Suggested Guidelines for Sequencing Requirements

Check course description to identify prerequisites for the courses you wish to take. Some courses have prerequisite recommendations (suggest that understanding of topic builds upon recommendations); other courses have "hard wired" pre-requisite (DukeHub will not allow you to register unless you have completed the prerequisite).

Complete the introductory/survey courses as soon as possible. These courses provide broad surveys of specific areas of Psychology, and will serve as a foundation to later courses. Indeed, some upper-level courses require completion of one or more of these survey courses as pre-requisites. If you wait to take these courses until late in your academic career:

  • You may find the intermediate and upper-level courses you take more difficult because of missing foundational material covered in the core courses.
  • You may also find very little challenge (and hence, interest) in the completion of the core courses later on. Past students taking the core courses in the senior year have reported difficulty in maintaining motivation for these courses.

Complete the Statistics and Laboratory Methods requirements prior to upper level seminars. The bulk of the readings assigned in seminar courses are recently published primary journal articles. In order to effectively digest these readings, it is important to have a solid understanding of experimental and quantitative methodology. By completing courses in Statistics and Laboratory Methods prior to enrolling in seminar courses, you will be better equipped to:

  • Understand the data analysis presented in the papers.
  • Identify possible confounds in the study's conclusions based on problems with experimental design.
  • In addition, knowledge of these areas will be very important for students who plan to conduct their own research in an Independent Study class as a junior or senior. Thus, delaying taking these classes until senior year should be avoided whenever possible.