Remote Advising for Psychological and Brain Sciences

Picture of PBS Advisors Through Zoom


We want you to know we are here to support your needs during this challenging and unprecedented time. We are offering remote advising services including DROP-IN ADVISING and APPOINTMENTS; in-person advising will not be available until further notice.  


Click here to find Tips for Practicing Self-Care and Remote Options to Support Your Mental Health Needs


This site contains IMPORTANT UPDATES, instructions for REMOTE ADVISING, online RA, TA, and Independent Study CONTRACTS,  and ADVISING FAQs.


Where can I learn about the UMass response to Coronavirus and the UMass Reopening plan?  

  • Visit the webpage dedicated to the UMass Coronavirus response to access up-to-date announcements and information about travel, University Health Services, and student resources (facilities, Housing, Dining, CCPH, and Assistive Technology. ​

Spring 2021 Pass/Fail

  • Undergraduate students may select Elective Pass/Fail grading in up to three courses in Spring 2021, even if a course was initially restricted to letter grading only.
  • All Elective Pass/Fail courses taken in Spring 2021 can be used to satisfy major, school/college or university requirements, including General Education. Majors and departments, however, can choose to use the underlying letter grades (i.e., the initially reported letter grade) in prerequisite courses that are taken pass/fail to enforce the minimum grade requirement specified for registering, or staying registered, in a later course or for entering a particular major. In those cases, the underlying grades will not affect the GPA. The full text of the policy is available on the Registrar’s website.
  • You can select the pass/fail option for your courses in SPIRE starting Monday, Feb. 1 by using the “Elect Pass/Fail” option on the Other Academic drop-down list to the left of your Class Schedule on the Student Center.  If you wish to change your selections, you can also “Revoke Pass/Fail” using the same drop-down from the Student Center.  Students will have until Tuesday, May 4 to select the classes for which they would like Elective Pass/Fail grading.
  • If you have questions regarding course selection for this option, please contact your academic advisor or your school/college advising center.

Changes to Integrative Experience in Psychology

  • Psych 494PI, a 1-credit course, in combination with a psych 391* seminar will now satisfy the IE requirement in Psychology
  • Psych 494PI and the seminar do not need to be taken concurrently
  • Psych 494RI, the 3-credit course will no longer be offered
  • Students can still choose to take NatSci494RI or Educ494RI instead of the Psychology IE course

Virtual Student Resources

  • Virtual Events Calendar of Activities, Recreation Center Classes, Workshops, and More
  • Click here to find out about ways to engage at UMass despite being remote!   
  • Connect with UMass PBS on Social Media for updates on department events and opportunities!

    facebook    twitter     instagram     linkedin group




How can I reach an advisor? 
We are offering email communication, remote advising appointments and drop-in advising during the spring 2021.  


  • Have a quick question?  Why wait, check out our FAQ's below for easy and immediate answers.  
  • Still have a quick question? Reach us through email at
    Advisors will be responding to email, but please be patient as our inbox fills quickly.  

    Remote Advising Appointments 

  • Want to connect with an advisor for a brief discussion?  You can make a remote appointment through Navigate. 
    Advisors will be available M-F to support you, answer your questions, and get you the help you need! 
    Appointments will be offered by phone or Zoom.
    Phone Meetings:  When you schedule an appointment, your advisor will post instructions for how to connect.  
    ZOOM Meetings:  To prepare for your meeting, please make sure to go to this site and download zoom:
    You will not be able to join without downloading Zoom from UMass. 
  • Appointments are now available through Navigate; See below for instructions on how to use Navigate.


  • If you want to talk to an advisor about adding a minor or secondary major but are undecided, please use Drop-in advising
    • Link and Hour posted below
  • When you are ready to Declare the Major, please follow instructions below to make an appointment through Navigate  
  • When you are ready to Declare the Minor, please follow the directions on the Declaring the Minor page.

Drop-In Advising:  Drop-in Advising will resume on Feb 1st.

  • You can join us for same day advising; just click the link below to join drop-in advising.
    Please keep in mind add/drop and pre-registration periods can get very busy and we will admit you as quickly as possible. 
    Monday:  1:00-4:00
    Tuesday:  9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00
    Wednesday: 1:00-4:00
    Thursday: 9:30-12:30
    Friday: 10:00-1:00

How can I declare the major remotely? 

