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The Psychology Department offers undergraduates many opportunities to engage in research.

Whether you want to be a casual researcher - just need some elective hours; an exploring researcher - thinking of research as a possible career path but would like to learn more from the graduate student or faculty member in the lab; or the determined researcher - wanting to get as much experience as possible to prepare for a Ph.D. research graduate program, you'll have the opportunity.

Psychology Research Experiences:

Psychology Research Experiences

Find a research opportunity!Find a research opportunity!

On-Line Posting

Laboratories recruit undergraduates through our on-line "want ads"


Research Fair

Held on the 2nd Tuesday of the semester, laboratories recruit undergraduates in the Psychology Atrium (first floor) from 4-5 pm

Contact Faculty

Discover faculty research interests/specializations (divisions) and ask about opportunities in their labs

PSYC 290, Research Experience in Psychology

This is an "entry-level" experience in which students gain first-hand experience conducting laboratory research. The scope and type of work vary across disciplines and faculty, but will involve active participation in ongoing research. For example, you may enter data, transcribe interviews, run experiments and participate in lab meetings. Three hours of laboratory work is expected for each PSYC 290 credit hour and the work is graded as S/U. PSYC 290 hours count toward your overall credits in Psychology and UIUC. They do not affect your GPA and cannot satisfy any specific requirements. Consider PSYC 290 credit as elective hours.

Use our online PSYC 290 Form

PSYC 494, Advanced Research in Psychology

Follows PSYC 290s and involve more extensive laboratory experiences. This experience also allows students the opportunity to study topics in greater depth. Psych 494 involves writing a scholarly paper that must be at least 4 pages / credit hour and demonstrate your ability to think critically about issues associated with your research. PSYC 494 credit is letter graded (A-F) and counts as "advanced hours" in LAS. These hours can be used toward your Psychology and LAS requirements. Written permission must be obtained from your faculty research supervisor during the first two weeks of the semester to undertake a PSYC 494.

Use our online PSYC 494 Form 

PSYC 492, Capstone Undergraduate Research

Concurrent enrollment in PSYC 494 required. Provides in-depth background knowledge of their research, and teaches students to make effective oral and written presentations of their findings. In conjunction with PSYC 494, the Capstone Undergraduate course will facilitate the preparation of a Bachelor's thesis that can be submitted for the awarding of the departmental distinction at graduation. May be taken for two semesters with the first semester emphasizing a review of the literature and the second semester concentrating on the presentation of the results. Year-long commitment required.

Honors Program

The Psychology Department's Undergraduate Honors Program is a three semester pattern of courses designed to offer promising undergraduates an opportunity to do sustained scholarly work on a specific research project, culminating in the preparation of an undergraduate Bachelor's thesis.

Bachelor's Thesis

A formal report and the culmination of your independent research. The thesis is written as part of your PSYC 494 (Advanced Research in Psychology) or as part of the Psychology Honors Program. Students writing a thesis as a PSYC 494 participant may submit their report for Psychology Departmental Distinction. Psychology Honors students' theses are automatically submitted for distinction.

Departmental Distinction

Students wishing to receive recognition for excellence in their research by graduating with Distinction in Psychology must write a Bachelor’s Thesis, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and the professor with whom the student did the research must write a letter of support. An original, one additional hard copy of the thesis along with an electronic version, and the letter of support must be received by the Secretary for the Associate Head for Undergraduate Affairs by the appropriate deadline (given below). All theses and letters of support are evaluated by the departmental distinction committee for the granting of Distinction. Each student awarded Distinction is recognized at the Psychology Department Awards Ceremony and Graduation with Distinction is entered into the student’s permanent academic record. Complete information found on Distinction website.

Date of Graduation Date of Submission
January Noon, First Monday in December
May April 15
August Noon, First Monday in July

Comments or concerns about the Undergraduate web pages can be sent by e-mail to either Gary Wszalek

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