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Departmental Advising

Psychology Student Success

Undergraduate Advising for The Department of Psychology is open to all majors, minors, or non-majors seeking information about becoming a major, courses within the major, and guidance regarding other questions about becoming involved and planning for the future as a major in psychology.

Blake Bonkowski found his path in psychology through volunteer work with Oakland University’s Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). By structuring his studies with his passion, he now specializes in helping transgender and nonbinary students on OU’s campus. 

Personalized preparation

The Psychology Student Success Office helps set you on a path of experiential learning and connections that will help launch your career post-graduation. The team can guide curriculum choices for psychology majors and minors and highlight tailored resources such as, the Gender and Sexuality Center, Academic Success Center, Writing Center, Disability Support Services, departmental research and various student organizations. 

Prepare for an array of careers and graduate school with us, 

  • Psychologist 
  • Counselor 
  • Educator 
  • Market Researcher 
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Career Consultant
  • And much more! 

We highly recommend that students meet with a psychology undergraduate faculty adviser at least once per year.

NOTE: You must have an active Oakland University email address to use the “Psychology Advising Calendar”. If you do not have an active OU email address, please contact the Chief Academic Adviser, Dr. Malatesta, at [email protected] or 248-370-2693 or the main office.

For shorter questions, please contact Psychology Undergraduate Advising: [email protected]

Schedule an AppointmentUndergraduate Psychology CoursesProgram Requirements Graduate School Degree Options

The Psychology Department made changes to its curriculum for the 2016/2017 Academic Year. Please use the following documents to help in scheduling classes starting Fall, 2017. The tables are organized by the psychology curriculum requirements presented in the student handbook for the year of enrollment.

Please be sure to use the appropriate forms based on the academic year that you enrolled. To request the forms listed below, email [email protected].

Enrolled 2011/2012 - 2015/2016 or transferred to OU in 2016/2017:

Course Number Conversion Table (2015/2016 & earlier, Fall 2016 transfer)

Psychology Department Advising Form (2015/2016 & earlier, Fall 2016 transfer)

Enrolled 2016/2017 to 2021/2022:

Course Number Conversion Table (Enrolled 2016/2017 or 2017/2018)

Psychology Department Advising Form (Enrolled 2016/2017)

Psychology Department Advising Form (2017/2018 and new transfer students, Fall 2017)

Psychology Department Advising Form (2018/2109)

Psychology Department Advising Form (2019/2020)

Psychology Department Advising Form (2020/2021 and 2021/2022)

We also strongly recommend that students meet with a College of Arts and Sciences adviser. A complete staff of professional advisers for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) can assist you with questions regarding general education requirements and College of Arts and Science Exploratory Requirements (Exploratory).

We encourage students to meet with a CAS advisor prior to meeting with a Psychology adviser. You can schedule an appointment by calling (248) 370-4567 or through the website below.

College of Arts and Sciences Advising

All full-time psychology faculty members can advise you with issues pertaining directly to your major in psychology. They can help with selecting courses including capstone courses (See below for approved General Education Capstone courses in Psychology), independent projects, career paths and advising, graduate school application processes, and prerequisites for Psychology courses.

Faculty Adviser, Fall 2023

Professor Rebecca Malatesta, Ph.D., Chief Undergraduate Academic Adviser
107 Pryale Hall
Email: [email protected]
Advising Hours:
Mondays 1:30-2:30pm, Wednesdays 11:30-12:30pm,
Thursdays 8:30-10:00 am

Helpful resources

Note that Psychology advisers only review Psychology courses. If you have questions about courses offered in other departments, you must contact those departments directly.

The following set of Expandable Boxes offer information about questions often asked by students. Should you have additional questions, please contact the department [Main Office: 248-370-2300] or Email: [email protected].

See the online catalog for a full description of requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Please also note the additional requirements to graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences.

General Education and the Psychology Major

All Oakland University Students will need to complete the General Education Requirements and College Exploratory Requirements. Please see the links below for more information.