  • Declaration appointments will begin on Feb 1st. 
  • Make an appointment through Navigate  
  • Hours TBA

How do I sign into the Neuroscience-track remotely?  

  • Make an appointment through Navigate  
  • Please review the neuroscience track requirements before contacting a neuroscience advisor.  ​
  • You must have a 3.0 GPA at UMass prior to declaring the neuroscience track. 

How do I declare the minor remotely?

  • You can download the minor form and submit it via email when you are enrolled in your final minor course. 
  • Review the requirements, download the form, and review the instructions before contacting advisor. 


For Existing Psychology Majors

  • Go to Navigate: 
  • Login using your NetID & Password 
  • Select "Advising"
  • Select "See a Psych & Brain Sciences Advisor" 
  • Select one option: 1. "Psych – General Advising"  2. "Psych – Neuroscience Track Advising"  3. "Psych – Declare Neuroscience Track" 
  • Select the location: "Psych & Brain Sciences"  (select this option even though the meeting will be remote)
  • Select your date and time 
  • REMINDERS: You must schedule at least 24 hours in advance and you can schedule up to 28 days into the future.
  • Download instructions for majors here.

For Non-Majors Seeking to Declare Psychology

  • Go to Navigate: 
  • Login using your NetID & Password 
  • Select "Advising"
  • Select "Explore how to Declare or Change my Major"
    • Select one option:  1.  "Psych – Declare General Psychology Major",  2. "Psych – Declare Neuroscience Track"
  • Select the location: "Psych & Brain Sciences"  (select this option even though the meeting will be remote)
  • Select your date and time 
  • REMINDERS: You must schedule at least 24 hours in advance and you can schedule up to 28 days into the future.
  • Download instructions for non-majors here.



Online Contracts for RA, TA, or Independent Study Remotely

CONTRACTS can not be processed after add/drop; you will now need to complete a late add petition.
You can click to download the form here

Once you secure a position with a faculty member, you can submit your contract online through these links.  

      *For Independent Study Contracts, please be sure to upload your "Plan of Study."  Your contract can not be processed without one.  



If you have a quick question, scroll through the information below, chances are we have provided the information you need. 
If you can't find the answer, send an email to the advising inbox (posted below). We will be answering emails daily.  


Who is my advisor? 

Because the psychology major is so big, we don’t assign specific advisors to students.You can receive help from ANY of our faculty/staff/ advisors.
You can make an appointment with us in Navigate


Which classes should I take next semester?  

We recommend reviewing your Academic Requirements Report (ARR in your student center drop down menu in SPIRE) to identify which requirements you have remaining before you begin selecting classes.  The ARR is personalized for you, so it will show you which course you have already taken, which courses you are currently enrolled in and which requirements you have yet to fulfill. 

We also encourage you to place courses in your shopping cart before your preregistration date.  Courses are now available through SPIRE so you can begin reviewing your options now. Once your preregistration day and time open (these can be found in the lower right side of your student center) you can enroll in your desired courses right from your shopping cart. 

We also provide a list of general education requirements recommended by our peer advisors. You can find this list here.


Where can I find the Psychology Requirements, Honors, Neuroscience, and Specialized Programs

What are the different degrees/tracks (BA/BS/BS-Neuro) I can pursue in psychology?  What are the requirements for Dual Degree?  

What about a minor in psychology?  

Can I get a checklist for my major requirements?

How can I learn about Departmental HONORS?

How can I learn about specialized programs in psychology?


Who do I contact about Honors, Neuroscience Track, Developmental Disabilities and Human Services or Clinical?

Departmental Honors Advisors:               
Please see the departmental honors web pages for information and hours of availability before seeking honors advising.                 

  • Dr. Erik Cheries, email
  • Joonkoo Park, email
  • Mariana Pereira, email
  • Dr. Rebecca Spencer, email
  • Dr. Jeff Starns, email
  • Dr. Lori Astheimer, email

Neuroscience Track Advisors
Please review the neuroscience track requirements before contacting an advisor.
Dr. Lori Astheimer:       email
Dr. Matt Davidson:       email

Developmental Disabilities and Human Services
Please review the DDHS webpage before contacting an advisor.
Dr. Ashley Woodman    email

Clinical Psychology Advisor
Dr. Carolyn Davies       email 



Where can I find a list of psychology courses?  What about 5-College courses?  What about online courses?

