Department of Psychology

Independent Study

The psychology major is strongly focused on a scientific approach to understanding mind and behavior. Through the course "Directed Research in Psychology" (PSY 433) students with junior or senior standing have the chance to conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. A related course is "Directed Reading" (PSY 490) and is signed up for in a similar fashion.

The goal of the experience is to enable selected students to become closely involved with research and/or investigate a topic with the guidance of an expert. If you are interested in conducting an independent study, take the following steps:

  • Discuss your interest in psychology with a faculty member and select a topic of mutual interest.
  • Discuss any special training that you might need.
  • Work with the faculty member to design and/or conduct research on that topic. Activities may involve data collection, statistical analysis, library research.
  • Most students meet regularly with their faculty supervisor to discuss the problems under study, the progress of the research or problems that arise during the research.
  • Students must write a paper, present a poster or undergo some formal evaluation of their research activities during the semester. Most students write papers describing the hypotheses they have tested and the results of their research.

Conducting Independent Research is extremely important for acceptance into a graduate or professional program in psychology, and for obtaining excellent letters of recommendation for jobs or other degree programs. The close student-faculty interaction provided by an independent study often enhances your chances for acceptance into a first-rate graduate or professional program. Many of our graduates have furthered their training in psychology through graduate work at other universities. Some of the schools our recent graduates have attended include George Mason University, Princeton University, University of Minnesota, the University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, Wake Forest University and Duke. In addition, students in our undergraduate program may apply to remain at UNCG to pursue the MA and/or PhD degrees in psychology.

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Peter Delaney, p_delane@uncg.edu, (336) 256-0010