Research Experiences

All psychology majors take a three-course core sequence that introduces them to the way psychological knowledge advances through research. In addition, students are required to take a variety of courses that introduce students to the research in disparate domains, such as developmental, social, abnormal, cognitive, and physiological psychology.

Students who are interested in pursuing psychological research in any of these areas may take any of the options listed below. All of these opportunities require that the student find a faculty member willing to advise them.  The faculty page lists the faculty members and their respective research interests.

Honors Research

The honors research sequence is a two-course sequence (four credits each) in which students and their faculty advisors design and carry out a complete research project.  It is required for students in the University honors program, but may be taken by any Psychology major with the credentials and motivation to do so.  The faculty strongly urge that any student interested in a Ph.D. program, whether research or clinical, do an honors projects.  Students typically have at least a 3.00 GPA, but admissions to the honors project is based on overall potential and motivation rather than on GPA alone.

Students typically take the first course, PSY 498 Honors Proposal, either second semester of their junior year or first semester of their senior year. Those whose proposal is approved execute the research in PSY 499 Honors Research.

Students interested in doing honors should contact Dr. Mahzad Hojjat at (508) 910-6611 or

Independent Studies

PSY 495 Independent Studies is a one semester course of variable credits. Students typically work on a faculty member's ongoing research, although it is possible to do a complete study if that study is small. The work typically involve collecting data and analyzing data. Students write a paper describing the study and its results.  The number of credits students receive for Independent Studies is dependent upon the time committment that the student is willing to commit.


Students who want to experience the research endeavor first hand, but without making the commitment to do an Independent Studies or Honors project, may wish to volunteer to assist a faculty member with her or his research.