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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Most professors in the Psychology department have teaching assistants to help them in the classroom whether that is through grading, planning, running lab hours, or even teaching. Teaching assistant positions are available as a paid position or for credit with Psych 410R. It is usually up to you to find your own position. You may do this by contacting professors directly asking them if they have any positions available for your desired semester. These professors could be professors you have had in the past or they can be professors that are teaching a course that you enjoyed or excelled in. It is best to seek out these opportunities well in advance as many professors have their positions filled quickly and sometimes even have a waitlist. Sometimes professors work with Psych Student Services to find TAs, and if this is done, an application is sent directly to students who fit the expected criteria of the professors. It is usually expected that you have taken the course in the past and have received a strong passing grade in order to be hired as a TA, however, specific criteria is unique to each professor.

  • If you scored a 3, you will earn general credit toward the requirement of completing 120 credits for graduation, but it will not substitute for Psych 111. A score of 4 or 5 on the AP test will fulfill the Psych 111 requirement. If you passed the AP Psychology exam with a 4 or 5 and are not seeing the credit on your transcript, please make sure that BYU has received your AP score records. For more visit this site.

  • There is no prescribed way to get involved in research, and it generally requires initiative on your part. To make sure you don't miss out on valuable research opportunities, the key is to get started early! First, identify the professors you might want to work with. You can find out the research interests of the professors on the Psychology Department website. The Psych Student Support Service Office also periodically sends announcements via email about professors who are seeking students to be research assistants, but there is not a comprehensive list of available opportunities, as availability can vary from semester to semester.

    Once you have identified a professor you might want to work with, read some of their published work to make sure you are interested in the research that they are doing. You could also approach the professors directly to ask about their research and other literature that would better prepare you to work with them. You can reach out to professors using phone or email, or visiting during their office hours. Office hours are listed in the Psychology Department office (1001 KMBL) and outside each professor’s office. Remember that it may not be easy to arrange an opportunity to do research with a professor, much less the one you hope to work with, because there are far fewer professors than students. For this reason, you should start early in your search for research experience. If the professors you really want to work with are too busy for a semester, you can approach them again the following semester. You might also consider working with a professor who is not your top choice as far as your research interests are concerned but with whom you would enjoy working, and in this way gain valuable experience. Once a professor has agreed to work with you, be responsible and follow through on your commitments. Do more than is asked, and volunteer for and expect to do tedious or menial work. You must show that you are sincere in your interest to do research before a professor is inclined to trust you with larger responsibilities.

  • Capstone courses are designed to integrate undergraduate students’ knowledge from classwork with a hands-on experience in teaching, research, and/or community service. The courses are intended for seniors, and are generally small—often fewer than 10 students. Thus, capstones also present a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with a professor and his or her work. Please note that the prerequisites for the capstone course are senior status, Psych 307, 308, 309 (or 312R), and 310. These courses cannot be taken concurrently with the capstone, so please plan ahead. You can find more information about the individual capstone courses here. You can also visit or contact Psych Student Support Services (1003 KMBL) for other questions concerning the capstone courses.

  • Before considering taking a capstone course, please note that you must have senior status and have taken Psych 307, 308, 309 (or 312R), and 310 before the semester you are wanting to do your capstone. You cannot take any of these classes concurrently with the capstone.
    For research and TA capstones, you must first converse with the professor to obtain their approval to sign up for their capstone course. Once this approval is complete, you can request an add code for the appropriate capstone course and section by filling out the Psychology Department's add code request form. If you have further questions, contact Psych Student Support Services ( Registration for internship capstones is handled by Karen Christensen, who also determines approval for internship opportunities to be used for capstone credit. For more information on internships, visit our Internships page.

  • Yes! You may need to request an add code from Psych Student Support Services to register for 309 or 312R if you are trying to take it concurrently with 310. You may not be able to register to take these classes concurrently on your own due to an ongoing issue with the registration page that is in the process of being fixed, but the add code will push you through that error.

    If you choose not to take Psych 309 (or 312R) and 310 during the same semester, you will need to take 310 first, and then Psych 309.

  • No. All prerequisites to the capstone course must be taken before the semester that you take your capstone.

    Psych 309 and 310 are very helpful in educating students on how to create reliable and valid research, which is crucial to the field of psychology. The Psychology Department faculty have come to a decision that these skills are necessary for all students before they can enroll in their the capstone, regardless of which capstone you choose.

  • Psych 312R is an informative advanced methods course on R programming, which is a statistical package often used by researchers and statisticians. You may take Psych 312R instead of Psych 309. Additionally, anywhere that Psych 309 is listed as a prerequisite, Psych 312R can take its place.

  • It requires some internet research and some persistence on your part, but there are definitely opportunities to do research outside of BYU! Here is one useful website to get you started:

  • You can look through employment listings outside of BYU or visit the FHSS Internship Office in 945 KMBL to look through their database for available internship opportunities. During winter semesters, there is also often an FHSS Internship Fair, which presents numerous internships relevant to social science majors.

    The initial set-up for an academic internship should begin with the Family and Social Services Internship office in 945 KMBL. Here they will assist you in finding a successful internship that will help you heighten your undergraduate experience. Once you have selected and filled out the on-line paperwork for the internship, you will work with Karen Christensen to receive the approval to add the course.

  • No. This is prohibited by the BYU academic internship policy.

  • There are six common career paths following a psychology degree. They include outpatient and residential care, social and human services, human resources, therapy, teaching, and professional graduate schools (i.e., medicine, business, law, and so forth). Note that in order to do therapy in its traditional sense, you will need at least a master’s degree. To teach high school psychology, you must receive a teaching certificate. Teaching at higher levels requires graduate degrees. The best on-campus resource for information on professional opportunities with a degree in Psychology would be the FHSS Advisement Center. You can also check out the online Psychology Career Center here.

  • There are jobs in Utah County both for people working on undergraduate psychology degrees and for those who have completed degrees, but the competition can be intense. Among the main employers in the area are the Utah State government and the local mental health providers, such as Wasatch Mental Health, Provo Canyon School, Heritage Schools, Chrysalis, Slate Canyon Youth Center, Center for Change, and the school districts. You might also check under “Mental Health” in the Yellow Pages. If you are having difficulty finding employment, you may want to try volunteering or completing an internship in order to attain experience and build your résumé. You can also check out this job search section of the BYU Alumni website.

    For more career planning assistance, visit Career Services at

  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics offers detailed statistics about occupations. Their website is

  • Many grad school programs no longer require the GRE. You will want to visit the website of the specific programs you are looking to apply to and see what their stance is on the topic. If they do not require the GRE, then you don't have to do any preparation!

    If the GRE is required, then a visit to will answer most questions. Some who have done well on the exam recommend GRE prep courses while others recommend studying from a GRE prep manual. What works for you will largely depend on your study habits. If you have enough self-discipline to study on your own and can learn and review concepts from a book, then a prep manual may suffice. If you have a difficult time motivating yourself or would like concepts explained by a teacher, a course might be more suitable. Whichever method of preparation you choose, make sure that you have the opportunity to take at least one practice test in order to familiarize yourself with the computer format. Most prep manuals come with CDs or websites for practice tests, as do most prep courses. You may also want to explore the American Psychological Association’s website:

  • A minor in psychology is a great way to boost your undergraduate experience! As a minor, you are not required to take all the prerequisites listed for the courses. You will need to take Psych 111 as well as the Psych 308 prerequisites, but after that, most prerequisites can be waived. To get into these courses, you will need to fill out the add code request form. Please note that you must be a declared psychology minor to receive the add code.

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