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Undergraduate Programme in Psychology

Ashoka University’s department of Psychology employs a modern and scientific approach to examine human behaviour and experience. The B.Sc. (Hons.) programme in Psychology introduces students to core topics like Neuroscience, Social Influence, Psychotherapy and Psychopathology.


The Psychology Department offers a range of courses structured around three tiers: Fundamental Courses, Core Domain Courses, and Electives. These courses give students both the breadth of the discipline and sufficient depth for students who wish to have a more narrow specialization within a domain. Note that some courses have prerequisites (courses that must be taken before enrolling in a particular course); co requisites (courses that must be taken concurrently); and preclusions (courses that have sufficiently similar emphasis and must not be taken together with that course). Most courses are worth 4 credits (unless otherwise stated), and the workload for each 4-credit course is about 10 hours per week.

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  • Course Levels and Pre-Requisites

    The two 1000-Level Courses are Gateway Courses and are typically prerequisites for taking higher level courses. It is strongly recommended that students take a Gateway course and SRM-I as soon as possible. Beyond this, the department does not impose a sequence in which to take core courses. Note though that some courses have prerequisites (courses that must be taken before enrolling in a particular course); co-requisites (courses that must be taken concurrently, that complement each other’s knowledge base if taken together); and preclusions (courses that have sufficiently similar emphasis and must not be taken together with that course). Often, elective courses will have a gateway course, one or more statistics courses and one core domain course as prerequisites. Note that the first digit of the course code specifies whether the course is at an introductory level to be taken in the second or third semester (1000), a core course level to be taken in the third or fourth semester (2000), a higher level elective (3000), a course specifically envisioned for fourth year ASP students (4000), or a specific graduate level course (6000). Some courses that are listed both at undergraduate and graduate level cover the same material but offer advanced assignments for graduate students. While the third and fourth digits just track and group multiple courses in various subdomains, the second digit of the course code specifies the overall course domain:
    0 Introduction, Statistics or Methodology domain
    1 Bio domain
    2 Cognitive domain
    3 Developmental domain
    4 Clinical domain
    5 Social domain
    6 Electives offered by visiting faculty
    7 Instructional electives
    8 Methodology electives
    9 Lab or research module

  • Curriculum structure

    The structure of the psychology curriculum resembles a pyramid, with Fundamentals (Gateway, Statistics and Research Methodology) at the top-tier, Core Domains (Biological, Cognitive, Developmental, Clinical, and Social Psychology) in the middle-tier, and Electives at the lowertier. Students are encouraged to complete their Fundamentals and Core Domains as early as possible, because many of these are prerequisites for upper-level electives.

  • Requirements for Major

    Each student must complete 12 courses towards the major (12 x 4 = 48 credits). To complete a major in Psychology, one must take the following 8 required courses (8 x 4 = 32 credits) and any 4 electives (4 x 4 = 16 credits):

    • PSY101: Introduction to Psychology/Thinking Like a Psychologist (Gateway Courses)
    • PSY201: Statistics and Research Methods- I (Statistical Course)
    • PSY 202: Statistics and Research Methods- II (Statistical Course)
    • PSY211: Introduction to Neuroscience (Core Domain Course)
    • PSY221: Cognitive Psychology (Core Domain Course)
    • PSY231: Developmental Psychology (Core Domain Course)
    • PSY241: Social Psychology (Core Domain Course)
    • PSY251: Clinical Psychology (Core Domain Course)

    Students can also apply up to four 4-credit courses taken at accredited universities elsewhere (i.e., summer abroad or exchange programmes) towards the major requirements, contingent on the formal approval of Ashoka University and the Psychology Department.

    Other than cross-listed core courses or cross-listed elective courses offered by the Psychology department, students are not encouraged to fill up on more than 3 electives offered by other departments and accepted for cross-listing by the Psychology department.

