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College of Humanities & Sciences

Psychology Department

Course Override Policy

What does the Psychology department mean by a "no override" policy? 

Psychology courses are generally set to capacity.  Capacity is determined by the Psychology department using a combination of factors (pedagogy, physical space, etc.).

Are there any Psychology courses which are accessed by overrides?

Yes:  Independent Study (492); Research Internship (494); and Field work (493) are courses students apply to take and if approved, register via override. 

Why do PSYC 214 and PSYC 317 have a waiting list?

The core courses for Psychology majors have prerequisites, and students must take them in sequence.  To ensure students who have both met the prerequisites and are closest to graduating can take the courses, Psychology creates waitlists once the courses are full.  

If the Psychology department gives no overrides, why do I see overrides showing on the system?

Every department has a course enrollment management plan.  As part of our course enrollment management plan, Psychology holds back a certain number of seats for new transfer students who are majoring in Psychology and who attend new transfer orientation.  This way new transfer majors--many of whom come to VCU with junior status but after general registration has ended-- are able to add at least one Psychology course their first semester at the university.  Unused seats are released back to the general population, and the department posts an announcement on PSYUGRAD (Blackboard) for majors alerting them to these open seats.

How can I make sure I get the courses I need?

Please be prepared to register as early as possible on the first day you are eligible to register based on the number of credits you have earned.  This allows students closest to graduating to have the first pick of all classes.  Students who wait to register thus lose their priority in registering.  We publicize these dates well in advance to help our majors be best prepared to register on time.    

Does it help to go directly to a Psychology faculty member about an override?

No.  Psychology faculty members of course want to assist you, but they know and support the department's override procedures. We realize other departments handle overrides differently.

But I'm a double major in _____, and I'm supposed to ask professors in that department for overrides?

We realize other departments may handle registration and overrides differently than we do in Psychology.  By all means, follow that department's policies if you seek a course in that department.  

But what if I really need this course now to graduate in time to graduate?

Psyugrad advising will assist you by assessing where you are in your graduation timeline and finding appropriate courses for the semester.  Psyugrad advising is located at 806 W. Franklin Street, Room 107;

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