Students FAQ

Please see this slideshow that the undergraduate advisor presented to undergraduate students for the 2013-2014 orientation.
Please see this document containing important information about the undergraduate degree.
The B.A. advisor has compiled FAQ about B.A. studies in psychology along with her useful answers for you. Looking over the FAQ can save you from indecision, misunderstandings and worry. We highly recommend you read it!
Which courses are required for the first year?
It is recommended to take around 20 credits every year in all majors (of course, most people take a bit less or a bit more).
During the first year you must enroll in the following courses: Introduction to Statistics and Methodology, Basic Principles in Biology, Introduction to Science, Participation in Experiments (there are no set times, one just needs to participate in 10 hours of experiments, which are 40 points in the different psychology laboratories) and a course on how to use the library.
For the procedure for signing up for the library course, see webpage in Hebrew.
In addition, during the first year it is recommended to take 2-4 introductory courses from the list that appears in the Course Catalogue. Be aware that some of the courses have pre-requisites and so you should make sure which courses you are able to take. For example, for the course "Psychobiological Processes" one needs to have taken "Basic Principles in Biology," but because everyone takes it during the first semester, it is not a problem. The introductory courses are chosen according to what corresponds with the schedule of one's second major. Electives are not taken during the first year.
What subject is worth majoring in with psychology?
 There is no recommended subject that is worthwhile to study with psychology. If you are already considering continuing in a research direction, a degree in one of the natural science departments can help broaden your knowledge in this direction. If you do not know, that is totally normal. The best recommendation is to study what interests you!
Take into account that there could be clashes between required courses in psychology and required courses in other majors not in the Faculty of Social Sciences and a suitable solution cannot always be found.
Can one take elective courses during the first year?
 No (Are you positive? Positive.) One may not take electives during the first year.
I have overlapping courses between two majors. What should I do?
There is no overlap between majors when both are in the Faculty of Social Sciences. There is compatibility within the Faculty of Social Sciences.
In the case of majors in two different faculties – there are a few options. One option is to request to postpone the course until the following year. Another option that students have is to try to go to each course every other time it meets or to go to the harder of the two and to make up the material from the second course. It is important to make up the material throughout the semester and not to put it off until the last minute!
Will courses I completed in psychology in another university be recognized?
 One may file a request for recognition of courses taken at other universities/colleges. The request should be submitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences in addition to an official transcript and syllabus of the course. Only courses that are parallel to the courses studied here in the department will be recognized with a grade of 70 or above.
What is a passing grade?
 According to the decision of the faculty, a passing grade is 55.
Is it possible to take courses from other departments and have them count towards my degree?
 The Department of Psychology does not allow students to take elective courses in other departments (even if the courses are really really connected to psychology).
What are "Cornerstone" courses?
"Cornerstone” courses are unique courses that are given by the Hebrew University for the purposes of enrichment. The program allows students to take a few courses in interesting topics that are not directly connected to their field of study. Students should check with the faculty secretary about the policy. In most psychology dual-major tracks the requirement is 4 "Cornerstone" cerdit points, which will be included in the psychology credits. Usually the second major will have similar requierments. For more information press here.
Do I get two exam periods for every course?
 No. This is a common misconception. Every student has the right to be tested only once in every course. The university sets two exam periods in order to allow each student at least one period that suits him. If two exams conflict, the student must decide which one to take during the first exam period and which one to take during the second exam period. Take note that for the course that will be postponed until the second exam period, there will be additional exam period. In order to make it easier to build a reasonable exam schedule, each course has two exams- one in the first exam period and one in the second exam period. A student who is able to and does choose to take both exams may do so BUT only the last grade will count (even if it is lower). One must register ahead of time on-line for the second exam period.
Who gets a third exam period?
 The special exam period (the third exam period) is only given in the case of reserves (miluim) or for extreme circumstances. An exam in the special exam period requires permission ahead of time from the Committee of Instruction of the Faculty of Social Sciences and that is only after the student writes to the faculty (not to the department or the instructor).
I have a learning disability. What rights do I have? Whom do I contact?
 Recognition of a learning disability is done by the Faculty of Social Sciences according to an up-to-date test. According to the faculty's decision, students who are recognized as having a learning disability will be accommodated appropriately according to the nature of the disability. In addition, the university has a center for the advancement of students with learning disabilities that provides help improving learning skills, lends out equipment and holds support groups. Tel. no: 02-5880067
Can I take an SPSS course in another department?
 No. The course "Computers in Social Research (Excel and SPSS)” underwent changes in the past few years and was tailored specifically to the material studied in the second year in the course "Methods in Psychological Research (B.A.)” Courses in other departments are not parallel.
Can one rely on material from previous years?
 No! Take note that instructors change, textbook editions change, and sometimes the same instructor using the same edition decides to teach the material differently. If you couldn't make it to class, be sure to get what you missed from someone in that class from your year.
