The undergraduate Certificate in Psychology is ideal for college graduates who did not major in psychology but who want graduate school preparation in the field. The structured curriculum, which is designed with the Department of Psychology, includes the same introductory, intermediate, and advanced psychology courses taken by Columbia’s undergraduate psychology majors and provides essential research experience necessary for research-oriented Ph.D. programs in psychology. Psychology courses and research experience also serve as valuable preparation for Psy.D. programs and graduate degree programs in education, management, public health, and social work.

The Certificate in Psychology can be completed in two terms of full-time study, beginning in the fall and spring. However, most students enroll in the program to prepare for graduate school, which means completing at least two full terms of research prior to applying to graduate school. Most students complete the program in 16-18 months. After applying to graduate programs, many students continue to take seminars and engage in research during the spring and summer. It is advised that students spread out their coursework over at least three to four semesters beginning in the fall. Students who work full- or part-time may spread out their coursework over a longer period. In general, the psychology adviser will help students plan a curriculum that enables them to apply to graduate school in the fall following entry into the program (or the subsequent fall for students who opt to spread their coursework out over a longer period of time).

Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. Every course creditable toward the certification must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade of P or below a B- will not count toward the completion of the certificate. 


Students in the Psychology Program work with advisers to create a curriculum of at least 28 credits. Students must meet the following requirements:

  • One introductory psychology course:
    PSYC W1001. The Science of Psychology.
  • One laboratory course in experimental psychology (1400-level courses)
  • One introductory course in statistics:
    PSYC W1610, Introduction to Statistics for Behavioral Scientists
    STAT W1001. Introduction to Statistical Reasoning.
    STAT W1111. Introduction to Statistics (without Calculus).
    STAT W1211. Introduction to Statistics (with Calculus).
  • One course in each of three areas:
    Group 1 - Perception and cognition: 2200s, 3200s, or 4200s (also 1420, 1480, 1490)
    Group 2 - Psychobiology and neuroscience: 1010, 2400s, 3400s, or 4400s (also 1440)
    Group 3 - Social, personality, and abnormal psychology: 2600s, 3600s, or 4600s (also 1450)
  • One advanced seminar of your choice (3000- or 4000-level courses)
  • Two semesters of supervised research participation (May be accomplished with one semester of volunteer work in a lab plus one semester of PSYC 3950 Supervised Individual Research. Note that PSYC 3950 does not count toward the seminar requirement.)