Independent Research Information
Students have an opportunity, and are strongly encouraged, to participate in independent research. Along with a strong commitment to teaching, the psychology faculty also has active research programs that provide many opportunities for students to receive academic credit through Independent Study. Some of the current research includes study of evolved psychological mechanisms related to human mating, the impact of foreign accented speech on intelligibility and comprehensibility of the speaker's message, medical decision making research, attitudes toward gun control, relationships between technology use and personality, and perceptions of stalking.
The purpose of independent study is to permit students the opportunity to undertake advanced study in a specialized area not normally provided by regularly scheduled courses. Students working toward a B.S. degree are required to complete an independent study. To qualify, a student must be a junior or senior and have a minimum grade average of 2.50. Independent studies may not duplicate existing departmental courses, either in name or content. We recommend that students complete the independent study during fall of the senior year.
The procedure for applying for an independent study is to confer with the faculty sponsor, complete an Independent Study Application packet from the Dean of the College providing the independent study (for Psychology this is the Dean of the College of Arts & Science). The completed application is submitted to the department chair, the student's advisor, the dean of the College providing the independent study and finally, the vice president for academic affairs. The application is available here.
Evaluation of independent studies is the responsibility of the faculty sponsor and may include a written paper, an oral report, or other project materials appropriate to the nature of the study, (e.g., the Psychology department usually requires students to present results of independent research at a student poster session). Credit is variable (one to three semester hours) depending upon the nature of the study. Under normal circumstances, independent study projects will be of such length and complexity that they may be completed in one semester. Students desiring to do additional work on the problem, or to do a problem for the period of a year or more, must submit successive applications through normal channels.
The final written report should be submitted to the faculty sponsor. The sponsor is to file the written report with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the time that the grade is submitted.