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Undergraduate Research

The Psychology Department encourages capable students to seek research experience with one or more faculty members during the course of their undergraduate career.  Although undergraduate research is strongly encouraged for students interested in graduate study, it is also an opportunity for interested students to experience specialized study in a subdiscipline of psychology and one-to-one interaction with a faculty member. 

You can gain course credit towards the Psychology major by enrolling in Psychology 497 (Tutorial), Psychology 498 (Independent Study) Psychology 448 (Bachelor's Essay in Neuroscience), and/or Psychology 499 (Bachelor's Essay).

  • Special requirements for Tutorial (focused and individualized work in psychology) include being a junior or senior Psychology major and having a Psychology GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Special requirements for Independent Study include being a junior or senior and having a GPA of 3.0 or higher in psychology. You can earn 1-6 hours of credit for Independent Study.
  • Special requirements for Bachelor's Essay (a year-long, senior year, 6-hour research and writing project) include being a senior and having an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher.
  • Special requirements for Bachelor's Essay in Neuroscience (a year-long, senior year, 6-hour research and writing project) include being a Neuroscience minor.

Each of these courses enable qualified and motivated students to work in depth on a topic of interest under the guidance of a faculty member. It is your responsibility to work out an arrangement with the supervising faculty member (to identify a possible mentor, you may find it helpful to read the descriptions of faculty research interests on our departmental webpage - click the faculty name). 

Once you have obtained his or her consent, work with your mentor to produce a description of your project and its requirements. Finally, complete the appropriate form below, obtain the requested signatures, and submit it to the Associate Chair of the Psychology Department for approval:

In addition to these specialized research experiences offered by the Department of Psychology, you might consider working closely with a faculty member to apply for internal research funding through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. These research opportunities include financial support for both small projects and large projects and are undertaken during either the academic year or the summer. The following awards might be of interest to psychology majors who wish to be mentored on a research project: Major Academic Year Support (MAYS), Academic Year Research Awards (AYRA), Research Presentation Grants (RPG), and Summer Undergraduate Research with Faculty (SURF). All of these funding opportunities are described on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities webpage.