Steps for Setting Up Your Research Experience

Psychology 4999 is an opportunity to engage in an empirical or theoretical study in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Depending on the nature of the project, you may be involved in reviewing relevant literature, developing materials and procedures, data collection, analyses and presentation of your findings. This may also include a poster or oral presentation at the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF).

Steps for setting up your research experience:

1. Identify your research interests and find a faculty mentor. There are a few ways for you to find out the research interests of psychology faculty. Talk to your professors and other students about their research. Attend research presentations. Visit faculty members’ pages in the directory (click here to access the directory) to learn more about them. You can also visit the Research Opportunities page (click here to access the research opportunities page) on the Undergraduate Research webpage to find faculty who are accepting research students. Next, email prospective mentors. We have created an email template to help you structure this email. Click here to access the email template.

2. Determine the number of hours you will work. In general, you may receive one hour of credit for every 40 hours of work. Forty hours will fulfill the COR curriculum Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR). You may take a total of 8 credit hours of Psychology 4999 for credit (i.e., up to 8 credits count toward graduation), perhaps distributed over one or more years. Most students find it takes more than 40 hours truly to profit from a research experience. Distributed across the semester, the workload looks about like this:

Credit Hours Hours per week
1 3-5
2 5-10
3 10-13
4 13-15

3. Complete the Online 4999 Registration Form. Prior to filling out the online 4999 registration form, meet with your faculty mentor to discuss your learning goals, required tasks and planned contacts. The form asks for information about yourself, including your GPA and the courses you have taken in psychology, as well as information determined by you and your faculty mentor about the nature of the research project and requirements (e.g., attending meetings, doing background reading, collecting a certain amount of data, meeting deadlines, keeping a journal, completing a paper or presentation). Click here to visit the Undergraduate Research homepage with more info on 4999 and to get to the link to register and click here to access the 4999 online form.

4. Submit the 4999 form. It will be sent to your faculty mentor and then the department chair for approval. The form will be evaluated based on the appropriateness of the proposed experience for a psychology major.

Requirements: You must be of sophomore status or higher and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.