There are several ways for undergraduate students to become involved in research.
- Honors Thesis
An Honors Thesis is a research project that you conduct largely on your own. Typically, you develop a research proposal, conduct a study, and write a research paper outlining the results. You work under the supervision or direction of an Honors Thesis committee of at least two members. The committee members are Psychology faculty who are working in your area of interest or who are otherwise willing to serve on your committee. An application to undertake an Honor’s Thesis must be approved by the Psychology Department before you begin. Many students take Independent Study credits the semester before they take Honor’s Thesis Credits to develop their research proposal.
Honors Thesis credits count as general upper-division electives. They don’t count as the Psychology electives because they are graded only on a Pass/Fail basis and don’t cover one specific area of Psychology.
The only way to graduate with Honors in Psychology is by doing an Honors Thesis. Your thesis advisor will supply documentation for this to appear on your transcripts/diploma.
- Extracurricular Research/Volunteering
If you would like to check out psychology research on a limited basis, you can volunteer to help out on ongoing research, perhaps helping to collect data, prepare materials, assist a thesis student, etc. Many students volunteer when they are not able to commit large amounts or regular time to a research lab. It is also a great way to try different labs to ensure you enjoy the type and approach to research being implemented.
- Independent Research or Study
Independent Research courses allow you to get involved in research more
intensively,but are not as involved as a thesis. Students work in close collaboration with a professor to review the literature, devise hypotheses, design, carry out, and write up a research project. This can be a good alternative to a thesis if you are interested in the research but not the major writing and yearlong commitment a thesis involves.
The Independent Study option requires that you study a topic that is not offered in the regular Psychology curriculum - via library research, reading, writing, and discussion with the professor.
Both types of independent courses require scheduled weekly meetings with the professor and a significant amount of time and effort, equivalent to a regular 3000- or 4000-level course. Arrangements must be made with the professor before the semester starts; a written proposal is required. These course credits count as general upper-division electives. They don’t count as the Psychology electives since they are graded only on a Pass/Fail basis and don’t cover one specific area of Psychology.
- External Research Opportunities
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training ProgramsIn addition to the research opportunities we offer within our department, there are also several other places to gain valuable research experience.
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program
- Association of Psychology Post Doctoral and Internship Opportunities
- Baylor College Summer Medical and Research Training (SMART) program
- Case Western Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
- Christian Brother's University Summer Undergraduate Research Program
- Columbia University/Barnard College Amgen Scholars' Summer Research Program
- Colorado College's Internship Resources on the Web
- Emory University Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
- University of Georgia Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
- Syracuse University Summer Internship Opportunities list
- University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Summer Research Initiative
- New York University’s Center for Neural Science Summer Research Program
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research and Training Opportunities - Student Programs
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
- University of Pennsylvania Summer Workshop in Cognitive Science & Neuroscience
- Rice University's Career Services Center
- Rockefeller University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
- Skidmore College - Student Advice: Jobs & Internships
- University of California - Irvine Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
- The Integrated Micro/Nano Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (IMSURE) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI)