Psychology Requirements Under COVID-19

Because of the unique learning factors present during the Spring 2020 semester, we wanted to take a moment to answer some common questions that you may have. 
How will courses graded SEM count towards my concentration GPA?
Your final concentration GPA is calculated from your best letter-graded courses that meet the requirements, including final semester grades. Typically, the only exceptions to this are Freshmen Seminars that appear on the Departmental Advanced Course List, PSY 985, and PSY 991, all of which are graded SAT/UNSAT. You can submit a request for these to be counted by e-mailing
Because all courses in Spring 2020 were graded SEM/UEM, the Department made an exception to the policy such that any SEM-graded courses that meet concentration requirements can be counted. If you have taken courses in excess of those needed to meet requirements, you have the option to count either SEM-or letter-graded courses. Keep in mind that like courses graded SAT, each SEM-graded course will reduce the number of courses used to calculate your concentration GPA by one.
If the courses that you would like to count towards your concentration are different from those appearing in your Academic Advising Report, or if you would like to talk to someone about what options may be best for you, please email the UGO.
Can I petition to count courses graded SEM from other departments towards my concentration or secondary field?

Yes! Because all courses in Spring 2020 were graded SEM/UEM, the Department made an exception to review and consider petitions for SEM-graded courses following the same guidelines as all other semesters.

Concentrators can request credit for courses on the expedited non-departmental Advanced Course list by following the instructions outlined on the linked page. To petition an Advanced Course that does not appear on the expedited list, or to petition a course for a different requirement, please follow these instructions instead.

Visit this page for guidance on which courses secondary field students can petition. The secondary field petition form can be found here.

Reminder: petitioning a course does not guarantee approval! For questions, please contact the Undergraduate Office at


I received a score of 5 on the Psychology AP exam in Spring 2020. Can I request an exemption to the Introductory Course requirement?

Due to the altered nature of the curriculum and format of the exam, a score of 5 on the Spring 2020 Psychology AP exam cannot count towards the Introductory Course requirement. However, it can be used to meet the Introductory Course pre-requisite for Foundational and Advanced Courses in Psychology. The specific pre-requisites for all of our courses are listed in the my.harvard catalog entries. Please e-mail the UGO at with any questions.