Independent study is an opportunity for a student to receive course credit for working in a professor’s research lab or for working with a faculty member on a research project. This experience is advantageous for those who are interested in graduate school, may need a letter of recommendation, or just want to gain research experience. The first step is to consult our Undergraduate Research Opportunities page, which lists the faculty members who are currently taking students for independent study. Once you have identified one or more available professors whose areas of research parallel your own personal interests, contact them via email or office phone and set up an appointment to discuss the possibility of taking PSYC 485 with them.
Although each professor handles independent study differently, certain aspects remain the same across all its iterations: PSYC 485 may be repeated for a maximum of 6 semester hours, but only 3 semester hours may be applied toward a major or minor in psychology. You can enroll for 1-3 semester hours worth of credit per semester, with the total number of hours being determined in advance of enrollment and based upon the amount of work required. A contract must be filled out and signed by you, your faculty advisor, and the Department Chair, and then turned into the department's main office in PM400. This will also serve as your permission to enroll.
PSYC 485 contracts can be picked up at the department's main office or downloaded here.
The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program provides opportunities for selected undergraduates to develop research skills by offering them monetary and scholarly support and significant apprenticeships with senior faculty. Such support and experience will enhance students' opportunities in college and beyond. Faculty prepare intellectually engaging and academically enriching ways for undergraduates to participate in research, and they work closely with these students as mentors and research guides.
Faculty members may receive a grant from the college for research expenses incurred through supporting their student-assisted project. Students who are selected receive a stipend and the opportunity to be involved in firsthand research. The grants serve as an incentive for faculty in each department to extend their research designs to include an undergraduate apprentice.
Are you interested in learning more about adolescents?
The Certificate of Undergraduate Study in Adolescence might be for you! This interdisciplinary certificate is intended to provide broad background in the area of adolescence. The certificate is designed to complement undergraduate course work in a variety of majors, including the psychology major. Click here to learn more about this new certificate!