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Swift Thinking: 2011 Winter

Registration Information

Spring Courses

A table showing our anticipated course offerings for Spring is available online. The table includes information on meeting days and times. In addition, it indicates which major and minor requirements each course can fulfill, whether a course is available for preregistration, and whether you need permission to enroll.

Please check this table and the registrar's website for updates. Descriptions of psychology courses are available through the registrar's website. 

Preregistering for Spring Courses 

The psychology department will be offering preregistration through CAESAR for most of our courses the week prior to regular registration. All students listed as psychology or cognitive science majors or minors in the registrar's system should be able to preregister through CAESAR for these courses. 

Preregistration times are announced by the Registrar's Office. You can preregister for at most two courses. 

Courses not open for preregistration. The only courses not available for preregistration for Spring quarter are:

* Psych 101-Freshman Seminar
* Psych 397/398/399 research courses

Wait Lists

Psychology courses are very popular, and they often close during registration. What should you do if a course you want to take has closed? For most of our courses, we will be using the "electronic wait list" function on CAESAR. If you try to add a course that is full, CAESAR will tell you that there are no openings and will ask if you would like to be on the wait list. As students drop the course, we will check the electronic wait list and send permission numbers to students who can enroll. 

Registering for Psych 205-Research Methods

We will continue the new registration policy for Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology introduced in Spring 2010. Students will no longer need to visit the department office to get permission numbers for this course.

The new plan.  Students listed in CAESAR as majoring or minoring in psychology, cognitive science, or music cognition may preregister for Psych 205 through CAESAR without a permission number. Make sure you have the statistics prerequisite (see below) before you enroll. Once regular registration starts, any student with the prerequisite may enroll; again, no permission number will be needed. When a section fills, a CAESAR wait list will be started. If students drop the course, we will check the wait list and send permission numbers to students who can enroll.

Special Psych 205 Section. We will be offering a special section of Research Methods that includes discussion sections.  This section will be taught by Dr. Sue Hespos and meets Monday and Wednesday from 3:40 to 4:50.  Students will break up into smaller discussion sections once a week. These will be at the same time as the other class meetings. Students in these classes must sign up for both the lecture and a discussion section.

Statistics prerequisite.  Psych 201-Statistical Methods in Psychology or an approved substitute is a prerequisite for all sections of Psych 205. We will regularly check class rosters for Psych 205 during the registration process. Those who lack the prerequisite will be required to drop the course. You must complete the prerequisite before taking Psych 205.  For example, if you are in Psych 201 this Winter, you may sign up for Psych 205 for Spring because you will complete Psych 201 before Spring quarter starts. However, you may not take both Psych 205 and the prerequisite during the same quarter.


Registering for Psych 397, 398, and 399  

One great way to learn more about psychological research is to become actively involved in research activities through Psych 399-Independent Study or the two-quarter Psych 397-Advanced Supervised Research. This is especially valuable for students considering graduate study in psychology, and it can be an educational and enjoyable experience for others as well.

To enroll in Psych 397 or Psych 399, you should get an application in the department office, fill it out, and have it signed by the professor with whom you will be working. Then, take the signed application to the department office to get a permission number for the course; permission numbers will be available beginning Wednesday, February 16. Remember that Psych 205-Research Methods in Psychology is a prerequisite for Psych 397. For more information on 397 and 399--including the differences between them, how they count towards requirements, and tips on finding a research adviser--see our webpage on doing research for course credit

Students in Psych 398-Senior Seminar will need permission numbers to register as well. Permission numbers will be available in the department office beginning Wednesday, February 16, for everyone participating in the honors program this year. 

Special Courses For Spring Quarter

In Spring 2011 the psychology department will be offering two sections of Psych 314-Special Topics, one section of Psych 357-Advanced Seminar, and one section of Psych 358-Advanced Seminar.  Both 314 courses count toward satisfying column C, row 1 requirements.  Psych 357 counts toward satisfying column A row 2 requirements. Psych 358 counts toward satisfying column B, row 2 requirements. Descriptions of these courses, as well as information on their prerequisites, can be found on CAESAR.


Psych 314 – Special Topics: Philosophy in Psychology (Dr. Lance Rips)
Psych 314 – Special Topics: Psychology of Diversity (Dr. Mona Weissmark)
All sections of Psych 314 count toward the 300-level requirement for psychology majors and minors. They do not count toward the Column A (personality/clinical/social) or Column B (cognitive/neuroscience) requirement.

