Research is not a secret enterprise reserved only for professors and graduate students. Virtually every undergraduate can become involved directly in research.
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.
Check out the programs below to learn about the department's research opportunities.
Students interested in 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 their final semesters at UT. These courses 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.
Gain supervised research experience
(May not be counted toward a major in psychology)
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.
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 30 semester hours of college coursework, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least a "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.
Hands-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.
The Children's Research Center (CRC) consists of individual research labs seeking undergraduate research assistants (RAs) on a continuous basis. Most RA positions are filled prior to the start of the upcoming semester. Student research assistants gain hands-on experience working with families and children, along with learning data analysis skills, on a variety of research studies in professional lab settings. For more information, see the list of CRC labs with active research studies and the instructions for applying for an RA position.