Carnegie Mellon University

Academic Advising

Psychology Declaration of Major Process

Once you have chosen to declare Psychology as your primary major, your AAC Advisor will give you a declaration form.  Here are the steps you will need to take to become officially declared:

  1. Visit the Core Faculty Web Page on the Psychology Website to read and learn about faculty members and their research. 
  2. Think about your own research interests and whether they match up with any of the faculty members.
  3. Email Emilie O’Leary to set up an appointment to discuss the major and potential advisors.
  4. Bring a list of the top 3 faculty members that you would like to have as a psychology advisor to your meeting with Emilie.  She will help you narrow down who is available and would be a good fit for your path of study.
  5. Look for an introductory email to be sent to you and your new faculty advisor.  It will have information on how to contact them and where they are located so you may set up an appointment to meet and have your declaration form signed.

What Your Faculty Advisor Can Provide 

When you declared Psychology as a major, you were assigned an academic advisor. Your advisor is a member of the Department of Psychology faculty and serves as a guide through your academic career at CMU. You should feel free to contact your advisor with questions and concerns at any time throughout the semester.  Your advisor should serve as someone who can direct you in using your time wisely, getting the most out of classes, defining your career goals, and working toward meeting those goals both academically and through extra-curricular activities.  You can discuss any major requirements with your faculty advisor and still keep in contact with your AAC Advisor concerning Dietrich General Education requirements.

How to Get the Most Out of Academic Advising

Take the Initiative! 

Show us your face! Faculty advisors are here to help you navigate your academic career, but they cannot help you if they do not see you.

Make it a point to meet with your faculty advisor regularly. (We suggest at least once per semester.) Your advisor can be a valuable source of information and support and can play an important role by providing you with a recommendation for graduate school or a job. 

It is usually easiest to schedule an appointment with your advisor via email. 

Be Prepared! 

Once you've scheduled a meeting with your advisor, be sure to bring a copy of your academic audit and planned schedule.

Think about your goals. What do you want out of your career? What are your goals for life? How does what you are doing in school fit into and support those goals? 

Take the long view. Think about how you can strategically plan to realize those goals. You may be able to plan your extra-curricular time to help meet your goals. For example, you could do an internship, participate in research, or volunteer at a local organization. 

Come to meetings with your faculty advisor with a list of your questions and concerns. 

Some Common Questions 

You were sent an email introducing you to your faculty advisor soon after you declared your major/minor in the psychology department. If you do not have a record of your advisor, you may check SIO or email Emilie O’Leary to find out the name of your faculty advisor. 

Email is usually the best means of scheduling an appointment. Visit the Core Faculty Web Page to find email addresses of Department of Psychology Faculty. Faculty members have very busy schedules. Please allow sufficient lead-time before important deadlines, unless there is an emergency situation.
No. You should feel free to contact your faculty advisor at any time.  Faculty members have busy schedules, so it is best to contact your advisor well in advance of important deadlines.
See the "How to Get the Most Out of Academic Advising" section (above) for information on how to best prepare for a meeting with your advisor.