  • Requirements for Minor

    Each student must complete 6 courses towards the minor (6 x 4 = 24 credits). The student must take the following three courses (3 x 4 = 12 credits): 

    • PSY1001/PSY1003: Introduction to Psychology/Thinking Like a Psychologist
    • PSY2001: Statistics and Research Methods- I
    • PSY 2002: Statistics and Research Methods- II


    The student may take either 2 or 3 of any of the following courses (2 x 4 = 8 credits OR 3 x 4 = 12 credits): 

    • PSY2011: Introduction to Neuroscience (group A)
    • PSY2021: Cognitive Psychology (group A)
    • PSY2031: Developmental Psychology (group B)
    • PSY2041: Social Psychology (group B)
    • PSY2051: Clinical Psychology (group B)


    Students are encouraged to ensure they take at least one course from Group A, and at least one course from Group B. 

    The student may take 1 elective course, worth 4 credits. 

    Independent Study Modules do not count towards the minor. Students who have taken Quantitative Research Methods (Political Science) are no longer permitted to avail of an exception, although students graduating in 2021 with that understanding may do so after writing to the Head of the Department for permission.

    Students should note that it may be difficult to complete a minor within three years because (i) the psychology courses offered may clash with their major courses; (ii) some courses require prerequisites; and (iii) some courses are offered only once a year. Note also that the courses specified in the above descriptions are tentative; exact course listings will depend on available faculty and their actual offerings.

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  • Requirements for Concentration

    Each student must complete 4 courses towards the concentration (4 x 4 = 16 credits). The student

    must take the following two courses (2 x 4 = 8 credits):

    • PSY1001/PSY1003: Introduction to Psychology/Thinking Like a Psychologist
    • PSY2001: Statistics and Research Methods- I

    The student may take 2 of any of the following courses (2 x 4 = 8 credits OR 3 x 4 = 12 credits):

    • PSY 2002: Statistics and Research Methods- II
    • PSY2011: Introduction to Neuroscience (group A)
    • PSY2021: Cognitive Psychology (group A)
    • PSY2031: Developmental Psychology (group B)
    • PSY2041: Social Psychology (group B)
    • PSY2051: Clinical Psychology (group B)

  • Undergraduate exchange programs/ Summer abroad programs

    Psychology majors intending to go for a summer abroad or semester-long exchange programmes should be aware that most upper-level psychology modules have prerequisites, which may not be explicitly mentioned in the host universities’ webpages. In general, students should clear as many Fundamental and Core Domain courses before going for a summer or semester abroad. For courses taken at host institutions abroad to count towards their Psychology degree at Ashoka, students must fill a credit transfer form stating the courses they plan to take at the host institution and send this along with the detailed course syllabi and course timings to the HoD, copying the professors who offer the equivalent course at Ashoka. Ashoka University matches the number of transfer credits with the number of contact hours, subjected to OAA’s regulations for the maximum number of credits allowed to be transferred throughout a student’s candidature. A typical course at Ashoka is 4 credits (13 weeks x 3 hrs = 39 contact hours). The final decision on whether credits amassed at a summer/semester institution can be transferred to your degree requirements at Ashoka will be of the HoD. Students should follow this protocol and read the frequently asked questions here first before seeking advice from the Program Coordinator during their planning stages.

  • Independent Study Modules (PSY399)

    Independent Study Modules (ISMs) are research modules. In general, students can do theoretical research (write review papers) or empirical research (e.g., conducting experiments), or both (e.g., propose a topic, run an experiment, and write results). Different professors have different ways of conducting an ISM. Enrolling for one requires the student to consult the relevant faculty and register one’s interest. ISMs are not necessarily pre-defined courses: while some faculty may offer a set of ISMs that align with their research, students may also propose novel ISMs to a faculty member. The decision to enroll a student in an ISM is ultimately that of the faculty member conducting the ISM.


    Only two courses/8 credits worth of Independent Study Module(s) can be taken by each student during their three-year UG Psychology program. 4th years/ASPs can take two courses/8 credits worth of Advanced ISMs that ideally build upon past research experience to the satisfaction of the faculty with whom you take it.

    Because an ISM is a research module, it will help students gain research experience. Research experience is very important if you want to go on to masters/PhD degree. But even if you do not want to do this, and you are just simply curious at how knowledge is produced, or you want to try your hands at producing new knowledge instead of absorbing knowledge in a classroom, doing an ISM is a useful experience. In some sense, every theory that you know now stems from a research idea, which then turns into an exercise to find empirical evidence to prove/disprove the hypothesis.

