Types of Research

There are a variety of courses that are available for gaining research experience and there is a typical progression of these courses. Typically, those interested in research in social psychology will first sign up for one or two semesters of Research Experience (PSYC 305,306). This experience requires a fairly small commitment of time, but allows the research assistant to gain firsthand experience of what it is like to conduct research in psychology. This course also serves as a gateway to a more permanent position in the lab. Depending on their performance as a Research Experience research assistant, a few students may be asked to continue working in the lab at a higher level (e.g., Research Practicum, Independent Study, etc.). Other students may be recruited into the lab under special circumstances such as URAP or Honors students.

Research Experience (PSYC 305, 306)

  • Directed experience conducting empirical research under the supervision of a faculty member. Open to all students (majors and non-majors) with the approval of the department (¼, ¼). Prerequisite: Permission of the department. Pass/Fail.
  • 5 hours per week (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • Assist others on research
  • Application

Research Practicum (PSYC 318, 319)

  • Directed study and empirical research under the supervision of a faculty member. Open to majors with the approval of the department. One unit may be counted as an elective in the major (1 credit). Prerequisite: Psychology 101 and permission of the department.
  • 10-15 hours per week (the amount will vary depending on how busy the lab is at any given time (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • More involved
  • Literature review and possibly begin collecting data for study
  • Assist on others research
  • Application

Independent Study (PSYC 405, 406, 407)

  • Empirical research project or extensive literature review, with faculty supervision (405 & 407 are ½ credits over two semesters, 406 is 1 credit). Prerequisite: Approval by department of written proposal.
  • 10-15 hours per week (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • Conduct empirical study
  • Application

Honors Research (PSYC 495, 496, 497)

  • Empirical research project with faculty supervision (495 & 497 are ½ credits over two semesters, 496 is 1 credit). Prerequisites: PSYC 406, approval by department of written proposal, and 3.4 GPA in psychology.
  • 10-15 hours per week (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • Similar responsibilities to Independent Study but at a more advanced level. Note: this is honors in the major, not the Honors Program.
  • Application

Honors Project (HNRS 412 or PSYC 405, 406, 407)

  • Students in the Honors Program sometimes elect to carry out an empirical study in psychology for the honors project requirement of the Honors Program. Credit can be assigned as HNRS 412 or as an independent study - PSYC 406.
  • 10-15 hours per week (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • Similar responsibilities to Independent Study but used to complete requirements for the Honors Program
  • Honors Program website

Summer Scholar

  • RAs are encouraged to apply for a Summer Scholar scholarship. This is typically an Independent Study that involves an extensive literature review or an empirical study. This scholarship is very competitive and requires a research proposal.
  • Application

URAP (Undergraduate Research Assistant Program)

  • Ten new freshman students are identified each year and are invited to join the program. They work as research assistants with a member of the Roanoke College faculty on an original research project of interest to both the URAP scholar and to the faculty mentor.
  • They are awarded a stipend of $2,000 per year, renewable for up to three additional years. In addition to the stipend the URAP scholar becomes a member of a research team working on a project which generally will lead to publication in a professional journal and/or presentation at a professional conference.
  • 10-15 hours per week (see Credit Hours & Grading)
  • Responsibilities are negotiated with faculty member and will increase over time with more experience.
  • All URAP students are expected to conduct original research at some point before graduation. It is expected that those URAP students that major in psychology, will also complete a Research Practicum and/or Independent Study.
  • URAP website

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