Psychology Major Declaration Requirements

The psychology major at AUC is very competitive, and not everyone who meets the minimum application standards will be accepted. We accept a limited number of students interested in majoring in the field per semester based on the department’s capacity. If your application is rejected, you may reapply the following semester.

 

What are the eligibility requirements for the Major?

  • Complete at least one semester at AUC
  • Earn a final grade of “B” or higher in Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 1000 or equivalent)
  • Be currently registered for (or previously have completed) Psychological Statistics (PSYC 2000 or equivalent)
  • Be in good standing at AUC (not on probation)

How do I apply?

Pay attention to university announcements regarding declaration deadlines.

When you apply for the major in the centralized university declaration system, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the psychology personal statement.
Pay attention to any university announcements regarding the personal statement administration.

What are the procedures for the Personal Statement?

  • You will sign up for a time slot.
  • Come on time, otherwise, you will not be permitted to enter.
  • Your AUC ID will be checked upon arrival.
  • You will be seated at a computer, which will have one essay question for you to answer.
  • You will have up to 45 minutes to write the essay, approximately 500 words.
  • You will not be permitted to open any websites or computer programs during the essay.
  • You will not be permitted to leave the room during the administration; if you need to leave (for example, to go to the bathroom) you will not be allowed back.
  • If you miss your scheduled session, you will not be able to re-schedule.

 

How should I be prepared for the personal statement administration?

  • The essay topic will be general enough that anyone can answer, and will tap into your motivations for declaring psychology. So you do not need to study anything specific.
  • Be prepared by bringing your AUC ID card.

 

What if I have a documented disability that requires accommodations?

  • When you sign up, please write a comment regarding your situation and the required accommodations.
  • You will be contacted by the administration committee to provide further documentation.

 

How will the personal statements be evaluated?

Your personal information (name, ID) will be removed from the essays. At least two professors will grade the essay anonymously using a standardized rubric.

The criteria that the essay will be evaluated on are:

  • motivation and interest in psychology
  • an accurate understanding of psychology
  • critical thinking
  • organization of the essay
  • written expression (including word choice, spelling, grammar)

 

How will the final decisions be made?

  • Your final score on the personal statement essay will be combined with your GPA to create a total score.
  • Applicants will be ordered by the total combined score.
  • The highest-ranking applicants will be accepted into the major. The target acceptance is 24 students in most semesters.

 

What if I already completed the personal statement before?

  • If you have already completed the personal statement in previous semesters, your score will be retained by the department so you do not need to do it again.
  • However, if you prefer to re-take the essay, you are welcome to do so and the highest score will be saved.

 

Why are personal statements being used for the major declaration?

  • The decision to use personal statement was a result of one year of exploration of the potential options for major declaration criteria. This included multiple town hall meetings with students and faculty, and assessing pros and cons of alternative options.
  • A pilot administration of more than 60 students was conducted in Spring 2017 and found good reliability and validity for the personal statement and scoring rubric.