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Non-Departmental Courses for 2014-15

Non-departmental courses are courses from other departments that allow students to explore topics of interest from the perspective of a related discipline and/or that contain relevant psychological or neuroscience content. (Note that there is a separate list of courses offered in other departments that are considered departmental courses because their content is largely psychological.)

Psychology secondary field students may no longer count any non-departmental courses toward the secondary field requirements as of the 2011-12 academic year. See the list of former Affiliate Courses for information on counting a non-departmental course taken before 2011-12.

Psychology concentrators may choose to count one or two non-departmental courses (depending on your track) from a variety of courses not listed in the psychology section of the course catalog.

Non-departmental courses are broken down into two groups:

All courses listed in the sections below count against the established limits on non-departmental courses for concentrators detailed here.

1. Expedited Courses are non-departmental courses that include significant psychological content and could be a useful component of one's concentration in psychology. These courses will be approved without a full petition, but:

  • require you to notify the Undergraduate Office, AND cc your Concentration Adviser in the same e-mail, saying that you wish to count them for your concentration by e-mailing psychology at wjh dot harvard dot edu.
  • In every case, you and your adviser should receive an e-mail of confirmation back within a week, which will serve as your "receipt" for the concentration credit, and which you should save. If you do not receive one, please e-mail psychology at wjh dot harvard dot edu.
  • Expedited courses in Education or the Kennedy School require cross-registration with instructor and concentration signatures. See Laura Chivers in the Psychology Undergraduate Office for a signature by the Psychology departmental fall and spring deadline for cross-registration.

This list contains expedited courses for concentrators listed in the 2014-15 Courses of Instruction. Consult the department if you have a question about counting a course that is no longer offered. **None of these courses can count for Secondary Field Students!**

