Undergraduate Research in Psychology
There are many research opportunities available to undergraduate students in the Department of Psychology. Research can be conducted on a volunteer basis, or students can earn academic credit for their research by registering for a course that includes an independent research component.
These courses provide students with valuable learning experiences that are quite different from those found in the typical classroom. In these courses, students typically read background literature in a specific area, learn methods and experimental techniques associated with that area and assist in the collection, summary and analysis of data. To receive academic credit for their research activities, students must be registered for PSYC 397, 493, 494 or 499. PSYC 397 is pass/fail only. Registration in these courses requires the permission of the faculty member with whom the student will be working. Students completing PSYC 397 may also be interested in continuing their studies in the form of an Honors thesis (PSYC 499). Students interested in doing an Honors thesis should speak to their faculty supervisor about this possibility. Students who are interested in completing an independent research project but who for any reason cannot or choose not to participate in the Honors Program, are encouraged to obtain the Certificate in Excellence in Research.
How can I get involved in research?
- Learn about the research being conducted in the Psychology Department by clicking here and visiting individual faculty member's website.
- Before you contact faculty members doing research, you should read their profile carefully. Faculty members may or may not have an online RA (Research Assistant) application form on their website. Permission to conduct research as a part of these courses typically involves an application and an interview with the faculty member who is in charge of the laboratory.
- Once you have your instructor's approval, you can fill out our online form here. After you submit the form, your instructor will confirm your request and you will be registered for the corresponding section of Independent Study (PSYC 397).
The links on this page will help undergraduates learn more about the opportunities in their field for research, creative activity, and scholarly investigation. Undergraduates can explore the opportunities offered here at Binghamton, read profiles of our student and faculty researchers, artists and scholars, and learn how to become involved.
Information about sources of funding for undergraduate research is available also.
Limits on Independent Study
Although students are strongly encouraged to enroll in one or more of these courses during their college career, formal course work is also an important component of an undergraduate education in psychology. To assure that students have a well-rounded background in psychology upon graduation, the following guidelines have been set for the amount of independent research that can be applied to the psychology major requirements:
No more than 12 credits of independent research (PSYC 395, 397, 490, 492, 493, 494
or 499) can count toward the major in psychology.
Of these, eight credits may substitute for one of the required 400-level psychology courses, and an additional four credits may count toward the psychology electives section of the science and math electives.
Additionally, Harpur College placed an overall limit on the number of independent research courses that may count toward the 126 total credits required for graduation. These limits also affect internships, teaching practica (PSYC 391) and PENR classes. Limits on Independent Research courses are explained below:
Independent Research (PSYC 395, 397, 490 and 492) - 16 credits
Internships- 8 credits
Teaching practica (PSYC 391) - 8 credits
PENR courses - 8 credits
OVERALL LIMIT (Independent Research + Internship + Teaching Practica + PENR) cannot exceed 20 credits
Students may not take more than 16 credits of Independent Research with the same faculty
PSYC 493 and 494 (Assessment, Intervention and Evaluation II and III) and PSYC 499 (Honors Program credits) are not counted toward Harpur's limit on Independent Research.