  • Research requirements (RP pool policy)

    To meet the research experience requirement, you must complete 1.5 credit hours of research experience using one of the following two options:

    • Option A: Participate in Department of Psychology faculty-led research
    • Option B: Summarize an empirical psychology article.

    All PSY101 students are required to complete this requirement. In the sections that follow, the requirements for research participation and review of an article are outlined. Please read over these sections carefully:

    Why do we have this requirement as part of PSY101?

    A key learning objective of PSY101 is for students to gain an understanding of psychology as a science. An exciting way to learn about psychological research is to engage in psychological research firsthand! By participating in research, you will be able to learn more about the different types of research conducted by the psychology faculty at Ashoka. In addition, you will be able to learn about psychological research from a participant’s perspective. We encourage you to try and participate in research to meet this requirement as far as possible, and to review an empirical paper if you are not able to or do not want to participate in research.

    What is the research requirement for PSY101?

    • You need to complete a total of 1.5 research credits to meet the requirement for this course. One hour of research participation is worth 1 credit. If a particular research lasts half hour, you get 0.5 credits, which is the minimum (i.e., even a 15-min experiment is worth 0.5 credits).
    • If you choose not to participate in research, you will need to complete a review of a research article for 1.5 credits

    Besides earning research credits, will I be rewarded in any other way for participating in a research study?

    • Some studies do give rewards to participants (e.g., money), but some do not. This depends very much on the study itself.

    How do I participate in research?

    • A list of available options of studies is shown on our course website. The list may be expanded (e.g., new studies come onboard) or shrink (e.g., an researcher has gathered enough data) as the semester progresses, so do check from time to time.
    • You can review the study details and the requirements to participate and sign up for participation accordingly. Please note that the studies listed here have received the approval of the Ashoka University Institutional Research Board (IRB).
    • Please do not sign up for to participate in a study and miss your appointment! In case you have signed up for a study and need to cancel, please contact the researcher at least 24 hours before your assigned time.

    What are the guidelines for reviewing articles? 

    If you choose this option, please do the following:

    • Choose a research article (not a review article) in psychology. It is important to know the difference between a review article and a research article. One way to do this is by looking for a study referenced in your textbook. Alternatively, you can look through psychological journals to select your article. Make sure your article includes original research carried out by the authors. The article should include clear method and results sections.
    • Write a two-page review (excluding the title page and reference list) of the article. The review should include a description of hypotheses, research method, results, and conclusion. Make sure to end with a short analysis (i.e. what you got out of the article). You may not understand the statistics reported in a results section, but you should still be able to understand what the research found.
    • Your submission should include a title page with your full name, semester, year, course number.
    • The paper must be typed and double-spaced. You must use Times New Roman font with a 12-point font size. All margins must be 1”. The paper should be sent as a Word document. Please make sure to meet these guidelines to get the credit for your submission.
    • Attach a copy of the article you have summarized (doc or .docx format) at the end of your write-up.
    • Please make sure your summary is written in your own words and not copied from the article. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence.
    • Print and submit your summaries by Apr 29 at a mailbox marked “Research Participation Form/Research Summaries” outside Rm 608 (Admin Block).
    • Each report will be graded as Satisfactory (S = 1.5 credit) or Unsatisfactory (US = 0 credit) at the end of the semester.

    When do I participate in research/meet the requirement?

    The deadline for completion of the requirement is Sunday, April 29 by 11:59pm. This is a firm deadline. We strongly encourage you to complete this requirement earlier in the semester. It is very likely that there might not be enough studies or research time slots for you towards the end of the semester. Furthermore, even though this requirement may not seem like a lot of work right now, it will add to your workload with finals and course assignments more so at the end of the semester.

    What do I do after I participate in each experiment?

    You will be given a Research Participation Form at the beginning of the semester. You should get the faculty researcher, research assistant, or research student to sign off this sheet whenever you participate in his or her study.

    At the end of the semester, or whenever you have completed your research participation requirements, drop the form off at a mailbox marked “Research Participation Form/Research Summaries” outside Rm 608 (Admin Block).

    What happens if I do not meet the research experience requirement? 

