Check course descriptions to identify prerequisites. Some courses have prerequisite recommendations suggesting that the understanding of topics builds upon recommended courses; other courses have "hard wired" prerequisites, meaning DukeHub will not allow a student to register for the course without having completed the prerequisite.
Complete the introductory/survey courses as soon as possible. These courses (PSY 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106/7) provide broad surveys of specific areas of Psychology, and will serve as a foundation for later courses. Some upper-level courses require completion of one or more of these survey courses as prerequisites. Waiting to take these survey courses until late in an academic career may:
- Make the intermediate and upper-level courses more difficult because of missing foundational material covered in the core courses.
- Provide very little challenge (and hence, interest) in the completion of the core courses later. Students who have taken the core courses in their senior year have reported difficulty in maintaining motivation for completing 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 sources. 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, students are better equipped to:
- Understand the data analysis presented in research papers.
- Identify possible confounds in a research study's conclusions based on problems with the experimental design.
- Conduct research in an Independent Study class as a junior or senior.