Psychology, as a science of the mind, connects naturally to other fields in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. Completion of a secondary field in Psychology can serve as a complement to other concentrations or allow students to explore an independent interest in psychology. The secondary field provides a basic foundation in psychology and its research methods while also permitting a general overview of the field, or a more focused exploration of one subfield or several subfields of psychology, including experimental psychopathology, social psychology, cognition/brain/behavior, and developmental psychology. 

REQUIREMENTS: 6 courses (24 credits) 

All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless that option is not available. 

  1. Introductory Course: Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychological Science (formerly Science of Living Systems 20), or an approved substitute: 
    1. PSYC S-1, offered in the Harvard Summer School. 
    2. Note: It may be possible to substitute a Psychology AP score of 5 or IB score of 7, in which case an extra advanced course will be required.  Please contact the Psychology Undergraduate Office at to learn more 
  2. Statistics: Psychology 1900 or Stat 100, 102 or 104, passed with a grade of C- or higher. Petitions to substitute other quantitative methods courses taken as part of a student's concentration will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are approved only if there is substantial overlap in content with Psychology 1900. These petitions should be submitted as early as possible, ideally before enrolling in the alternate course. 
    1. Note: Harvard Summer School courses or study abroad courses cannot fulfill this requirement. 
  3. Foundational Course: At least one foundational course from: Psychology 14, 15, 16, 18; Science of Living Systems 15; or Neuroscience 80 (formerly Molecular and Cellular Biology 80) or Molecular and Cellular Biology 81. 
    1. Note: Harvard Summer School courses or study abroad courses cannot fulfill this requirement. 
  4. Advanced Courses: Three Advanced Courses in psychology of the student's choosing, which reflect the student's area(s) of interest, including: 
    1. Most courses listed under Psychology as the Department in course search in, with the following conditions: 
      1. Any of the following courses that are not taken to meet the foundational course requirement may count as advanced courses: PSY 14, 15, 16, 18, SLS 15, Neuroscience 80 (formerly MCB 80), and MCB 81 (Neuroscience 80/MCB 80 and MCB 81 may not both be taken). 
      2. Only one Lab Course (from a list on the concentration website) or PSY 910r may count toward this requirement. 
      3. Psychology courses that will not meet this requirement are marked in the course description found in as not counting toward concentration course credit. 
      4. Psychology counts only a very small number of courses that are from other departments, specifically only counting those that are cross-listed as being in the Psychology Department in course search in and listed on the Psychology undergraduate website under Departmental Advanced Courses. These courses are often taught by Harvard Psychology Faculty but are from other departments (e.g., specified Freshman Seminars, General Education courses). 
    2. Regarding courses from other departments, students completing the secondary field MAY NOT count any of the "Expedited Non-departmental Courses” that are only approved to count as Advanced Courses for concentrators (see list for courses that DO NOT COUNT). Please note that petitions for Advanced Course credit will not be accepted for the secondary field. Beginning in 2011-12, the secondary field in psychology will only count a Non-departmental Course if it is cross-listed as being in the Psychology Department using course search in (see 4.A.d. for details). 
    3. Harvard Summer School Psychology courses may only count toward this requirement if taught by regular Harvard Psychology Department faculty and listed on the concentration website as an approved departmental course. No other summer school courses may count. 
    4. Only one Freshman Seminar, which must be taught by a regular Harvard Psychology Department faculty member and listed as an approved departmental advanced course, may count toward this requirement. Freshman seminars not on the approved list may not count for the secondary field. 
    5. Courses taken during study abroad may not count for the secondary field unless they are offered through the Harvard Summer School and are on the list of approved departmental advanced courses


Students are encouraged to take Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychological Science (formerly Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science) as early as possible. Ideally, Psychology 1900 or Statistics 100, 102, 104 should be taken before Advanced Courses as well, because the courses provide grounding in the analytic tools central to psychology as a science. Foundational Courses should be taken after taking Introduction to Psychological Science but prior to any other Advanced Courses, because these courses provide a solid foundation required in upper level courses and are often prerequisites for these courses. 

All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless that option is not available, and Psychology 1900 or Statistics 100, 102, or 104 must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. 

Enrollment in psychology Advanced Courses is often limited and students pursuing a secondary field in Psychology will ordinarily not be given preferential access to limited enrollment courses. 


Students should notify the department as early as possible of their intent to pursue a secondary field so that they will be informed of department policies and deadlines. The College deadline for declaring a secondary field in my.harvard is in the student's final term. 

Students should review the Frequently Asked Questions as early as possible to be aware of specific guidelines that apply to the secondary field requirements. General information requests and questions can be sent to the Psychology Undergraduate Office at Students requiring additional advice about the program and course selection may meet with someone in the Psychology Undergraduate Office, William James Hall 218, during walk-in hours posted online