Research

Montage photo of several students working in labs

The Department of Psychology and Education has adopted the philosophy that the best way to learn about psychology and education is to do psychology and education. As an expression of this philosophy, the department maintains a strong commitment to engaging our students in research.

Who can do research?

Everyone can apply to do research! Many courses at the 200 and 300 level in the psychology major are specifically designed to train you to conduct cutting-edge research.

If you are interested in learning more about research opportunities outside of the classroom, learn about the various research topics our faculty are studying.

Students across all classes get involved in research. Some faculty are looking to recruit first-year or sophomores while others request you wait until your junior year or take a specific course before engaging in research in their lab.

Do I have what it takes to do research?

It turns out you probably do - conducting research is a skill you learn and often relies heavily on qualities and characteristics similar to other jobs.

Faculty are looking for students who:

  • Ask questions and speak up when they are confused or don’t understand
  • Show up on time reliably and are dependable in meeting deadlines
  • Work well in a team
  • Are comfortable making mistakes, facing setbacks, and overcoming failure

Faculty in specific labs are also looking for other more specific skills depending on the research this may include a love of animals, strong grasp of a particular language (English, Spanish, etc.), ability to defuse conflict during arguments, etc.

Can I do research in any of my courses?

Many courses in the major at the 200 and 300-level include research skills in student learning. These are great ways to explore the world of research. Be sure to include the skills and activity you learned from these research opportunities on your resume and cover letter to show how our program has prepared you for research.

Example

Psych-204, Research Methods

  • Study Design and data collection
  • Statistical analysis using SPSS software
  • Science writing and reporting data

Do I have to take specific courses first?

No, but every faculty member looks for different skills or requirements in a student researcher. Sign up to receive emails when faculty are next looking to hire research assistants and learn more about who they are looking for. Or, you can email a faculty member in the department directly and ask them what they look for in a research assistant.