All new freshman, transfer and recently declared majors should meet with the department’s Academic Advisor, Mrs. Darian Schiffman (410-455-2366, MP 321) their first semester of registration. Mrs. Schiffman will also assist students with a psychology minor and those students who may be considering psychology as a major. Additionally she is available to answer questions about University requirements (such as academic policies, registration concerns and general graduation requirements), academic support, transfer concerns, research opportunities and career options.
Once students have met with Mrs. Schiffman, students are then matched with appropriate faculty advisors beginning their second semester in the Psychology major. Students will be notified on who their faculty advisor is via email. Your faculty advisor is familiar with UMBC and departmental policies, and wants to help you. Advisors will have office hours posted outside their offices; you can also get in touch with your advisor by email or by leaving a message in his or her mailbox. (Please note that the office staff does not make appointments for advisors.)
All students must meet with an advisor at least once per semester (Fall and Spring) in order to obtain authorization to register and discuss academic progress and post-graduate plans. Please review your progress towards your degree prior to these appointments by completing your major checklist and reviewing your degree audit, and come prepared to discuss your upcoming semester plans. Major checklists can be found on our website. If Psychology is your second major or minor, and you are being advised in another department, you need to speak with a Psychology advisor to discuss the Psychology requirements. Being aware of any previous coursework from other academic institutions and having paper copies of any relevant transcripts can be helpful.
Registration time is particularly busy; there is no reason why you should not visit your advisor with questions at other times during the academic year. Meeting with your advisor at other times during the year can provide more opportunity to discuss career plans or other topics of interest. All department faculty hold regular weekly office hours throughout the academic year. Your advisor can also help direct you to other faculty or university resources to facilitate your success. Advisors can review University graduation requirements with you, but cannot waive University graduation requirements. Your advisor may be able to help you straighten out problems (e.g., why a course did not transfer).
Your advisor makes the final and binding decision on whether you have met the requirements for the psychology major. If your advisor has approved a modification in major requirements, you should get written confirmation of this decision and ask your advisor to confirm this decision on your online advising notes.
Advisors often provide useful information about graduate school and career opportunities. But advisors are not the only source of such information; you can also check with your instructors, other department faculty, and with the UMBC Career Development and Placement office (410-455-2216 MP 204).