Research Methods & Statistics

Research Methods

Psychology's Research Methods course, Psychology 1901, discusses research methodology and applies this information to a research project. This course is required for all Psychology concentrators, no matter the track. Students should plan to complete this requirement by the end of their sophomore year.* Students writing a thesis must take PSY 1901 AND a qualifying lab course.

* Non-thesis students from the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and students returning from leave may count either PSY 1901 or a lab course towards their Research Methods requirement. Please reach out to the Undergraduate Office with questions at



Statistics (formerly known as Basic Methods) is a requirement for all psychology concentrators - no matter the track - and all concentrators must receive at least a C-. Students should plan to complete this requirement by the end of their junior year.

The standard Statistics course is Psychology 1900, which it focuses on the basics of statistical analysis. This gives you the tools to understand psychology research so that you can evaluate the literature and formulate your own ideas and questions about what you’ve read. While PSY 1900 is a math-heavy course, students who aren't very good at math shouldn't worry about taking PSY 1900! The class is meant to be challenging, but as with all classes at Harvard, if you work hard and are communicative with the professor and TFs, you should have the skills to pass the course. In addition, many students seek out tutors or form study groups to help them better absorb the material. Be proactive in the learning process and you will see results!

Generally, we expect Psychology concentrators to take PSY 1900, but if you have already taken STAT 100, 101, 102, or 104 before declaring Psychology as your concentration, you may petition to have it count towards your Statistics requirement.