  • African and African American Studies 16, Sociology of the Black Community
  • African and African American Studies 102x, Urban Problems and the Role of the Expert
  • African and African American Studies 108x, Exploring Race and Community in the Digital World
  • African and African American Studies 165. Anthropology of the Black Community
  • African and African American Studies 197, Poverty, Race, and Health
  • Anthropology 1606. Being Asian American: Representations and Realities
  • Anthropology 1640, Language and Culture
  • Anthropology 1648, Latinos Remaking America: Immigration, Culture and Language
  • Anthropology 1795, The Politics of Language and Identity in Latin America
  • Anthropology 1882, The Woman and the Body
  • Anthropology 1975, Culture and Social Relations
  • Anthropology 1988. Kinship, Citizenship, and Belonging: Seminar
  • Anthropology 2740, Culture, Mental Illness and the Body
  • Anthropology 2750, Local Biologies: Perspectives on the Interaction between Culture and Biology
  • Anthropology 2855, Deep China: What Medical Anthropology and Psychiatry Contribute to the Study of China Today
  • Applied Mathematics 126, Statistics and Inference in Biology
  • Computer Sciences 50 (Letter Grade), Introduction to Computer Science I
  • Computer Science 96. System Design Projects
  • Computer Science 105 (formerly Computer Science 199r), Privacy and Technology
  • Computer Science 109, Data Science
  • Computer Science 121, Introduction to the Theory of Computation
  • Computer Science 171, Visualization
  • Computer Science 179, Design of Usable Interactive Systems
  • Computer Science 181, Machine Learning
  • Computer Science 182, Intelligent Machines: Reasoning, Actions, and Plans
  • Computer Science 186, Economics and Computation
  • Computer Science 187. Computational Linguistics
  • Culture and Belief 34 (formerly Historical Study A-87), Madness and Medicine
  • Culture and Belief 47 (formerly Historical Study B-45), The Darwinian Revolution
  • Culture and Belief 58, Case Studies in the Medical Humanities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Experience of Illness and Healing
  • Culture and Belief 59, Athens, Rome, and Us: Questions of Identity
  • Dramatic Arts 173x. Performance Elective: Acting and Authenticity
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences 100, The Missing Matlab Course: An Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis
  • Economics 980q. Economics Design Lab
  • Economics 1010a1. Microeconomic Theory
  • Economics 1010a2. Microeconomic Theory
  • Economics 1011a, Microeconomic Theory
  • Economics 1018, Cultural Economics
  • Economics 1030, Psychology and Economics
  • Economics 1032, The Packing Problem: The Behavioral Economics of Scarcity
  • Economics 1051, Introduction to Game Theory
  • Economics 1059, Decision Theory
  • Economics 1123a1 (formerly Economics 1123), Introduction to Econometrics
  • Economics 1123a2, Introduction to Econometrics
  • Economics 1150. Data Analysis: A Project Class
  • Economics 1760, Behavioral Finance
  • Economics 1816, Race in America
  • Economics 1818, Economics of Discontinuous Change
  • Economics 1820, Education Reform in America
  • Education H-156, Research Schools
  • Education H-382, The Challenges Kids Face: Developmental, Cultural, and Contextual Perspectives on Risk and Resilience
  • Education H-392, Childhood Trauma: Dynamics, Interventions, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • Education T-006, Adult Development
  • Education T-560, Universal Design for Learning: Meeting the Challenges of Individual Differences
  • Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning 11, Making Sense: Language, Thought, and Logic
  • Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning 17 (formerly Quantitative Reasoning 22), Deductive Logic
  • Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning 19 (formerly Quantitative Reasoning 46), The Art of Numbers
  • Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning 21, Maps and Mapping
  • Engineering Sciences 21, The Innovator’s Practice: Finding, building and leading good ideas with others
  • Engineering Sciences 22, Design Survivor: Experiential Lessons in Designing for Desirability
  • Engineering Sciences 201, Decision Theory
  • Environmental Science and Public Policy 90t, Environmental Health: Your World and Your Life at Risk
  • Ethical Reasoning 13 (formerly Moral Reasoning 56), Self, Freedom, and Existence
  • Global Health and Health Policy 60. Negotiation and Conflict Management: From the Interpersonal to the International
  • Government 94an. Politics at the Margins
  • Government 94dn (formerly Government 98dn), Mapping Social and Environmental Space
  • Government 94is, Individual and Society
  • Government 94qa (formerly Government 98qa), Community in America
  • Government 94saf, Safra Undergraduate Ethics Fellowship Seminar
  • Government 1008, Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
  • Government 1010, Survey Research Methods
  • Government 1093, Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature
  • Government 1372, Political Psychology
  • Government 1729, Models of Conflict in International Relations
  • History 70c, Topics in Natural History
  • History 1916. The History of Evidence
  • History of Science 108, Bodies, Sexualities, and Medicine in the Medieval Middle East
  • History of Science 135, From Darwin to Dolly: A History of the Modern Life Sciences
  • History of Science 138, Sex, Gender, and Evolution
  • History of Science 150, History of Social Science
  • History of Science 171, Narrative and Neurology
  • History of Science 174, Critical Experiments in the Human Sciences: Conference Course
  • History of Science 176. Brainwashing and Modern Techniques of Mind Control
  • History of Science 178v. Freud: Clinician and Cultural Theorist
  • History of Science 179v, The Freudian Century
  • History of Science 185 (formerly History of Science 282), Communicating Science: From Print Culture to Cybersocieties
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1310, Hormones and Behavior
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1312, Human Sexuality: Research and Presentation Seminar
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1313, Stress: Research and Presentation Seminar
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1329, Sex, Love and War: The Evolution of Human Behavior
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1330, Primate Social Behavior
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1366, Mating Strategies
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1380, Behavioral Biology of Women
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1416. The Neurobiology of Sociality: Seminar
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1424. Human Health in Evolutionary and Anthropological Perspective
  • Human Evolutionary Biology 1500. Building Babies: Developmental Trajectories from Conception to Weaning
  • Kennedy School MLD-304 (formerly API-304), Science of Behavior Change: Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Life Sciences 1a, Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology
