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Information for New Students

CWU Psychology Major and Minor
High School and New Student Guide

Thank you for your interest in attending Central Washington University and majoring or minoring in psychology. General information for new CWU students is available on the web, at A good deal of information about the psychology department and our undergraduate programs is also available on the web. The web site for the department is . The psychology department offers a Bachelor of Arts major and minor in psychology.

An undergraduate student at CWU has two options for completing a major in psychology. The 45-credit major requires a student to also complete a minor or a second major in some other subject. The 60-credit major leads to a bachelor's degree without a minor or second major. A psychology advisor can discuss your academic and career goals and help you choose the appropriate major. The course requirements for the major and minor are in the CWU catalog and posted on the web. Follow the links beginning at

If you're interested in majoring or minoring in psychology, there a few pieces of advice that especially apply to new students or students currently in high school.

Students interested in the psychology major:

1. If you are a high school student and your school offers a course in psychology, you should enroll for it. Some high schools offer Advanced Placement courses in psychology. If you take the AP test and earn a 4 or a 5, you will receive credit for our general psychology course, PSY 101. Running Start students can also earn credit toward PSY 101. Other than a general psychology course, it's a good idea to take high school courses in biology, mathematics, and English composition to prepare for a university psychology major.

2. If you're a high school student planning to attend community college before coming to CWU, you should plan on completing an AA degree at your community college. An AA degree will exempt you from CWU's general education requirements and you'll be able to begin your psychology major sooner.

3. If you're planning to attend a community college before coming to CWU, don't take many community college courses in psychology. We want CWU psychology majors to take their major courses at CWU. We usually advise community college students to take only introductory psychology and maybe one elective course in psychology at a community college. We usually also advise community college students to take a course in finite mathematics. At CWU, Math 130, Finite Mathematics, or a higher course in mathematics, is prerequisite to our psychology major courses in statistics. Community college and four-year institution equivalents of Math 130 or more advanced mathematics will take care of this prerequisite. Washington state community college students can check for equivalent course by going to our transfer guide at Equivalencies for some in-state four-year institutions are also listed there.

Other than that, we advise community college students to prepare for the psychology major by taking courses in sociology, anthropology, and biology, especially courses that deal with the structure and function of the nervous system.

4. We advise freshman students at CWU to focus on completing their general education requirements in their freshman and sophomore years. You may be eager to begin your psychology major, but it's best to reserve your junior and senior years for your major. Remember that both the 45-credit and 60-credit majors are just a portion of the 180 credits that CWU students will complete for the bachelor's degree. Take PSY 101 and Math 130 or a higher course in mathematics in your freshman year and come to the department office (PS 421) some time in your sophomore year to arrange contact with an advisor.

Students interested in the psychology minor:

1. The advice above also applies to students interested in the psychology minor.

We encourage our psychology majors and minors to get involved with our two student organizations, Psi Chi and the CWU Psychology Club. Notices about organization activities are posted in the Psychology Building. We also encourage students to get involved in research partnerships with our faculty members. We have recently revised a departmental information sheet about our faculty members and their research interests. This material is available on the web.

We are eager to welcome you to CWU and make your learning experience as a psychology major or minor as interesting and useful as possible. Our faculty and staff are ready to help you. Please drop by the department office and get acquainted.

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