Activities & Groups

Committee on Higher Degrees (CHD) 

The CHD, headed by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), is charged with immediate oversight of graduate training. The Committee acts on petitions for credit for prior graduate work; waivers of or extensions of deadlines for any requirements; fulfillment of the quantitative and elective requirements; and approval of dissertation and prospectus committee members from outside the department. Each year the Committee reviews the academic standing of all students, considering grades, Incompletes, and research progress. The Committee also recommends changes in graduate academic policy and program requirements to the Department (e.g., orals procedure, criteria for the three-paper thesis option, elective credit, and any other aspect of the graduate student program).

Peitions should be sent to the DGS and Graduate Program Coordinator to facilitate review by the CHD. Straightforward items are reviewed by the CHD via email, and a response is often available within 3 business days. It is recommended that you talk to your advisor about any matter you are bringing to the CHD, and obtain a note of support for your petition. 

Spring 2023 Committee Members
Jesse Snedeker, Interim DGS 
Fiery Cushman
Mark Hatzenbuehler
Talia Konkle

Healing & Empowerment through Activism & Leadership, Collective (HEAL-Collective)

HEAL’s vision for Harvard’s psychology department is to establish a space where URM graduate students are trained and supported to take on leadership positions at all career levels in the academy. HEAL aims to increase the representation of URMs in psychology and create a network with scholars from health-related fields as well as the social sciences. As such, we aim to be a bridge across career levels (e.g., postdoc, staff, RA, undergraduate). Our community works to create spaces where members of our community are respected, treated fairly, supported in their pursuit of work-life balance, and are assisted in finding and pursuing opportunities to excel. Most importantly, we aim to provide a space that maximizes opportunities for our community to HEAL from the many systemic insults to our personhoods, such as those perpetrated via feelings of imposter syndrome, racial trauma, disproportionately lower access to resources, persistent invalidation, and the many other socio-emotional costs of navigating academic spaces as individuals with backgrounds or identities that are underrepresented in the academy. We are a URM PhD-student-led organization aiming to steer a culture that:

  • Promotes wellness and healing among URM scholars and allies through peer support
  • Provides supplemental professional development for URMs to become leaders and activists in the academies
  • Establishes interdisciplinary collaboration across psychology, health-related fields, and social sciences
  • Insists on increased efforts by the greater community to diversify psychology, health-related fields, and social sciences

HEAL Collective is an official GSAS Departmental Graduate Student Organization (DGSO). Learn more about HEAL on the GSAS Engage site, here


Women in Psychology (WiP)

Women in Psychology (WiP) is an organization with over 60 graduate student, post-doc, employee, and faculty members. The primary aims of WiP are to encourage inclusion and diversity in psychological science and to provide support, resources, and community for group members. WiP hosts educational events about gender issues in academia, professional development workshops, research presentations, and social networking opportunities. WiP site


Methods Dinner

Methods Dinner is a student-organized weekly dinner discussion series about current methods in psychology. 



PsychNight is a monthly social gathering for trainees (graduate students, postdocs, RAs) in Psychology. 



PsychConnect is one avenue for incoming G1s to begin building community and connections within and between areas. Incoming G1s are matched with two peer mentors: one rising G2 within their area (clinical, CBB, dev, social) and one rising G2 from a different area. PsychConnect aims to give G1s direct contacts in the program to use as resources who can offer support, guidance, and also check in with them about how things are going during the transition to grad school life.