First Year Students FAQ

Incoming First Year Students

First year students (0-29 units completed) see advisors in the Advising and Transfer Center, Schulz 1125A (1st floor of the library),, appointments via LoboConnect. Some first year students see Designated Special Program and Population advisors. Check your Student Center for your advisor.

Most incoming first year students spend their first two years fulfilling their lower-division (courses with a number lower than 300) GE requirements. Two lower-division GE courses are required for the Psychology major, and students are encouraged to take them as early as possible. The required lower-division GE courses are:

  • Psychology 250, Introduction to Psychology (GE Area D)
    (Students who are given GE credit for AP or IB Psychology test scores are exempt from taking Psychology 250, Introduction to Psychology.)
  • Math 165, Statistics (GE Area B)
    (Econ 217, Statistics for Business and Economics, or Bus 211, Business Statistics, also meet the Department Statistics requirement.)

We encourage incoming freshmen to take a first year experience class. First year experience courses provide a skills-based transition between high school and college, and introduce students to the Sonoma State experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my Psychology major academic advisor?

First year students see advisors in the Advising and Transfer Center. You can make an appointment via LoboConnect. Some students in designated special programs and populations have additional advising options. Sophomore students are assigned to Cem Burnham, Psychology's GE & LD Advisor. Juniors and seniors are assigned to a Faculty Major advisor and to the GE & LD Advisor. Your assigned advisor appears in your MySSU Student Center. 

How do I know which psychology courses I should take?

  • Review the Psychology Department Major Requirements document (pdf)
  • Review the Four-Year Plan to get your B.A. in Psychology
    • Take 15 units each semester to be able to graduate in a timely manner.
    • Take Psy 250 and lower division GE courses during your first semester.
    • Take Psy 270 and Psy 280 during your Sophomore year or later. Do not wait until the last minute to take these.
  • Most incoming first year students spend their first two years fulfilling their lower-division (100 and 200 level) GE requirements.

When can I start receiving Upper Division credits for GE?

  • When you are Junior standing (at least 60+ units completed) and you have taken the lower-division GE requirement for that area, you may start receiving Upper Division credits.

Do GE classes double or triple count towards fulfilling major and GE requirements?

  • Yes, if a particular GE class is offered by the Psychology department, then that class counts towards both the GE requirement and Psychology major requirement.

What is the GWAR and do I have to take it?

  • Students must pass the California State University Graduate Written Assessment Requirement (GWAR) in order to graduate. All students must complete the GWAR requirement by successfully completing a Writing Intensive Course (WIC) or Writing Enriched Course (WEC), during or after their Junior year. For more information, go to the Learning and Academic Resource Center website
  • As of Fall 2023, the CSU has reinstated the GWAR. It is now a degree requirement for any students who are in catalog year Fall 2023 and later.

Need help?

Do you need help in finding out what classes to take and how to search for classes that will count for a requirement? Take a look at the advising tutorial videos.