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Department of Psychology
Harvard University

Undergraduate Program

Requirements & Electives
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Requirements & Electives
Requirements ChartsRegularHonorsMBBLife Science
Advanced PlacementFoundationElectivesStudy Out of Residence

Foundational Course Requirement (formerly called Tier 2)

Foundational Courses in psychology represent the broader categories of psychology, such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology and neurobiology.

  • Psychology Concentrators of the Class of 2010 and beyond must fulfill the Foundational Course requirement; members of the Classes of 2008 and 2009 are exempt, but are strongly encouraged to enroll in these courses as they are often prerequisites for higher-level electives.
  • Psychology Secondary Field students are required to complete one Foundational Course.

Foundational Courses

Concentrators fulfilling the Foundational Course Requirement select two half-courses from the following list:

  • Psychology 13 (Cognitive Psychology)
  • Psychology 14 (Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Psychology 15 (Social Psychology)
  • Psychology 18 (Abnormal Psychology)
  • Science of Living Systems 15, Developmental Psychology: Origins of Knowledge - if taken in Fall 2011 or later. This course replaces Psychology 16 as a Foundational Course, and students may take only one of these courses toward the concentration.
  • MCB 80 (Neurobiology of Behavior)
  • Psychology 16 (Developmental Psychology) - no longer offered beginning Fall 2011

All courses must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of Psy 985, 990, 992, or 993, which are graded SAT/UNSAT.

Students in the Mind/Brain/Behavior track (Cognitive Science) must take MCB 80 as one of their two required Foundational Courses. Students in the Life Science track (Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology) must take MCB 80 OR Psy 14 as one of their two required Foundational Courses. Be aware that Summer School courses do not count toward the Foundational Course requirement except in rare cases - any exceptions to be considered require submission of a petition, with syllabus, to the Undergraduate Office by the spring petition deadline before the course is taken.