Academic Credit for Research

The Department of Psychological Sciences encourages Psychology majors to become involved in research activities as part of their undergraduate experience. Given that engaging in research is a valuable part of a student's education and that it involves faculty time and effort (e.g., producing educational opportunities to learn new skills; mentoring of the research process; writing reference letters for graduate school or professional school), receiving academic credit is a logical outcome. Academic credit for research participation requires a mutual understanding between the faculty sponsor and the student as to what is required of the student to earn that credit.

The following guidelines are provided to help students and faculty arrive at a mutual understanding of what is required for the awarding of academic credit based on experiences working in a research setting:

  • Undergraduate students who engage in research under the direction and supervision of Psychological Sciences faculty should have completed PSYCH 350 Experimental Methods in Psychology.

  • Students should enroll in PSYCH 599 (Problems) to obtain academic credit for this activity. Faculty permission is required to enroll in PSYCH 599.

  • The number of credit hours should be determined by the average amount of time per week required of the student (the amount of time per week can vary markedly). In general, 3 hours of work per week by the student (attending research meetings, collecting/entering/analyzing data, etc.) would be worth 1 credit hour. Except for extraordinary circumstances, undergraduates engaged in research should sign up for a minimum of 1 credit hour.

  • Undergraduates working primarily with a graduate student would be subject to the same stipulations as above, given that the graduate student's research is being supervised by a faculty member. That faculty member is responsible for assigning the grade.

  • Students should not enroll for academic credit for paid work; however, students should enroll for credit if they are engaging in activities beyond that of working directly on their paid duties (e.g., writing a research report or reading the literature).

For information about current research topics, please browse the research pages for each major research area or browse the faculty research pages.