What can one do with a B.A. in psychology?
 Mostly continue onto an M.A., treatment- or research-based, or other related fields. However, there are treatment centers, such as hostels or dormitories, that are looking for counselors who in studying for their B.A. In addition, there are placement institutes that are looking for people with a B.A. in the social sciences.
For your information, various job offers can be found on the department bulletin board and also on the Shatil website.
What does it mean to switch over to a single-major track?
 Switching over to a single-major track does not mean studying only psychology! It means taking 64-68 credits in psychology (instead of 60) and completing the rest of the credits (to a total of 120) in other departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences. In order to switch over to the single-major track, you must pass all the first year requirements in both majors for which you are registered (including the one you are planning on leaving). For more details regarding the transition to a single major, one may contact the Office of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
How can one get a recommendation from an instructor in the department?
 In order to get a substantive recommendation from an instructor in the department, the instructor needs to know you and your abilities personally. This kind of acquaintance is generally achieved through working in a laboratory/ field work in research, a seminar paper, or a small elective course where you stand out.
How can one get a recommendation from "the field”? Where can one work/volunteer?
 A recommendation from treatment centers is given after you worked or volunteered somewhere for a long time. This recommendation is important for those who wish to apply in the future for advanced degrees in treatment. One may find job/volunteer offers on the department bulletin board and also on the Shatil website.
Similarly, one can register for the course "Field Work- Experience in Therapeutic Milieu” in the second or third year (see below). Take note that there is no advantage in specifically receiving a recommendation from this course and not from any other work/volunteering that you do. Make sure that the workplace is serious and especially that you will be given guidance. There are universities that require that the recommendation be from a psychologist or a clinical social worker. Stay informed through the various university websites.
What is field work in a therapeutic milieu?
This course allows students to gain experience in a therapeutic milieu. Students will integrate as therapeutic mentors in therapeutic and rehabilitative frameworks in the field of mental health and will become more familiar with the character of the work and the therapeutic milieu. Students will mentor a boy/girl on an individual basis twice a week for about two hours every time. In addition, students will receive personal and group guidance in their places of training and they will be invited to participate in staff meetings and clinical discussions there. The course requires great emotional investment as well as a time investment. It is meant to allow interested students to consider themselves in the therapeutic field. This course is open to second and third year students. Acceptance to the course is conditional upon a personal interview in the department and an interview at the place of training. Departmental interviews will be conducted throughout June-July.
What is field work in research?
 This course is intended to provide interested students an opportunity to experience the research aspect of a psychologist's work. Students will work in one of the laboratories or in the framework of one of the studies that is taking place in the departments for at least 4 hours every week. They will integrate into the current work being done in the lab (for example, running experiments, participation in planning research, data analysis), and will receive guidance from instructors involved. This course is open to second and third year students. At the beginning of the year, the different topics that are available for field work that year are posted on the bulletin board as well as the time for the first meeting with the instructor. Stay informed through the Course Catalogue and on the bulletin board.
Is it possible to do both field work in research and field work in a therapeutic milieu?
 One cannot do both field work in research and field work in a therapeutic milieu and receive credits for both of them. If nonetheless someone wants to gain both experiences (without receiving credit for one of them), that person may request special permission to do so from the B.A. advisor. In any case, the student may not take both courses during the same year.
How does one find an advisor for the seminar paper?
 In order to find an advisor for the seminar paper and for all other issues regarding the seminar paper, contact the advisor for seminar papers. Seminar paper advisor details are printed in the Course Catalogue and on the bulletin boards.
What is the MITAM? When should I take it?
 The MITAM test (Entrance Test for Advanced Degrees in Psychology) is a requirement today for acceptance to a Masters in all of the specializations. The test includes one section with questions pertaining to knowledge and understanding in research methods in psychology and an additional section that deals with comprehension of scientific texts in psychology. The MITAM test is held once a year around October. Take note that if you want to continue on to an M.A. right after your B.A., you will need to take the test between your second and third year. There are advantages and disadvantages. There are students who prefer the possibility of continuing onto advanced studies right away and the possibility of taking the test again at the end of their third year (if they did not obtain a high enough score the first time around). However, other students feel they need a break between their second and third year and studying for the MITAM creates quite busy consecutive studies. Additional details about the test can be found on the The National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE) website or by phone 02-6759555 at NITE.
Overseas students may take both the General GRE and the Psychology GRE tests (both are given by ETS) instead of the MITAM. Hebrew speakers can take either the General GRE and the Psychology GRE tests or the MITAM. The Psychology GRE is given in October, November and April and scores are valid for two years. The General GRE is given throughout the year. For additional details and registration for both GRE tests, see the ETS website.
If you have read the FAQs and are still interested in speaking with the B.A. advisor please feel free to contact us.