PSYCH 357 and PSYCH 358 – ADVANCED SEMINAR (2 sections)

Psych 357 - Advanced Seminar in Personality, Clinical, or Social Psychology: Gender and Leadership (Dr. Alice Eagly)
Psych 357 counts toward Column A and also fulfils the Row 2 (upper-level research) requirement for students majoring in psychology.

Psych 358 - Advanced Seminar in Cognition or Neuroscience: Insight in the Brain (Dr. Mark Jung Beeman)
Psych 358 counts toward Column B and also fulfils the Row 2 (upper-level research) requirement for students majoring in psychology.



Please join us in welcoming our new staff member, Maria Candelario. Maria attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA for three years and is continuing her education here at Northwestern and am planning on graduating next year with a Bachelor's in Psychology.  She loves going to the movies and listening to music during her free time. Don't be scared to drop by the office to say hi!  Maria loves meeting new people. 

Maria is the person to contact to make an appointment with an undergraduate adviser. She's the one to see to if you want to officially declare a major or minor in psychology or to get an application for doing Psych 399-Independent Study or Psych 397-Advanced Supervised Research. At registration time, Maria manages departmental preregistration as well as wait lists for our courses. She can also answer some routine questions about our undergraduate program.


All Northwestern undergraduates are supposed to complete and submit
Graduation Petitions one year prior to their intended graduation date
(e.g., by the end of this Winter quarter if you expect to graduate in
March 2012, and during Spring 2011 if you expect to graduate in June
2012).  If it’s time to do your Graduation Petition, contact Maria
Candelario in the department office (Swift 102, 847-491-5190) to set up a
meeting with a department adviser.  Be sure to bring a copy of your CAESAR
Degree Progress report to the meeting.

Doing your Graduation Petition on time makes sure you are on appropriate
graduation lists and that you, the adviser, and the Registrar’s Office
agree on what requirements you still need to complete. It also provides an
opportunity to talk about your plans for the coming year and beyond.

You can read more about the petition process and access petition forms on
the Registrar’s website. A good place to start is .

By Scott Beymer,

Welcome to Winter Quarter 2010 from the UPA!  Last quarter enjoyed a successful Meet and Greet around the campfire on the lakefill with special guests Eli Finkel and Mesmin Destin.  We also had a fantastic guest speaker from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Dr. Helle Harnisch, who gave a presentation about research findings on why the Danes are consistently ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world.  Continuing our famous Lunch with a Prof program, we had Lance Rips and Robin Nusslock speak a little bit about their research with undergrads and give great advice on all things psychology-related.  UPA has also decided to partner with the Youth Organization Umbrella on our volunteering front, and we already have a great number of people interested. Please get in touch with us if you would like to volunteer!  Beginning in Fall Quarter, UPA began hosting practice talks for graduate students who presented their research findings to undergraduates in preparation for conferences or job talks. The response was very positive from both sides, so be on the lookout for more!  Earlier this quarter, we had a Graduate School Interview Panel where Professors Chiao, Jung-Beeman, and Zinbarg shared their wisdom and advice about how to best prepare for the graduate school interview process, how to choose graduate schools, and other advice for those pursuing graduate studies in psychology.

We have a lot of great events in the works this quarter.  The annual Career Panel will give undergraduates insight on the variety of careers they can pursue with their degree in psychology.  Location, date, and time will be announced as soon as they are determined, but we are looking at early March.  We will have two more Lunch with a Profs this quarter, so look out on our listserv for those advertisements.  We are starting to volunteer with Youth Organization Umbrella (contact:  We will also continue with the Grad Student Talks that we have been hosting throughout the year.  We’re also teaming up with CogSci Club to present a Lab Night where different labs send representatives to give some information about work going on in the different labs and to answer questions about how to get involved.  There are even more ideas we’re currently brewing up, so watch for those!
To join the listserv and receive our most up-to-date news, contact Aime Lynn at  And as always, if you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about UPA, don’t hesitate to contact any one of our Executive Board members listed below.  We’re looking forward to a great quarter with you!

President: Scott Beymer,
Vice President:  Aime Lynn Goudie,
Secretary:  Caroline Dzeba,
Treasurer:  Stephanie Tang,
Academic Chair:  Katie Belleville, 
Volunteering Chair: Kathryn Rulon,
Events Chair: Janice Li, 



Each spring a few juniors with outstanding records in psychology are invited into Psychology 398, the Senior Honors Program. Each participant in the honors program conducts a year-long research project under the guidance of a faculty member. The project culminates in the preparation of a senior thesis. In addition, honors students participate in a special honors seminar. Those students who fulfill all the requirements for the Honors Program are usually eligible to graduate with Honors in Psychology.

