Most prospective majors begin exploring psychology by taking PSYC-100 Introduction to Psychology. Almost all courses in psychology require PSYC-100, and therefore we strongly recommend that students who do not place out of this requirement start by taking PSYC- 100. Starting with students in the class of 2025, we are no longer allowing students to place out of taking Psych 100 by taking AP Psych.
PSYC-100 is a very popular course on campus; approximately half of the student body takes this class at some point during their time at Amherst. Consequently, the demand for the course exceeds the space available every semester (and therefore preregistration is strongly encouraged). The department has adopted the following procedures to make enrollment in PSYC-100 as fair as possible. For fall sections of PSYC-100, space will be given to all upper-class students who preregister in the spring, and all open spaces then going to first-year students when they register in August. For spring sections of PSYC-100, first-year students will receive priority over all other students (and there is typically no space for non-first-year students). Most first-year students are able to take the Introduction to Psychology class during their first year (as long as they preregister and attend class the first day). It is also possible to take PSYC-100 during the fall semester of sophomore year and complete the psychology major.