I want to do a teaching assistantship/research assistantship/independent study.  How do I learn about these?

Can I work off campus and earn credit through an internship?

  • We encourage students to earn credit through internships.  Review our webpage for details and a list of potential sites.  ​   
  • Due to the added risks associated with field placement during the global pandemic, students will be required to complete an acknowledgement of risk.  
    Acknowledgement of Risk:  Students who are interested in pursuing field experience must be aware of the risks associated with COVID-19 in the workplace and acknowledge their understanding of these risks and agree to being personally responsible for minimizing risks by adhering to federal, state and local guidelines and regulations.  In addition, students should be aware of all guidelines mandated by their employer.  Massachusetts employers must adhere to the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces set forth by Governor Baker at: 
    To that end, we are requiring students to sign a Risk Acknowledgement Form that will be housed in the Field Experience Form on Handshake.  If your college or a specific department within your college does not use Handshake, we ask that you ask students who are going on field experience to sign the form (see attached).
    The form is very simple, asking that students planning to pursue field experience affirm, acknowledge and agree to the following:
    1)    I understand the health risks associated with COVID-19 pandemic and knowingly and voluntarily elect to participate in the field experience despite the risks, including but not limited to the risks associated with contracting COVID-19;
    2)    I affirm the need to do my part to assist in COVID-19 mitigation efforts by adhering to federal, state and local guidelines and regulations; and
    3)    I acknowledge the unpredictability of the virus and the possibility of transitioning to remote experience if the circumstances dictate and allow for such remote work.
  • Have questions about the process?  Contact one of our PBS internship liasons.  
    Dr. Erik Cheries           email
    Dr. Carolyn Davies      email

Are there special programs I can receive credit for?

  • Apply to be a Peer Advisor: Are you interested in helping other students navigate the requirements and opportunities of the Psychology major?  Peer advisors earn one credit spending 3 hours/week advising our majors on course selection, graduation requirements, SPIRE issues, and opportunities in the department.  If you are interested in this great opportunity, you can apply in October.  click here to apply
  • Apply to join our SPACE Peer mentoring Program: Mentors and Mentees earn 1-credit and spend 3 hours/week on mentoring activities including library scavenger hunts, campus selfie challenges, exploring campus research opportunities, student clubs and more!  Learn more at  OR apply in October click here to apply.   

I am going to study abroad and need courses approved and my ICAF signed.

Are there clubs/organizations in psychology I can join?

Do you hold workshops on student success, careers and graduate school, getting internships, study abroad, how to succeed in the major;  Does CNS hold workshops?

  • We typically run workshops every semester on a variety of topics, but this semester we have altered the format to be accessible remotely.  We will be posting and sharing slides and information through this link instead of offering in-person workshops.  

Does the Department offer scholarships?  Does the College of Natural Sciences?  UMASS?  How do I apply?



I am almost done with my major requirements, what courses should I take? 

  • Remember the major requirements are the minimum requirements.  You can always take additional courses in your area of interest, engage in research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and internships in the department.  
  • You can also consider a double major, minor, or certificate programs (Ex: Medical Humanities, Media Literacy, Social Work and Welfare; Criminal Justice; Civic Engagement and Public Service, and more!).   
  • You can find a list of the UMass programs online



What about jobs, graduate school, and workshops to help me get jobs and go to graduate school?

Where can I look for professional organizations in psychology, post-degree career and school opportunities, and advice from PBS alumni?


The Registrar’s Office:   

  • General registration and registration period
  • Add-drop
  • Course and university withdrawal
  • Transcripts: official and unofficial
  • Transfer courses and prior approval
  • General education requirements
  • Graduation requirements and diplomas
  • Readmission to the University
  • Course schedules
  • Dual degrees


College of Natural Sciences Advising (CNS):

  • College level requirements: BA foreign language requirement and BS 60 credits withing the college
  • Academic probation, suspension and withdrawal
  • Forms: credit overload petition, late withdrawal petition, late P/F petition, course repeat petition academic plans, academic discipline, incompletes
  • Career advising and pre-med advising






Center for Counselling and Psychological Health

Center for Women and Community

CNS Career Center

UMass Career Services

International Programs Office


Still have a quick question? Reach us easily through email at