Psychology students presenting their research

Why become involved in research?

  • Research is both challenging and rewarding. It requires curiosity, creativity, perseverance... and a willingness to discover that you might have been wrong. Research allows you to pursue answers to questions that you think are important and to test your ideas.
  • Depending on your career goals, you may find that you will need to complete graduate school. If so, you are likely to need strong letters of recommendation. Research experience also may be required to be accepted into a graduate program. Working on research with department faculty is a great way to attain both of those.
  • Research skills are valuable in many other careers; having this experience will make you a more desirable candidate for numerous jobs.

Ways to get involved with research

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  • Recommended for sophomores: Take courses that will expose you to the research process
    • e.g., PSYC 270 Statistics and PSYC 271 Research Methods
    • Psychology majors are encouraged to take PSYC 270 Statistics and PSYC 271 Research Methods early in their college career, as these courses are instrumental in preparing a student for the more advanced research opportunities listed below.
  • Recommended for sophomores/juniors: Join a faculty member's research team
  • Recommended for juniors/seniors: Undertake an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member
    • e.g., PSYC 392 Senior Directed Research, PSYC 398 Honors in Psychology
    • Once you have gained research experience in Directed Research, you may uncover interesting research questions that go beyond the original project. In this case, you should discuss your ideas with the faculty member you have been working with to determine which course option is best for you.