Frequently Asked Advising Questions

Answers to our most common Undergraduate Advising questions

When can I declare a Psychology major?

You can declare Psychology as your major when you are first admitted to the university or anytime during your undergraduate academic career. You must have a 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing. The following prerequisites are required prior to taking upper level Psychology coursework: PSY2012 – General Psychology, STA2023 – Elements of Statistics, BSC1005 or ZOO1010 – General Biology or Zoology and any 1000/2000 Psychology course (CLP, DEP, EAB, EXP, INP, PCO, PPE, PSB PSY, SOP)

How do I change my major to Psychology or another program?

You must complete the Major/Minor change form and drop it off at the University Advising Center located in Building 18, Room 150.

What if I do not meet the GPA to change my major?

You have several options to assist you in changing your major: (1) You can use grade forgiveness and repeat a course to achieve a higher grade, (2) you can take additional coursework in your major to improve your GPA or (3) you can complete the Major Change form and submit the form to the University Advising Center. They will forward your form to the prospective major department or school, and the Department Chair or School Director for that major will make the final decision concerning your request.

What should I enroll in if I have not changed my major to Psychology and have completed all general education requirements?

You can meet with an Academic Peer Counselor and they will assist you in choosing Psychology courses to take while your Major Change form is being processed. Should you delay in submitting the Major Change form and your request is denied, the Psychology courses will count towards your overall university requirements.

How do I declare a Psychology minor or another program’s minor?

You can declare a minor by completing the Major/Minor Change form and submit to the University Advising Center located in Building 18, Room 150. You should consult the minor department for course requirements. Neither diplomas nor certificates are issued for completion of the minor.

Upon completion of minor course work, you must submit a Completion of Minor form to the University Advising Center located in Building 18, Room 150.

Can I register for upper division Psychology courses if I have not declared a Psychology major?

Yes. Psychology courses are open to all non-majors. Many of our courses are excellent compliments to other major programs. The course instructor does have the option of cancelling enrollment for students who have not completed the prerequisites for the course.

Can I take upper division Psychology courses even though I am in my first year of college life?

During your first year, as a freshman or sophomore, it is wise to complete your general education requirements and the lower division prerequisites for the Psychology major. Satisfying these requirements should be your highest priority before you begin the core components of the Psychology major. Meet with an Academic Peer Counselor to assist with your transition into the major.

Will the Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, or other Psychology courses I took at my community college count toward the Psychology major?

No. All Psychology courses taken at a community college are lower division courses. These units will count toward graduation requirement totals and to meet the prerequisites for the program.

Will grades from my community college count toward my GPA at UWF?

No. Grade points from other institutions are not combined with your UWF GPA. Your GPA from the community college remains a separate part of your academic record. You will receive units and subject credit only.

Why do Psychology majors need mathematics courses like Statistics?

Psychology is a data-oriented, empirical science that relies heavily on mathematical concepts. Clinical and counseling areas of Psychology are now emphasizing evidence-based therapies and the foundations of diagnosis involve some of the most complex statistical analyses.

Does a core course count if I get a D in it?

No. For core content courses in Psychology, you must earn a grade of “C” or higher for the course to count towards your major requirements. A grade of “D” will only count if the course is considered a Psychology elective. Any transfer work that is substituted for a core content course must have a grade of C or better.

If I get a D or an F in a course and retake it, does the new grade replace the old one or do I receive the average?

A student may receive credit for a course only once regardless of how many times it is taken, whether transferred or at UWF. All attempts at UWF count in the GPA unless grade forgiveness is used.

What is grade forgiveness and how do I use it?

Grade forgiveness is restricted to undergraduate degree-seeking students in undergraduate courses. If you begin UWF as a freshman, you are allowed two opportunities (one lower level course and one upper level course) for grade forgiveness during your undergraduate program. Transfer students are permitted one forgiveness (an upper level course only).

If a course is has been taken more than one time prior to the application for forgiveness, forgiveness can be used to replace only the most recently awarded grade. You may not use the grade forgiveness option with a course from another institution.

All grades will remain on the student’s official transcript. The original grade will not be computed in the GPA or course hours included in hours earned except in a case in which you withdraw from the repeated course or take an incomplete grade. You can not repeat a course that was taken by proficiency exam.

A completed Grade Forgiveness Request form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to the week of final exams for the semester in which the course is repeated.

How do I get my transfer credits to meet Psychology core requirements?

If you have taken upper level course work at another institution that fits the Program Requirements for a Psychology core requirement, a substitution petition form must be completed and submitted to the Department Coordinator along with a copy of the syllabus or Program Requirements of the course that was taken.

The instructor for the course will review and make a decision on the approval of the request. You will be notified of the decision by email.

How many credits may I transfer toward the major in Psychology?

There is not a limit on the credit hours that you transfer toward Psychology core requirements, however, you are required to complete 18 hours of Psychology coursework at UWF to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The university requires that you complete 30 hours in residency to receive a bachelor’s degree from UWF.

Which grades are used to calculate the GPA in the major?

The university only calculates those grades for Psychology core requirements that were completed at UWF. For the university GPA, course work completed in any student classification, including non-degree, taken at UWF will be included in the undergraduate GPA, determined by the level of the course.

If I enroll in a Study Abroad program, will I be able to take courses there that will count toward my Psychology major or minor?