Students interested in participating in the Honors Program next year will need to submit formal applications this spring. At this point prospective Honor’s Program candidates should be thinking about choosing an adviser.  Updated information on this program, including details on how to apply, will be posted on our website on Honors in Psychology soon.  The deadline for applying is April 8. 


Congratulations to our Award Winners

Several psychology majors were awarded Undergraduate Research Grants in the recent months for their research in our department. Congratulations to:  
*Christina Panton (adviser: Richard Zinbarg)
*Maria Dangles (adviser: David Rapp)
*Daniel Walco (adviser: Karl Rosengren)
*Claire Waluch (adviser: Benjamin Gorvine)
*Abbie Wesley (adviser: Paul Reber)
*Zhen Cheng, (adviser: Galen Bodenhausen,)
*Sravya Tumuluru (adviser: Karl Rosengren)

The Undergraduate Research Grants Program, funded by the Office of the Provost, offers Academic Year Grants (up to $1000) and Summer Grants ($3000) to undergraduates pursuing independent research projects.   The remaining deadlines for 2010-11 are February 15 (for Academic Year Grants) and March 11 (for Summer Grants). 

More information is available at .


Funds for Summer Research 

It's still winter, but it's not too soon to start thinking about summer – and about the possibility of spending your summer doing research in our department. Each summer the Psychology Department offers two or more undergraduates a Benton J. Underwood Summer Research Fellowship.  Professor Underwood was chair of the psychology department and a distinguished researcher in the field of memory. He worked to establish the fund that makes these fellowships possible. Last year, the amount of the fellowship was $3000. Students who accept these fellowships spend most of the summer working on research at Northwestern with a psychology professor. The exact schedule is worked out with the professor who supervises the research. Both current juniors and current sophomores can apply for this award; priority is given to current juniors.  Work on an Underwood project often serves as the foundation for a senior thesis project. (Receipt of an Underwood fellowship does not guarantee acceptance to our honors program.)

If you are interested in doing research this coming summer, you should look into other funding sources too. All Underwood applicants should also apply for a Northwestern University Summer Research Grant from the Undergraduate Research Grants Committee (URGC). Weinberg College also has funds for summer research by students (see the webpage on Weinberg College undergraduate research funds). Psychology students might also be interested in summer research fellowships from the Cognitive Science Program.  Different funding sources have different selection criteria, and applying to more than one will enhance your chances of receiving an award. 

To apply for an Underwood Fellowship, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a faculty member to supervise your research and talk with him or her about what you will be doing and what your time commitment will be. You should also talk with the faculty member about the need for Institutional Review Board approval for your planned project.
  2. Prepare an application in which you include (a) a statement describing your plans for this research (this can be the same proposal you submit to the university's grants committee); (b) a copy of your transcript (an unofficial transcript is fine); and (c) information about your general interests in psychology, your relevant course work, your previous research experience, and anything else that you think is relevant.
  3. Have the faculty member who will supervise your research write a confidential letter of support for your application.
  4. Get your application and letter of support to Joan Linsenmeier by Friday, March 11. This is also the deadline for submitting summer grant applications to the University's Undergraduate Research Grants Committee and the Cognitive Science Program.

The Henrikson Undergraduate Conference Travel Award

Are you doing research with a psychology faculty member? Do you hope to present your research at an academic conference? The Lois ElizabethHenrikson Award provides funds for psychology students presenting their work at conferences, including those geared specifically for undergraduates and those sponsored by regional or national organizations. Preference is given to students who are first author on the presentation. 

Applications for the Henrikson Award are due March 11, 2011. Students hoping to attend conferences later in the spring or in the summer can submit applications by the spring quarter due date, April 12, 2010. Please submit your applications to Dr. Karl Rosengren via email. Put "Undergraduate Travel Award" in the subject line of the email. In the email, please include the following information: 

* Name 
* Class (e.g., sophomore, junior, senior) 
* Name of conference 
* Conference location 
* Dates of conference 
* Budget (conference fee; housing; transportation)       
* Title of presentation 
* Author/s on presentation (in order) 
* Abstract of conference presentation (250 words or less) 

In addition to providing this information, please ask your faculty sponsor to write a brief letter of recommendation describing your role in the research. This letter can be emailed to Dr. Rosengren as well. Please ask your faculty sponsor to put “Undergraduate Travel Award” in the subject line. 
Students applying for the Henrikson award should look into other funding sources too. The university provides grants to assist students who are presenting the results of their research at professional conferences through its Undergraduate Research Grantsprogram. Information on Weinberg College grants is available through the college website on funds for undergraduate research.

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