For Psychology Major, please be aware that

  • PSY 2250 will NOT satisfy the Knowledge Application GE requirement if you are a psychology major. The KA must be a course taken OUTSIDE of your major.
  • Psychology Capstone courses - New numbering:
    • PSY 4500 (Advanced Research Design in Psych)
    • PSY 4921 (Readings and Research Projects)
    • PSY 4930 (Field Experience)
    • PSY 4971 (Seminar in Cognition, Perception, & Bio Processes)
    • PSY 4972 (Seminar in Developmental Psychology)
    • PSY 4973 (Seminar in Social Psychology)
    • PSY 4974 (Seminar in Individual Diffs & Personality Psy)
    • PSY 4977 (Seminar in Psychopharmacology)
    • PSY 4978 (Seminar in Cognitive Development in Children)
    • PSY 4979 (Seminar in Resilient Aging)
    • PSY 4980 (Seminar in Moral Development)
    • PSY 4989 (History of Psychology)
    • PSY 4998 (Honors Independent Studies I)
  • Courses at the 3000-level or higher ALSO satisfy the General Education 32-credit requirement
  • Most Psychology Courses at the-3000 level or higher have been approved as Writing Intensive course (please note the few exceptions via the course catalog), thus Writing Intensive in the Major and Writing Intensive in General Education will be satisfied by two (2) WI psychology courses.

Helpful Links:

Transferring to OU in Psychology

Transferring from Community Colleges and/or 4-year Universities:

Oakland University accepts many courses and credits from community colleges and 4-year universities. Please see the Transfer Equivalency Guide to determine how your courses might transfer to OU. If you do not find your current institution in the list of Colleges and Universities on the Transfer Equivalency guide, please make an appointment with the Chief Academic Adviser to evaluate your psychology courses. Please bring a copy of the syllabus for the purposes of equivalency assessment.

Be aware that many community college psychology courses are considered "electives in the major" even if they have the same or similar course title to our 3000-level courses. You'll receive credit for the 2000-level requirements toward the major and/or minor, but the courses do NOT come in as equivalents to OU's upper division courses (that is, courses at the 3000/4000 level). Courses from community colleges that are considered equivalent to OU courses are at the 1000-level and 2000-level ONLY. The Transfer Equivalency Guides provides information regarding course equivalency.

Keep in mind that your last 8 credits (2 classes) must be taken at OU, and you must have completed 16 credits (4 classes) from OU's Department of Psychology.

International Transfer Equivalency - Psychology

Students with international credentials must have an official, course-by-course evaluation sent by World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluator. Once you have your courses evaluated, please bring your transcripts and any syllabi (translated into English) to the Chief Academic Adviser in Psychology for further evaluation of equivalency.

Graduating with a Major in Psychology

The requirements for graduating will depend on the year you enrolled at OU. Please be aware of the year you began at OU to determine the credits required for the Psychology Major. Please refer to the Student Handbook in the year that you became a Golden Grizzly.

  • 40 credit major for those Enrolled 2010/2011 or earlier
  • 44 credit major for those enrolled between 2011/2012 - 2015/2016
  • 48 credit major for those enrolled starting Fall, 2017/2018

Note: Keep in mind, that the department will approve graduation for students with a ONE credit shortage (43/44) due to transferred course(s). A two or more credit shortage will not be approved.

Participating before finishing degree requirements

Students who are completing their coursework in the semester following the ceremony must contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising office. View the Application for Graduation page to obtain a request to participate in commencement.

Undergraduate Student Organization: Psi Chi

Purpose Statement:

The mission of Psi Chi is to produce a well-educated, ethical, and socially responsible member committed to contributing to the science and profession of psychology and to society in general.

Getting Involved:

This community includes all students majoring in Psychology at Oakland University and any individual having an interest in psychology and the study of psychology, including Oakland University students not majoring in psychology, faculty, administrators, staff, and any member of the surrounding communities. In short, Psi Chi activities are open to all.

Independent Study Opportunities

An independent study project is a project that you do independently with a faculty member. It can be writing a thorough literature review (PSY4921), undergraduate research apprenticeship (PSY4995), Honors Independent Study I and II (PSY4998 - PSY4999), being an undergraduate teaching assistant (PSY 4997) or doing a field experience (PSY4930). Although an independent study is not required for graduation, it is a beneficial asset when you apply for jobs or graduate school.

