Research & Senior Thesis

Our professors are constantly involved in psychological research and often welcome student help and collaboration. You can view our faculty research by clicking here and feel free to contact any of us with any questions you may have.

Our Senior Thesis Helpful Hints pamphlet explains how to get started. There are also regularly paid summer research internships available to work on faculty members’ research.

In addition, many colleges and universities offer paid summer research internships. Look for these by searching for “summer internship” and the areas of psychology you are interested in. Application deadlines are often in January and February, so you should look for these by the winter break.

Many of our psychology and neuroscience majors conduct a senior thesis project during their senior year.  You will need to submit a Senior Thesis Proposal Form for PSY and ID PSY Majors by the end of eighth week of your junior spring term.

Occasionally students double majoring in psychology and another major wish to conduct theses in both departments. The Psychology Department has adopted the following policy:

Senior Thesis Policy for Double Majors

Students double majoring in Psychology and a second major who wish to conduct a senior thesis in psychology will typically conduct a two-term psychology thesis. However, in some situations, a thesis combining both majors may be appropriate. In these cases, the student may choose to conduct either a two- or three-term combined thesis. A combined thesis must include a substantial psychological component, which will usually involve an original theoretical and/or empirical contribution to the psychological literature. Proposals for combined theses must be submitted to the thesis supervisor who, in consultation with the chair of the Psychology Department, will decide on the suitability of the project.

The thesis grade will be determined by the two thesis supervisors and, as is true for all theses, a grade of A or A- is required for a student to receive honors in Psychology. It is not uncommon for a thesis to evolve over the time course of the project. To the extent that a project evolves to the point that it no longer includes a sufficient psychological contribution, the Psychology Department reserves the right to disallow the project from qualifying the student for honors in psychology, regardless of the final grade awarded.

Independent Research

The department emphasizes a “collegial” model of learning, in which students become active participators with faculty. Many students work on research with professors, both for course credit during the academic year or through paid research internships in the summer. Each year, several students co-author published papers and/or give presentations of their work at national and regional psychology conferences.

Internships

To provide students with practical experience, the department offers a number of internships that can be completed for independent study credit. Recently, students have worked in a center for autistic children, a battered women´s shelter, advertising agencies, biofeedback clinics, employee assistance programs, residential facilities for emotionally disturbed children, and on a suicide phone line. Others have run groups for shy teenagers at a local high school, worked in day care centers or elementary schools, and consulted at local businesses.academic psychology.