College of Letters & Sciences
Laurentide Hall


Contact Information

Elizabeth Olson
Department Chair & Associate Professor 
Phone:  262-472-5400
Location: Laurentide Hall 1221
Meg Waraczynski
Master Advisor & Professor
Phone: 262-472-5415
Location: Upham Hall 368

Advising Information

Advising Information FAQ

It is the responsibility of all advisees to:

  • Take the initiative in seeking advising and, with the aid of their advisors, develop a degree plan.

  • Understand and fulfill all degree requirements.

  • Understand academic policies and become familiar with important deadlines.

  • Learn to read and use the Academic Advising Report (AAR).

  • Meet regularly with an advisor to confer on educational matters, including long range academic and career planning, use of a portfolio, personal interests and abilities, course selection and choice of major(s), work load, withdrawing from a class, and problems related to academic achievement.

  • Prepare thoroughly for those appointments.

  • Use appropriate student services: i.e., career planning, counseling, tutoring, services for students with disabilities, and other resources available at the university.

To find your advisor's name go to the Student Center page of your WINS account.  Your advisor's name appears in a box on the right hand side of that page.  You may also visit or call the Psychology Department office in Laurentide 1223 (phone 472-1026) and request your advisor's name.  Use the campus directory on the UW-Whitewater homepage to find your advisior's office, phone number, and email address.

Your academic advisor can help you with questions about requirements for your major and degree well as questions about academic policies. Your advisor can help you select courses that meet your requirements and that are appropriate to your interests and preparation. Advisors can also answer questions about finding campus resources and joining student organizations. You can ask your advisor for guidance with academic difficulties and with problems you may have with other faculty, staff, or students. You may also ask your advisor for help with finding career advice and with finding assistance for personal problems. Academic advisors are not trained as career counselors or psychological counselors but UW-Whitewater employs trained professionals in these areas; your academic advisor can help you contact them.

Certainly. Psychology majors are encouraged to work with advisors who are most knowledgeable about their interests and goals and with whom they feel comfortable. To request a change of advisor contact the Psychology Department office. However, you may first want to check with the faculty member whom you want to be your new advisor to see if that person is accepting new advisees.

These changes start with a visit to the department office of your current major (or to your current advisor) to fill out a major/minor change form.  Most department offices keep copies of this form but it is also available online at  Declaring a new or different major then requires a visit to the department office of the new major with your partially completed major/minor change form in hand.  Changes in minors can be completed at the department office of your major.

Please note that declaring either the Scientist-Practitioner or Psychological Sciences Graduate School Preparation emphases within psychology involves more than completing a major/minor change form.  Consult the Psychology section of the undergraduate catalog, the Psychology Department office, or a psychology faculty member for more information on declaring these emphases.

If you have a registration hold that means there is some administrative task you must complete before you may register for courses for the coming semester.  To find out whether you have registration holds check the Holds box in the right hand column of your Student Center page in your WINS account.  Clicking on a particular hold will give you more information about whom to contact about that hold, what type of hold it is, and how to get the hold removed.  A common registration hold is an advising hold placed by the department of your major.  If you have an advising hold you must arrange a meeting with your academic advisor.  Once the meeting is satisfactorily completed, your advisor will request that the advising hold be removed.  You may also have a registration hold for a variety of other reasons, including the need to pay a balance on your financial account, addressing lost equipment or textbooks, completing financial aid forms, etc....  Academic advisors can help you understand these other holds, but can remove only advising holds from their home departments.  Be sure to check for and take care of holds well before you are scheduled to register for the next semester.

Go to your Student Center home page in your WINS account and look for a box on the right hand column labeled "Enrollment Dates".  Clicking on the link inside that box will take you to a menu of academic terms.  Select the button next to the term for which you want to register, then click the "continue" bar for information about when you may register for that term. 

First contact the instructor of the particular section of the course in which you wish to enroll.  If the instructor has the authority to add students to a full section, you should be prepared to tell the instructor why you should be added.  Course capacities can depend on the amount of work per student that the instructor has to invest; the instructor may want to be sure that allowing you into a full course will be worth the extra work.  If the instructor does not have the authority to allow you into the course, you may be directed to contact the chair of the department that offers the course.  The enrollment capacity of many psychology course sections is determined by the fire code capacity of the classrooms in which they meet, therefore, it may not be possible to add students to a full section.  If that is the case you may want to try watching WINS to see if a seat opens up in the section in which you wish to enroll.  Because instructors are not notified when a seat opens up in their courses and cannot add students to a course roster, instructors are not able to maintain waiting lists.  Therefore, it is best if you take responsibility in watching for a seat to become available. 