    The research experience is an important component of the educational experience for PSY101. If you do not meet this requirement by the deadline indicated, your grade will drop as follows:

    • Completed the 1.5 credits research requirement — no drop in grade
    • Completed 1 credits — half a level drop in final grade (i.e. A to A-; B+ to B)
    • Completed .5 credits —1 level drop in final grade (i.e. A to B; B+ to C+)
    • Completed 0 credits — 1.5 level drop in final grade (i.e. A to B-; B+ to C)


Joining Undergraduate Admissions

Ashoka University’s department of Psychology offers undergraduate courses which are thoughtfully designed. Students get comprehensive support to pursue a career in the ever-expanding field of Psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doing Psychology in the 11th and 12th Grade (CBSE, ISC, IB, A Levels (Cambridge)) is a prerequisite to taking Thinking Like a Psychologist. If the student has not done Psychology in the 11th and 12th Grade, they must take Introduction to Psychology. If they have done Psychology in the 11th and 12th Grade, they can take either course, although there will be overlap between Introduction to Psychology and the material they have already covered in the 11th and 12th.

Yes, completing the courses mentioned below are usually sufficient to waive off SRM-I, but not SRM-II. Further, these courses are not counted in the credits amassed towards Psychology. Note that the following courses can not be counted towards a waiver for SRM1 starting from Spring 2021: Quantitative Research Methods offered by the Political Science Department, while the following can: Probability and Statistics (Mathematics Department), Statistics for Economics (Economics Department)

As long as you have satisfied the foundational and other requirements specified for your batch by the OAA, you just have to complete the major requirements specified above to get a Psychology major – these have not changed from batch to batch. 

The prerequisites are there to ensure you won’t have difficulty following the material. Students can get waivers by writing to the instructor of the course, but often students who get waivers later find the course prohibitively difficulty.

This is entirely the call of the faculty who offer these electives; as department head I have already put in the request. If interest in a course vastly exceeds the cap, we can always consider hiring someone to teach an extra section. For this, the N category in the student tracker needs to exceed our planned sections, so this is where you should indicate interest or need to take a course long before the semester in which you plan to take it. 

The OAA does not permitting rescheduling of courses after pre-registration begins. Requests for rescheduling may constitute a preference of a minority of students, and so there is no responsible way to respond to these requests. Before every semester we circulate a form to assess interest in these courses at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dRKmZb76xGWG27flycO7ZvxqFAJzACI15M0V00GdMps/edit#gid=0.

The process for this is for the faculty offering X course to send the course syllabus to the Head of the Psychology department as well as any faculty who teaches an area of psychology adjacent to or similar to the material covered by course X. If the Psychology department finds the course to be methodologically in line with the scientific approach of the department and relevant to the study of behaviour, we could decide to cross-list it and give it a Psychology course code.

If one wants to be able to access all the core courses in one’s third semester without further barriers, one needs to take both these courses. However, one can always do them in the third semester, and most core courses in the fourth, and have the whole third year for finishing cores and taking electives – this makes scheduling harder, but it is not impossible – so do not panic if you don’t do these courses in the second semester – there is enough wiggle room for being one semester behind, but not more.

Applications for doing TAships and the Capstone Thesis are only open to ASPs. The procedure for applying for the former has been specified above and registration for the Capstone Thesis happens on the LMS after consultation with a faculty member who will act as thesis advisor. However, you can always prepare to do research with a faculty member with or without academic credit, starting as early as your first year.

Ashoka does provide letters explaining our transcript. Graduate schools know they get grades from a variety of course and teaching and grading styles from different liberal arts universities. This is why other things that directly convey student quality like research publications, essays, SOPs etc. matter so much in graduate school applications – they directly convey your skills to the reader, and letters of recommendation also convey a sense of your work ethic.

Your first step should be to check if your question has already been answered at :https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yltdQVQm30a57-kFJoYs3EFALR8qIyAt4qj9mAbzE4g/edit#gid=2005135146. If not, place the question on the FAQ at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SrAfpaUsCKt1Se_CZfrir9tQ_T4TTQvbc9hIKJd1nJg/edit. You will get a reply within 24 hours, often right away.

Study at Ashoka

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