Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Research Involvement

Research is not a secret enterprise reserved only for professors and graduate students. Virtually every undergraduate can become involved directly in research. The way to get started is to check out the research opportunities available through PSY 357 Undergraduate Research.

Dr. Christopher Beevers

Dr. Christopher Beevers (Clinical Area) in his Mood Disorders Lab

Every faculty member has the authority to let students sign up to assist with research. The type of assistance you may provide in a research setting may find you active involved in conducting research, administering tests or questionnaires or formulating research questions. It is usually possible to get involved in an area that is related to our primary interests.

PSY 357 is highly flexible. Depending on the faculty member with whom you work, there is a good deal of freedom as to whether you will work on a project already underway or become involved at the beginning of a project. After a semester or two of research you should find that your skills in research collaboration and formulation of research questions will increase. The skills you cultivate through this individualized opportunity can apply to almost any professional area and is therefore valuable regardless of the direction you intend to go with your degree.

Continuing Your Research: The Departmental Honors Program

Students interested in perhaps pursuing their own lines of inquiry may want to apply for the Departmental Honors Program.  The program consists of four courses – PSY 458, PSY 359H, PSY 379H and PSY 158H – which are usually completed in a two to three semester sequence during your final semesters at UT.  These courses would allow a student to complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the department.  Typically, students will find support and assistance with faculty whose interests are most closely aligned with the research topic.  While PSY 359H, 379H and 158H are restricted to students admitted to the honors program, PSY 458 experimental Psychology is open to all students meeting the GPA requirement (minimum 3.25 GPA in psychology).  Taking this course prior to starting an honors project may help you to decide whether to apply to the program and could also become a pilot for whatever experiment you want to conduct through the honors program.

For more information about departmental Honors, you can check out the Honors Program page.



PSY 301 Introduction to Psychology

Study the basic problems and principles of human experience and behavior

Research requirement: Students enrolled in PSY 301 must fulfill a research requirement consisting of either participation in psychological research studies as a subject or writing a paper on psychological research, in addition to class work.

For Drs. Pennebaker and Gosling's computer-intensive online PSY 301 course, please visit http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tower/online/courses/ for more information.


PSY 357 Undergraduate Research

Gain supervised research experience

(May not be counted toward a major in psychology)

The purpose of this individual instruction course is to provide an opportunity for advanced and qualified undergraduates to obtain first-hand, supervised research experience in psychology. The student will usually assist a professor with a research project by helping to prepare the study and by running subjects in the study. The student may work with a graduate student who is doing research supervised by a professor. The student should not expect to be able to conduct an experiment of his/her own.

Prerequisite: At least thirty semester hours of college coursework, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and consent of instructor.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class. Offered on the pass/fail basis only. May be repeated for credit.


The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Provides hand-on training at UT Austin for students at colleges/universities across Texas 

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is a summer internship program that takes place on The University of Texas at Austin campus for undergraduate students who are interested in research in psychology and are currently attending a college or university in the state of Texas. The program provides hands-on training that will make students more competitive for top doctoral training programs.

We strongly encourage students from traditionally underrepresented groups to apply. Students who are accepted into the SURE program will be involved in all aspects of the research process, increasing the student’s knowledge about, and enthusiasm for, laboratory and field work in psychology.

See more information and deadline to apply here.


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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157