No.  A course can fulfill a requirement in the major or minor, but not both.  Some students have major and minor combinations in which a particular course could fulfill a requirement in the major and in the minor.  For example, the Family and Health Studies minor -- a popular minor for Psychology majors -- accepts several psychology courses to fulfill some of its requirements. Students in that minor must choose whether they want a particular psychology course to count in the major or in the minor, but cannot use that course in both programs.  Students with such major/minor combinations should be aware of the following: The records system will put courses that can count in either your major or minor into your major's requirements first.  Such courses will be placed into the minor only if the major requirement that the course meets is already fulfilled.  Students may override the records system and choose which of such courses they want to appear in the major and which in the minor.  Doing so requires an action called a "personalization".  Consult your academic advisor for help with personalizations.

See the answer to the question above. If you are taking or have taken a psychology course that is currently counting in your major and you want to use it in a minor instead you must request a personalization. Your academic advisor can help you with personalizations.

This requirement can also be met with courses in the arts, race or ethnic studies, women's studies, or interdisciplinary course work.  Because the purpose of this requirement is to expand your exposure to the liberal arts, this requirement cannot be met with courses from the department of your major or minor.  To find such courses first consider your interests.  "Arts" includes courses in art, art history, communication, dance, theater, and music.  "Humanities" includes English (including literature courses), foreign language, history, philosophy, and religious studies.  "Social science" includes anthropology, economics, geography (non-science courses only!), psychology, race and ethic studies, sociology, and women's studies.  Which of these areas sound interesting to you?  Have you taken introductory level courses or core courses as part of your General Education requirements that piqued your interest?  Once you have narrowed down your area(s) of interest - and you may select all of your courses from a single area -- search the course listings in the undergraduate course catalog for upper division courses.  Read the brief course descriptions and check that you have the prerequisites for courses that interest you.  A conversation with your academic advisor might also help you make these selections.

Important note: Even though you have completed or are enrolled in all of your courses for this requirement the courses will not automatically appear in the appropriate section of your advising report.  You must request a personalization for this to happen.  Once you have taken or are at least enrolled in the courses you wish to use for this requirement you may request the personalization online at

If you plan to transfer to another UW System two-year or four-year institution or a Wisconsin technical college, you can investigate this process at the Transfer Wisconsin website at If you plan to transfer elsewhere, you should contact the admissions office at the institution to which you want to transfer. The UW-Whitewater Office of the Registrar can help you send your UW-W transcript to your new institution.

The Department of Psychology does not currently have a formal internship program.  However, the department does offer several sections of a course entitled Field Training in Psychology in which students earn course credit for their work with a variety of community agencies under the supervision of an approved field site supervisor as well as a department faculty member. Students in this course do not work as psychologists, but do gain experience in many applied areas of psychology.  Field placements are available for students interested in working with children, adolescents, or adults.  Contact the instructor of a Field Training section for more information.

The psychology major offers a liberal arts education that can prepare you for a wide variety of careers.  To find an internship in a particular field you should visit Career Resources in the University Center, room 146, or visit their web site at  The Department of Psychology is also involved in the College of Letters and Sciences Alumni Mentor program.  This program connects UW-Whitewater students with successful alumni mentors who provide career advice and support and help you network within your desired field of employment.  For more information on the Alumni Mentor program, including a link to the program's application form, go to

Research experience can teach you skills and knowledge desired by many employers and is also a vital part of preparation for graduate school admission.  Most psychology faculty maintain an active research program and many share their work with undergraduate collaborators.  To get involved start talking with faculty who teach courses that interest you.  Ask your advisor about which faculty are doing research with students; your advisor may be willing to recommend you to a colleague.  Research mentors may prefer that you complete coursework in statistics and research methods before they accept you as a research student, so try to complete Psychology 215 (Basic Statistical Methods) and Psychology 216 (Research Methods) early in your major or minor.  Instructors of those courses may direct students who show talent and interest to colleagues looking for student researchers.  There is no single, formal way to gain research experience, but initiative, curiosity, talent, and a capacity for hard work, are frequently noticed.