In most cases, yes. Credits toward the required four electives are typically approved. It can be more difficult to match the content of our core courses, but some of these might be found at major universities abroad. In general, we encourage student to seek opportunities to study abroad as this is a valuable experience and we will work with you to assist in completing the major as effectively as possible. All courses must be approved by the Department Chair.

If I do volunteer work in a relevant area of Psychology, can I obtain credit toward the major as an internship?

Yes, if you are working with a faculty member who has agreed on the learning objectives and requirements for the service learning experience and you are signed up for your volunteer hours at Volunteer UWF. A student is only allowed to complete 4 credit hours of service learning towards the Psychology degree.

Am I required to take a non-classroom course such as directed study or service learning?

No. These courses are used to count as one of your Psychology electives or additional upper level coursework required to complete all university requirements. We strongly encourage you to think about completing a directed study or service learning applied experience if you wish to pursue an advanced degree in the field of Psychology. Talk with your faculty advisor to see if this experience is right for you.

How can I get involved in a research project?

Each faculty member has their own individual research lab where students can assist in ongoing experiments or projects. To find out each faculty members research interests, view the faculty listing on our school website. Make an appointment with the faculty member whose interests meet yours and come prepared with a synopsis of what type of research you would like to conduct and what results you would like to obtain. Have an idea of how you would conduct this research. If you only want to volunteer as a participant, many of the ongoing projects of faculty and graduate students are listed on the doors throughout the building, or ask one of your instructors if they know of any project you can volunteer for.

How do I sign up for a directed study?

Independent Directed study is available for students who wish to study or do research under the direction of a faculty member for topics or areas not detailed in regularly scheduled courses. You should make arrangements for a directed study with the faculty member whose area of expertise matches your interest. Credit hours and requirements are determined by the faculty member of the study. Refer to the question on how to get involved in a research project for the direction to use to approach the instructor of your interest.

A registration drop/add form must be completed, signed by both the student and instructor, and taken to the Registrar’s office located in Building 18. Independent Directed Study cannot be enrolled using the online MyUWF system.

How do I sign up for service learning?

Psychology considers service learning as a stand-alone course in a student’s field-of-study that is unpaid, independent and with a nonprofit agency for 1, 2, or 3 credit hours and requires that each student perform 30, 60, or 90 hours of volunteer work respectively for each credit hour. In service learning, a student will earn academic credit while performing service in an environment directly related to their major.

A faculty sponsor directs the student’s work with a non-profit agency in the community. The student and the faculty sponsor agree on learning objectives and an action plan to be accomplished during the service.

Volunteer UWF! helps to connect the student with a community agency with a need. The student will keep a journal, write a paper, and earn academic credit. The service learning project should accomplish the objectives and action plan discussed with the faculty sponsor and must include a reflection about the experience.

A registration drop/add form must be completed, signed by both the student and instructor, and taken to the Registrar’s office located in Building 18. Independent Directed Study cannot be enrolled using the online MyUWF system.

As a first-time student to UWF, how do I register for classes?

Once you've applied and been accepted to UWF, you can register for classes and sign-up for a campus orientation through MyUWF. Online students are encouraged to orient themselves to the Online Campus.

If a class if closed (reached its maximum limit), how do I get on a waiting list?

To be put on a waiting list for a course, email the Department Coordinator at and provide your name, and the course with day and time that you would like to be listed for. Mrs. Robinson will email you when an opening occurs. You have approximately 72 hours to respond back by email before the opening is offered to the next student on the list.

How can I switch my faculty advisor?

To switch your faculty advisor, contact the faculty member whom you would like to have to make sure they have can accept you as an advisee. Then complete the Advisor Change form requesting a new advisor and stipulating your reason for the change and submit the form to the Department Coordinator, Mrs. Diana Robinson, for processing. Once all signatures have been obtained, an email will be sent advising you of the final decision for your request.

When do I apply for graduation?

You must submit an Application for Graduation to the department by the application deadline posted on the application instruction website. Typically, the deadline for submission of the application is the week of drop/add for the semester prior to the semester where all requirements will be met. Our Academic Peer Counselors and Department Coordinator review all forms prior to obtaining the Department Chair's signature. Once approved and signed, we will forward to the Registrar’s office located in Building 18.

Any question or concerns about your academic progress toward graduation will hold your application. We will contact you via email to discuss or verify any discrepancies. Once resolved, your request will be forwarded as described above.

What minors work best with my Psychology major?

Depending on your area of interest and where you set your future goals, the University of West Florida programs offer a variety of minors that work well with the Psychology major. Make an appointment with an Academic Peer Counselor and to review a listing of all minors and those that have been most popular with previous Psychology majors.

What is the Certificate in Human Resources and how do I obtain it?

The Certificate in Human Resources is designed for undergraduates who wish to complete a module of Psychology courses related to the management of human resources. This Certificate can be earned by students who are majoring or minoring in Psychology, majoring in other fields such as management or enrolled as special students (with or without a bachelor’s degree). For Psychology majors or minors, these courses may be included in degree requirements.

Award of the Certificate requires completion of the 15 semester hours of specific course work with an average of 2.0 (C) in all work included in the Certificate. For more information visit the Certificate in Human Resources web page, and to enroll email Dr. Valerie Morganson at to sign up and pick your elective.