Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance!
Students completing a double concentration may receive honors in only one concentration, which must be designated as the honors field.
Thesis honors: Students double concentrating in Psychology may choose whether or not to apply to write a thesis. Please note that the MBB (Cognitive Science) track requires a thesis. Students may apply to write theses in both concentrations, but double concentrators writing a thesis in Psychology will only be eligible to be recommended for departmental honors if Psychology is the designated honors field.
Non-thesis honors: Students who do not write a thesis in Psychology may still be recommended for honors if their GPA meets a minimum cut-off. Double concentrators in Psychology will not be eligible to be recommended for non-thesis honors unless Psychology is the designated honors field.
Declaring the designated honors field: According to the Harvard College Handbook, students pursuing a double concentration may declare the designated honors field “by the end of the spring term of their second year before the deadline for pre-registration.” Students should be aware that applications to write a thesis in Psychology are not accepted or reviewed until the second semester of a student’s junior year.
All requirements, policies, and deadlines for the Psychology concentration apply in full to double concentrators. In addition,
- Double concentrators are required to attend pre-registration course selection meetings with their assigned Psychology Concentration Advisor. These meetings help ensure that students are aware of, and on track to complete, all concentration requirements. Even if your advisor in your other concentration has signed your Crimson Cart, you must attend a pre-registration advising meeting with your Psychology CA.
- Double concentrators must e-mail their Psychology Concentration Advisor when they request to drop a course or change a Psychology concentration-related course to pass/fail on my.harvard. Even if your other concentration approves the change, your Psychology CA must be made aware. Please note that courses taken pass/fail CANNOT count towards the Psychology concentration requirements.
- All concentrators, including double concentrators, are ultimately responsible for ensuring that they are completing all requirements for graduation and are meeting all concentration requirements, including the requirement around double-counting only two courses between each concentration.