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Information for Transfer Students

Transfer Student Guide

Thank you for your interest in transferring to CWU's bachelor's degree programs in psychology.  General information for students transferring to CWU 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 couple of pieces of advice that especially apply to transfer students.

1. If you are a community college student in Washington state working toward an AA degree, it's important to complete the AA degree before transferring. This is good advice for all majors, not just psychology. Your AA degree will exempt you from taking any CWU general education requirements.

If you are a community college student outside Washington, a Washington state community college student without an AA degree, or if you are attending a four-year institution, your past college courses will each be compared to our general education requirements and you may be required to take additional courses to complete our general education requirements.

2. Don't take many courses in psychology before transferring to CWU. 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. Community college courses are lower division (100 and 200 level) courses and we allow only 10 quarter credits of lower division courses to count toward the psychology major. If you are transferring from an accredited four-year institution, we will compare each of your prior courses to our major requirements and upper division courses may transfer to our upper division.

In addition, there are a couple of items specific to psychology majors:

1. Most transfer students have taken an introductory survey course in psychology. We usually also advise community college students to take a course in finite mathematics. At CWU, Math 130, Finite Mathematics, is prerequisite to our psychology major courses in statistics. Community college and four-year institution equivalents of Math 130 will take care of this prerequisite. Washington state community college students can see if their institution offers an 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 transfer 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.

2. Don't worry if you can't register for core classes in the major in your first quarter. Our continuing students register before transfer students and some major classes might be full. Please remember that both the 45-credit and 60-credit majors are just a portion of the 90 credits that most transfer students will take at CWU and you will be able to finish your major in a timely manner if you plan ahead.

If you have had introductory psychology and a course in finite mathematics or are otherwise prepared to take statistics, we recommend that you register for PSY 300 (Research Methods) and PSY 362 (Introductory Statistics) in your first quarter or two. You can also register for PSY 313 (Developmental Psychology), PSY 346 (Social Psychology), PSY 449 (Abnormal Psychology), PSY 447 (Psychology of Adolescence) in your first quarter. These courses will count toward your major or minor in psychology.

If you haven't had finite mathematics, register for Math 130 and take PSY 362 the following quarter. You can also register for any of the other psychology classes listed above. A psychology advisor can point out more options than these.

3. Come to the psychology department office (PS 421) at your earliest convenient time to arrange contact with an advisor.

The psychology minor requires students to take at least 30 credits in psychology. Transfer students can transfer 5 credits, usually a course in introductory psychology, to the minor. The rest of the courses need to be upper division (300 and 400 level) courses. If you're interested in minoring in psychology, we advise you to begin with PSY 300 and choose among required and elective courses with the help of an advisor. Psychology minors majoring in Law and Justice, Sociology, and Social Services may not need to take PSY 300 and should see an advisor before registering.

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 smooth the transfer student's transition 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 soon.