Research in Psychology


Research Assistant Opportunities

As a normal part of the major in psychology, and as a part of understanding psychology as a science, students learn about research methods in many courses. Two required courses focus explicitly on research: PSY 201 and PSY 375. There are other ways students can gain practical research experience:

Below we list several of the different ways in which students can gain research experience as an undergraduate. Please note that ALL options listed below require consent of instructor.

PSY 497: Research Project in Psychology

For upper-class psychology majors engaged in research activities under faculty supervision. Students must secure a faculty sponsor prior to enrolling in PSY 497 credits! If faculty approval is not secured prior to enrollment, you may receive a failing grade! If in doubt, please contact a faculty member for more information.

PSY 497 may be taken for 1, 2 or 3 credits. The department expectation is that students will spend 2-3 hours per week (over a 16 week semester) engaged in research work for EACH hour enrolled (e.g., 32 to 48 hours of research work is expected for 1 credit of PSY 497).

PSY 486: Research in Psychology

PSY 486 is offered in the both the Fall and Spring semesters. The topic is selected by the instructor of the course and is indicated in the course schedule (e.g., Research in Personality). Students enrolled in PSY 486 are required to:

  1. Attend 1 class meeting per week with the course instructor to discuss topics related to conducting psychological research, and
  2. work with the course instructor or another faculty member either developing a research proposal and/or collecting, analyzing and writing up research results.

Prior to enrolling in the course, students must seek permission from the faculty member with whom they would like to work.

PSY 486 is a 3 credit course. One credit hour each week will be dedicated to classroom instruction. The other 2 credit hours are set aside for research outside the classroom with a faculty member. The department expectation is that students will spend 2-3 hours per week (over a 16 week semester) engaged in research work for EACH credit hour of PSY 486. This means that students should expect to spend 4-6 hours on research each week outside the classroom (in addition to the 1 hour of classroom instruction).

Completion of PSY 486 fulfills the Culminating Experience requirement for the Psychology Major.

PSY 498: Individual Study in Psychology

Students wishing to conduct an independent research study must seek out a faculty sponsor BEFORE enrolling in PSY 498. If faculty approval is not secured prior to enrollment, you may receive a failing grade! If in doubt, please contact a faculty member for more information.

PSY 498 may be taken for 1, 2 or 3 credits. The department expectation is that students will spend 2-3 hours per week (over a 16 week semester) engaged in research work for EACH hour enrolled (e.g., 32 to 48 hours of research work is expected for 1 credit of PSY 498).

PSY 499: Honors Thesis

Students wishing to conduct an independent research study must seek out a faculty sponsor BEFORE enrolling in PSY 499. If faculty approval is not secured prior to enrollment, you may receive a failing grade! If in doubt, please contact a faculty member for more information.

Students displaying a great deal of potential in psychology may be invited by a faculty member to conduct an individual research project as part of an honor's thesis. This option is open to Senior psychology majors only. Students interested in doing an honor's thesis are advised to develop a research relationship with a faculty member during their Junior year to be considered for an Honor's thesis in their Senior year.

Completion of PSY 499 fulfills the Culminating Experience requirement for the Psychology Major.


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