  • Life Sciences 1b , Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution
  • Linguistics 83, Language, Structure, and Culture
  • Linguistics 101 (formerly Linguistics 110). The Science of Language: An Introduction
  • Linguistics 106. Knowledge of Meaning
  • Linguistics 130, Psycholinguistics: Seminar
  • Linguistics 132, Psychosemantics
  • Mathematics 156. Mathematical Foundations of Statistical Software
  • MIT 14.11, Game Theory and Social Behavior
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 64. The Cell Biology of Human Life in the World
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 101. Human Genetics
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 105, Systems Neuroscience
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 115, Cellular Basis of Neuronal Function
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 120. Global Health Threats
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 129, The Brain: Development, Plasticity and Decline
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 141, Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 145 (formerly *Neurobiology 95hfb), Neurobiology of Perception and Decision-Making
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 146 (formerly *Neurobiology 95c), Experience-Based Brain Development: Causes and Consequences
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 170, Brain Invaders: Building and Breaking Barriers in the Nervous System
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology 186, Circadian Biology: From Cellular Oscillators to Sleep Regulation
  • Neurobio 101hfa (formerly Neurobio 95hfd), Novel Therapeutics in the Central Nervous System
  • Neurobio 101hfb (formerly Neurobio 95hfh), Dopamine
  • Neurobio 101hfc (formerly Neurobio 95hfp), Designer Neurons: How Cell Types are Generated in the Nervous System and the Lab
  • Neurobio 101hfd (formerly Neurobio 95hfu), Building a Brain
  • Neurobio 101hff (formerly Neurobio 95hfy), Seeing Time in the Brain
  • Neurobio 101hfi, The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction
  • Neurobio 101hfj, Brain Rhythms in Cognition, Mental Health & Epilepsy
  • Neurobio 101hfk. Cell Biology of Neurons in Development, Function, and Disease
  • Neurobio 101hfl. Building Blocks of Neural Networks: Synapses and Circuits in Heath and Psychiatric Disease
  • Neurobio 101hfm. Fundamentals of Computational Neuroscience
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 53, Evolutionary Biology
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 57, Animal Behavior
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 105 (formerly OEB 205). Neurobiology of Motor Control
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 145, Genes and Behavior
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 223, Topics in Neurogenetics
  • Philosophy 13. Morality and Its Critics
  • Philosophy 15, Moral Dilemmas
  • Philosophy 22, Introduction to Philosophy of Psychology
  • Philosophy 33. Indian Philosophy
  • Philosophy 147. Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy 149z, Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy 150. Philosophy of Probability
  • Philosophy 156, Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy 158. Self, Body, and Other: Proseminar
  • Philosophy 159s. Skepticism
  • Philosophy 160, Readings in Philosophical Psychology
  • Philosophy 163, Rationality and Irrationality
  • Philosophy 177x. Moral Theories
  • Science of Living Systems 16, Human Evolution and Human Health
  • Science of Living Systems 19, Nutrition and Global Health
  • Science of the Physical Universe 13 (formerly Science A-49). Why You Hear What You Hear: The Science of Music and Sound
  • Science of the Physical Universe 20, What is Life? From Quarks to Consciousness
  • Science of the Physical Universe 24, Introduction to Technology and Society
  • Social Studies 40, Philosophy and Methods of Social Science
  • Societies of the World 24, Global Health Challenges: Complexities of Evidence-based Policy
  • Societies of the World 25 (formerly Anthropology 1825), Health, Culture, and Community: Case Studies in Global Health
  • Sociology 22. Men, Women, and Work
  • Sociology 24, Introduction to Social Inequality
  • Sociology 25, Introduction to the Sociology of Organizations
  • Sociology 27, Introduction to Social Movements
  • Sociology 29. Introduction to Urban Sociology
  • Sociology 108. Inequality at Work
  • Sociology 114. Organizational Failures and Disasters: Leadership in Crisis
  • Sociology 123. Cultural Sociology: Space, Culture and Society
  • Sociology 129, Education and Society
  • Sociology 135. Education and Culture
  • Sociology 143. Building Just Institutions
  • Sociology 157. Mapping and Analyzing Social Patterns in Greater Boston
  • Sociology 158. Sex, Gender, Sexuality
  • Sociology 161. Big Data: What is it?
  • Sociology 170. Culture and Networks
  • Sociology 178. Social Network Analysis: Theory, Methods and Applications
  • Sociology 183, Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Statistics 110, Introduction to Probability
  • Statistics 120. Introduction to Applied Bayesian Inference and Multilevel Models
  • Statistics 121, Data Science
  • Statistics 135. Statistical Computing Software
  • Statistics 139, Statistical Sleuthing Through Linear Models
  • Statistics 140, Design of Experiments
  • Statistics 160, Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys
  • Statistics 183, Learning from Big Data
  • Statistics 186, Statistical Methods for Evaluating Causal Effects
  • Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology 180, Repair and Regeneration in the Mammalian Brain
  • Stem Cell and Refenerative Biology 187: Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency
  • Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1144. Gender and Science
  • Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1167, Gender and Education
  • Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1228. Race, Gender, and Criminality
  • United States in the World 13 (formerly Historical Study A-34). Medicine and Society in America
  • United States in the World 15. Is the American Racial Order Being Transformed?
  • United States in the World 31. American Society and Public Policy
  • United States in the World 35. Dilemmas of Equity and Excellence in American K-12 Education
  • United States in the World 36, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: American Experience in Comparative Perspective
  • From the Harvard Summer School Abroad in Summer 2015 (each course counts as one half course for psychology even if an 8 credit course):
    --Kisumu, Kenya: AAAS S-181s, Innovation Health Transformations in Africa
    --Kyoto, Japan: EALC S-29, Inequality and Society in Contemporary Japan
    --Istabul, Turkey: HIST S-1874, Minority Questions in Contemporary Turkey
    --Oxford, England: BIOL S-113, Darwin and Contemporary Evolutionary Biology
    --Paris, France: BIOS S-190, Biology, Innovation, and the 21st Century Smart City
    --Tokyo, Japan (RIKEN):BIOL S-141d, Disentangling Mental Disorders -From Genes to Circuits


