Research Experience

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WHY GET RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN PSYCHOLOGY?

One advantage for students who attend large state universities with graduate programs is the opportunity to actively participate in research projects conducted by faculty members and graduate students. By participating in research, students receive "hands on" experience in their chosen field, an opportunity to see the scientific process in action, and the chance to become better acquainted with a faculty member who can serve as a mentor to the student.

1st annual undergraduate symposium on research scholarship and creative activity.

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Kent State is very research oriented. Faculty members are actively engaged in research, and graduate students in our Ph.D. Clinical and Experimental programs conduct independent research projects. Students engaged in research often assist with data collection, learn data management skills, read articles relevant to lab research projects, and attend lab meetings. Participating in research is also good preparation for graduate school (for more on this topic, see "Want to Go to Graduate School?"). Paid research positions are rare, but undergraduates majoring or minoring in Psychology can earn course credit (PSYC 31498 or PSYC 41498).

HOW DO I GET RESEARCH EXPERIENCE?

STEP 1 - Search & Contact Research Labs

If you are a Kent Campus psychology major, take a look at the current list of research labs searching for undergraduate research assistants as well as the slides from our most recent Faculty Research Showcase.  Contact labs of interest for more information.  Each lab is very different and has a different application process.  Most labs are somewhat selective and require at least a 3.0 GPA.  Contact each lab of interest for more information.

  • If you are a Bachelor of Science (BS) major experiencing difficulty getting accepted into a research lab and your GPA is below a 3.0, you might want to strongly consider switching to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program – click here for instructions.  BA majors can still complete research experience, it is just not a formal degree requirement (i.e., “Application of Psychological Science Area” on one’s roadmap/GPS) like it is for BS majors.

STEP 2 - Determine If You Want Your Experience To Count As Course Credit (PSYC 31498/41498)

Once accepted into a lab, e-mail the faculty member/lab coordinator associated with your lab if you are seeking to complete your research experience for course credit as either Undergraduate Research (PSYC 31498 – graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading scale) or Individual Investigation (PSYC 41498 – graded using a traditional letter grade, A-F, scale).  Every credit hour of PSYC 31498/41498 requires a minimum 45 hour commitment in one’s lab throughout the semester (e.g., approximately 3-4 hours per week during a Fall/Spring semester).

  • Important: In most cases, Bachelor of Science (BS) majors must complete at least 3-6 credits (depending on one's Catalog Year requirements) of PSYC 31498/41498 in addition to Research Writing in Psychology (PSYC 41980; or PSYC 41990) to fulfill their “Application of Psychological Science Area” degree requirement before they can graduate with a BS degree.
  • Important: For the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, Advanced Research Methods (PSYC 42574) can count as 3 credits towards one's “Application of Psychological Science Area” degree requirement category, but students generally must complete their remaining credits in this category by completing research or individual investigation in a faculty member's lab (PSYC 31498/41498) along with Writing in Psychology (PSYC 41990) or by completing one of our highly competitive and research-focused Lab Experience courses (PSYC 41573/41574) – which have several pre-requisites (including a 3.2 GPA) and instructor approval.  If you are a BS major and do not feel this is possible, you should strongly consider switching your major to the Bachelor of Arts degree – click here for instructions.
STEP 3 - Complete & Turn In Permission to Register Form

If seeking to complete your research experience for course credit (PSYC 31498/41498), complete this Permission to Register Form and arrange a time for your faculty supervisor to sign the form.  Return your signed form to the Main Office (Kent Hall 144) once finished.  The secretary will then enroll you in the appropriate section of PSYC 31498/41498 for the number of credit hours indicated on your application.

  • Important: Students conducting research where they come in contact with animals must contact our department’s animal technician, Laure Farnbauch (lfarnbau@kent.edu), in Kent Hall 235 for information on a preliminary health check.  She must initial this form before you turn in the completed copy.