Sophomore Tutorial

Sophomore Tutorial is a small, one-semester seminar course. In it, you will explore a variety of areas of contemporary psychology by reading primary sources, such as journal articles. You will hone your analytic skills in weekly discussions, be introduced to scientific writing, and will be expected to produce a Sophomore Essay at the end of the course. Concentrators must complete this course by the end of their sophomore year (or, if switching into Psychology after sophomore year, in the first full term after they switch). 

The Department offers two versions of Sophomore Tutorial: PSY 971 and PSY 975. Most students take Psychology 971, which explores multiple areas of the field and supplements reading and discussion with activities and demonstrations. If you are interested in the General or the Cognitive Science (MBB) tracks, you should enroll in Psychology 971. 

If you are considering pursuing the Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology (or CNEP) Life Sciences Track, you should take Psychology 975. The format of this course is very similar to Psychology 971, but the topics covered will be more closely related to the life sciences.                                       

While PSY 971 is offered every semester, PSY 975 is typically only offered in the spring. Sophomores who have not yet declared their concentration but who are fairly certain they want to become Psychology concentrators may take Tutorial in fall semester. Be sure to attend the first meeting of 971/975 during Shopping Week to learn the sectioning process and get the link to the sectioning form. If you cannot make this meeting, please e-mail and tell us your class and the type of Tutorial you are interested in.

Tutorial Instructors and Topics

Although everyone will sign up for either Psychology 971 or Psychology 975, the Tutorials are taught in small sections run by different instructors. You will be assigned to a Tutorial section based on a combination of your house affiliation and schedule, and will be informed of your Tutorial assignment after the first day of classes. 

As a concentrator, we expect that you will make the class a scheduling priority. However, if you have an unavoidable circumstance that bars you from being able to attend the time set by your tutor, you may petition to be reassigned to a different section. 

You might feel that the topics covered in your Tutorial are not topics you would be interested in, and wish to switch Tutorial sections based on your interests. Because it is impossible to take everyone’s interests into account when scheduling, the department does not assign students to Tutorials based on interest. But we strongly suggest using Tutorial as a way of branching out and getting experience with a new area of the field. You might find that you like it!