2. Petitioned Courses are other non-departmental FAS courses, non-FAS Harvard courses, MIT courses not already on the departmental course list, or courses taken in other departments while studying out of residence that you believe will contribute significantly to your study of psychology. These courses must include significant psychology content and relate directly to your own concentration program. Introductory courses in other departments, independent reading or research courses in other departments, non-departmental independent study courses, tutorial courses in other departments, and Freshman Seminar and Core courses not taught by psychology department faculty are not usually approved as Advanced Courses. You must complete a petition form for these courses, attaching a statement and syllabus. The form must have your concentration advisor's signature; this signature does not mean that your advisor approves your petition but rather that s/he believes you have made the strongest case for the course.

You must submit a petition form for these courses, attaching a statement. Petitions must be submitted the semester you are taking a course; deadlines for 2014-2015 are November 15th for fall term courses, and by May 2nd for spring term courses (or January 30th for graduating seniors). Courses taken out of residence have different deadlines. Courses taken outside of FAS require cross-registration with instructor and concentration signatures; because you can only get a concentration signature after your petition has been reviewed, you should submit petitions for non-FAS courses as soon as you can get a syllabus. (The Undergraduate cross-registration form is available in the Undergraduate Office, the Registrar's Office, and your House/Resident Dean's Office. Come to the Psychology Undergraduate Office for a signature by the Psychology departmental deadline for cross-registration on September 15, 2014 in the fall and February 2, 2015 for spring. Petitions are evaluated usually by the Head Tutor or occasionally the Committee on Undergraduate Instruction.

Approved courses will meet the following criteria:

Course is relevant to psychology: The course material bears directly upon areas of psychology in that (1) the readings report or consider relevant empirical psychological research; (2) the phenomena studied are amenable to analysis from multiple levels; and (3) the course actually gives some attention to multiple perspectives and interactions among levels. An emphasis on theory is sometimes acceptable if multiple and testable theories are considered.

Course is relevant to your program: Your statement relates the course to your interests in psychology, to coursework you have taken, and/or to thesis plans you have.

Course is rigorously evaluated: Courses evaluate students at least in part on their knowledge of the research literature, indicated by course examinations or papers.

When thinking about petitioning the department for a non-departmental course, it is important to keep in mind this concentration's approach to psychology. We want you to learn to draw conclusions about humans or animals based upon empirical data. This is, of course, only one way of looking at the world, and other disciplines employ other approaches. Thus, although you may identify a course in another section of the catalog that addresses topics of psychological importance, it may do so in a non-empirical way. We do appreciate that such a course and its approach can be valid and rigorous, and that it deserves to be part of your undergraduate education, but it would not be appropriate as a psychology Advanced Course. It may rather provide you with an interesting linkage between your concentration and non-concentration courses, and students often find making such intellectual connections gratifying.


The category Affiliate Courses no longer exists. Below are the list of courses that were previously listed under Affiliate Courses. For concentrators, these have been moved to the Expedited Course list and require an email notification. Secondary Field students may count ONE of the following non-departmental courses ONLY IF taken in 2010-11 or earlier:

Historical Study A-87, Madness and Medicine: Theories in the History of Psychology (Culture and Belief 34 cannot count)

History of Science 171, Narrative and Neurology

History of Science 177, Stories under the Skin: The Mind-Body Connection in Modern Medicine (no longer offered)

Life Sciences 1a, Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology

Life Sciences 1b, Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution

Neurobiology 130 (formerly Psychology 1205), Drugs and the Brain: From Neurobiology to Ethics

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 53, Evolutionary Biology