Independent study (PSYC 405, 406, 407) is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to conduct an empirical study under the direction of a faculty mentor. The work is carried out independently, with guidance from a faculty mentor. PSYC 405 and 407 are ½-credit courses to spread the work across two semesters; PSYC 406 is a one-credit course. Independent Study is a full credit course taken for a grade.
Independent Study is strongly recommended for students who plan to attend graduate school in any of the research areas of psychology. Admission criteria for M.A. and Ph.D. programs often include research experience, and one's likelihood of acceptance into a competitive program is enhanced by having a record of research participation.
To participate in Independent Study, a student must have an overall GPA and a Psychology GPA of at least 3.0, unless special permission is granted by the Psychology faculty. To enroll in an Independent Study, a student must complete a written research proposal (see example below). Typically students enrolling in Independent Study have completed a research proposal as part of a Research Practicum; however, as long as the student has found a faculty mentor who is willing to work with them and that student writes a research proposal, taking Research Practicum prior to an Independent Study is not required (though it is recommended). In addition to the research proposal, students must complete both the Application for Research in the Department and Independent Study Application forms. The research proposal and Independent Study Application should be sent to your research mentor at least three weeks before the date of registration for the term in which the study is to be conducted. If approved by the Department, the Department Chair will contact the registrar's office and register you for the course.