Students in the Department of Psychology gain research experience through one-on-one collaborations with faculty. Opportunities for individualized research experiences are described below, as well as information on the process for initiating these experiences.
The Department of Psychology offers elective course credit in psychology for independent study projects supervised by a faculty member. Each student examines the topic using primary and secondary sources, and writes a paper of distinguished quality. The study may be designed for one or two semesters. PSYC 203 (Design & Analysis) is a prerequisite.
The Department of Psychology offers elective course credit in psychology for advanced research projects supervised by a faculty member. This is an opportunity for students to engage in an empirical study using advanced research techniques with the guidance of a faculty member. Students undertake a research project in an area of choice designed for one or two semesters. The work should culminate in a data-based paper of distinguished quality. PSYC 203 (Design & Analysis) is a prerequisite.
The Lafayette Excel Scholars program provides part-time paid research opportunities for students during academic semesters and full-time paid research opportunities during the January interim and summer sessions. The application process is competitive and the application is developed and submitted by the faculty mentor. Deadlines and submission forms can be found on the Academic Research Committee’s website.
Details about the process for honors in psychology can be found on the Honors Thesis page of our website.
Some faculty members occasionally take student research assistants on a volunteer basis. This can be a way to gain initial exposure to lab work and experience that leads to additional opportunities. Volunteer research assistants will typically work on a limited, short-term basis, after which the student may transition to work for credit or pay under the programs and courses described above.
Students interested in individualized research experiences should contact the department faculty member whose research interests align with the student’s interests. Most faculty member maintain active research labs, but availability of individualized experiences varies across semesters. The first step is to schedule a meeting to express interest. Faculty are glad to discuss their research and lab opportunities with interested students. Research experiences typically require that students have completed PSYC 203 and additional coursework in the faculty supervisor’s teaching areas.