If you wish to enroll in any of these independent projects courses you need to first find a faculty member who is willing to supervise your work. You and that faculty member will determine how often and when you will meet, and what type of product you will complete to satisfy the course requirements. You also will complete a form to declare what you and the professor supervising your work have agreed upon as your independent study. This form should be submitted to the Department as soon as possible, and certainly within the first 2 weeks of the semester when you are engaged in the independent study.

To enroll, please follow these steps:

  1. Identify a Sponsoring Faculty Member
  2. Complete and sign the appropriate independent study form
  3. Submit the signed form to Sandy Gabert (Room 111)
  4. Register for the class in SAIL once you have received permission to do so

Research Associate & Honors Thesis - PSY 4995; PSY 4998-4999: To get involved in research, simply requesting an appointment and asking the faculty member whether you can apply to work in his/her lab is your best approach.  Do NOT simply email.  It is best to talk to the faculty members directly during his/her office hours. Some faculty members have an application process, and many, if not most, faculty would like at least a one year (i.e. two semesters) commitment from you.  Psi Chi often will post announcements for faculty who are looking to find research associates in their labs, and you can look on faculty's websites to see whether they are taking on new undergraduate research associates.

Field Experience - PSY 4930: To enroll in this class, you will need to contact the internship coordinator, Dr. Malatesta ([email protected] or 248-370-2693) for instructor permission. This class requires the student to locate an internship (many find one via Handshake) or work with the coordinator to locate an appropriate placement. Resources for identifying potential sites include: Handshake, the Psi Chi website, volunteer websites, and your own personal contacts. The student is expected to work 150 hours in their placement and write a formal APA paper connecting their experience with the scholarly research in psychology.

Helpful Links and Forms

Honors in Psychology

Students starting at OU Fall 2015-Winter 2021:

Departmental honors in psychology are based on the following criteria:

  • Grade point average of 3.2 or above overall and 3.5 or above for psychology courses
  • Complete PSY 2500, PSY 2510, and at least two 3000-level courses with grade point average of 3.2 or above
  • Complete PSY 4510 (Advanced Statistics in Psychology) with grade point average of 3.2 or above
  • Complete Honors Thesis for 8 credits (PSY 4998 and PSY 4999)
  • File the appropriate "Application for Departmental Honors in Psychology" form with Sandy Gabert

Further information is available on the departmental website or from the Department Chair, Chief Advisor, or Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Students starting at OU Fall 2021:

Departmental honors in psychology are based on the following criteria:

  • Overall grade point average of 3.2 or above and 3.5 or above in psychology courses
  • Completion of PSY 2500 and PSY 2510 and at least two 3000-level courses with a grade of B+ or above in each class
  • Recommended completion of PSY 4510
  • Completion of PSY 4998 and PSY 4999 Honors Independent Studies, PSY 4921 Readings and Research, or PSY 4930 Field Experience according to departmental guidelines
  • Written recommendation from faculty mentor

Guidelines for Applying for Departmental Honors

Students must initiate the process by submitting an honors project application form to departmental administrative secretary which is due by the end of the first month of the semester of intended graduation. In coordination with the faculty mentor, the student will submit the following materials to the Undergraduate Programs Committee which is due one week prior to the end of classes:

  • Final written paper minimum of 15 pages for the body of the paper (not including title page, abstract, reference list, figures) in APA-format (i.e., double-spaced type, appropriate headers, etc.) as appropriate for PSY 4921, 4930, and 4998.
  • Written recommendation (support letter) from faculty mentor
  • Student curriculum vitae (CV)

Undergraduate Programs Committee will review materials and make final decision to award Departmental Honors.

Rebecca Malatesta
Chief Academic Adviser
[email protected]
(248) 370-2693

Keith Williams
Director of Undergraduate Studies
[email protected]
(248) 370-2308

Department of Psychology

Pryale Hall, Room 111
654 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2300
Fax: (248) 370-4612