GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY / BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE MA PROGRAMS ORIENTATION
Advisor/Head: Carolyn Pytte
The best way to contact me is through email since I am not on campus every day. If you leave a message on my voice mail please speak clearly and slowly, leaving your name and phone numbers (repeat numbers). If I have not already done so in my email to you, please verify that Sheila Stern in the psychology office has your email address on the appropriate program email list.
1. Obtaining your CUNY First, QC Email, QC CAMS, and CUNY Portal accounts:
CUNY First is a new interface that compiles all of your information in one account (e.g. transcript, registration, immunization information, tuition payments, parking tickets, etc.). It is imperative to obtain your CUNY First account because you will be using it to register yourselves for classes starting next semester. You can also pay the bursar using this account.
To register for a CUNY First account, go to: https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/oam/Portal_Login1.html and click on 'First time users'.
After you’ve obtained your CUNY First account, you can then obtain your QC Email, QC CAMS, and CUNY Portal accounts (I know, this is all very confusing). Your QC CAMS account allows you to log onto computers on campus, use the campus wireless network, apply for parking, access
MyQC on the QC website etc. The email accounts are accessible via Microsoft Outlook (which OCT can install on your laptop), and/or via a webmail interface from any computer at: https://qcmail.qc.cuny.edu/. The CUNY Portal account is used to access Blackboard which your instructors may use to post material for their classes. The Portal account is also used to sign up for CUNYAlert which will alert you via email/text/or phone message about security emergencies, weather related school closings, etc.
Information on obtaining all of these can be found in the instructions at:
If you have problems claiming any of these accounts, please contact the OCT (Office of Converging Technologies) Helpdesk (718-997-4444) over in the I-building.
2. Obtaining a Qcard (QC ID card):
Information about obtaining your Qcard (QC ID for library, meal plans, vending machines, computer lab access, etc.)
3. CUNY Calendar:
Bookmark this calendar for holidays, “Tuesday is Thursday” days, registration and drop deadlines, and final exam days. (Choose ‘Academic’ under ‘Browse Calendars’)
4. PhD Programs:
The Psychology Department hosts two doctoral training areas, the degrees of which are administered through the CUNY Graduate Center:
Clinical Psychology at Queens College
The two doctoral programs offer a number of excellent advanced courses that represent a good opportunity for MA students. Behavior Analysis courses typically require PSYCH730 as a prerequisite. PSYCH 708.1, 708.2 and 708.3 are required or strongly recommended for many Clinical Psychology courses.
Applying to PhD programs:
Those students who intend to apply to a PhD program are strongly recommended to take, and do well in, advanced experimental psychology (PSYCH701) or research design courses (PSYCH703; Note: this course is required of Behavioral Neuroscience MA students, and open to General Psychology MA students who intend to apply to a PhD program, are working in a faculty member’s lab and acquire permission from the department). These courses will be invaluable once you start doing research in someone’s lab.
5. Degree requirements for General Psychology (GMA) and Behavioral Neuroscience (MABN) programs:
Information on the GMA Program
Information on the MABN Program
6. Selection of courses:
The selection of courses depends upon your long range goals and may require prerequisites. All course descriptions, in addition to information about all policies and procedures regarding your MA program and being a QC student in general can be found in the Graduate Bulletin (information on Psychology MA Programs begin on page 214). Most courses are only offered once a year; those which are not offered one semester tend to be offered in the alternate semester, and those that are offered one semester are likely to be offered again that semester in the following year. The department offers a few courses every semester (700 History, 705 Statistics I, 708.4 Behavioral Neuroscience, 771.1 Ethics). Thus, I strongly recommend you start now (if you have not already) to reflect upon your goals and begin to plan your schedules for every semester needed to obtain your degrees. Your plans will probably change one or more times but having a plan and familiarity with the program early is better than not. Again, become familiar with the program (read the graduate bulletin) and plan ahead. Required courses are given every year. 700 level courses are for both MA and PhD students. 800 level courses are only for PhD students, with a few exceptions. Pay attention to prerequisites when planning your schedules (consult your graduate bulletin for pre-requisites and course descriptions).
7. Dropping courses:
If you must drop a course make sure that you do so officially on CUNY First. There are important drop dates to observe that will save you money and time (i.e., the earlier you drop, the more money you will get back). Full refunds are only available for courses dropped before the semester begins.
The grade of Incomplete (INC) must be requested by the student and approved by the instructor.
9. Repeating courses:
You can repeat one course and have the second grade replace the first grade in your GPA calculation. If you are trying to boost your GPA, this has a much larger effect than does taking additional courses (assuming you do better in the class the second time around).
If your cumulative GPA drops below 3.0, there will be a stop put on your account and you will NOT be able to register for courses until you schedule an appointment to meet with me to discuss this. You will have 12 credits to raise your GPA back above 3.0. This must be done in order to stay matriculated in the program. To avoid the surprise of not being able to register, please check your GPA before registration begins, and contact me asap.
11. Graduate Studies:
12. Comprehensive exam (GMA students only):
Dean Richard Bodnar (Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Richard.Bodnar@qc.cuny.edu) and his staff are valuable sources of information and may need to be consulted on some matters (e.g. account stops, graduation, probation).
Unless your GPA is 3.7 or greater and you are exempt from the comprehensive exam, you cannot graduate without passing it. You must register for this exam. Registration is done by contacting Dr. Carolyn Pytte. This exam is given at the end of every semester, and consists of 3 multiple choice exams:
One on history (PSYCH700)
One on experimental psychology (PSYCH701)
One on statistics (PSYCH705).
It is recommended that you plan to take the exam as soon as you have completed the required courses. If you wait until the semester you plan to graduate, you risk the possibility of not passing and then not being able to graduate. You must then pay a matriculation fee to stay matriculated the following semester so you can take the exam (you must be matriculated the semester you graduate). For this reason, we STRONGLY encourage students NOT to wait until the semester of intended graduation to take this exam.
13. Thesis and Research:
MABN students are required to complete a research thesis to graduate. GMA students have the option of completing a research thesis (in lieu of 6 course credits). Consult the faculty page on the departmental web site. This page lists all current faculty and their research interests. If you are interested you may contact the faculty and enquire about opportunities. Please contact Dr. Li if you have any questions about this process.
Information about the required thesis for the Behavioral Neuroscience MA
It is strongly recommended that you begin working on your research thesis project as soon as possible, preferably by the end of your first year.
Information about the optional thesis (in lieu of 6 course credits) for the General Psychology MA
In the semester in which you plan to graduate, you must file for graduation on CUNY First otherwise you must pay several hundred dollars to maintain matriculation for an additional semester (i.e. you must be either taking courses, or have paid the matriculation fee, the semester you plan to graduate).
Pay all bills by their due dates, otherwise there will be stops applied to your account and you will NOT be able to register for classes. It may take some time for your stop to be lifted after you make your payment, so it is always a good idea to check for stops on your account a few weeks BEFORE registration begins so nothing catches you by surprise.
16. Student representatives:
The GMA/MABN student body typically has two MA students (one for each program) who will represent the student body in MA Committee meetings. Please contact these representatives if you have any issues about either program that you would like brought up for discussion with the MA Committee. The student representativebelow will be representing students in both programs and will be serving for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters:
1) Student Representative: Brianna Bisogno
2) Alternate Student Representative: Lidor Kohen