PSY Courses

The following provides details about select PSY courses.

Advanced Topics Series (4X9)

For both BA or BS degree candidates, course(s) from the Advanced Topics Series (4X9) are required. Some important points to consider regarding these courses are as follows:

  • Some 4X9 courses have prerequisites or require instructor permission to enroll.
  • PSY 4X9 credits count towards the upper-division requirements.
  • Students may take more than one 4X9 course (e.g., a student may take 449 and 459).
  • Students may also repeat a 4X9 course ONCE (e.g., a student may take two semesters of 449), provided that the content of each course is different.
  • PSY 4X9 credits typically have a Writing Intensive (WI) designation.
  • PSY 499 does not fulfill the Advanced Topics Series requirement.

PSY 499 (Research) Courses

PSY 499 (Research) is typically directed reading and research conducted in a Psychology faculty member's laboratory. This course offers undergraduate students a hands-on opportunity to acquire practical, real-world psychology knowledge and training. For most projects, participants are trained to perform assigned duties and no previous experience is necessary.

I. Benefits of Participation

Our Department strongly encourages participation for the following reasons:

  • Students obtain knowledge in fundamental areas of research, including literature reviews, data collection, management and analysis, and basic research methodologies.
  • Students gain a better understanding of the process of conducting research in a particular area of psychological study.
  • Students may develop a meaningful mentor relationship, at which time a letter of recommendation to fulfill academic (e.g., graduate school applications) or career goals may be requested.

II. Enrollment Guidelines

Operated under a mentorship model, students work with a Psychology faculty member (or graduate student) as their supervisor. In order to find a mentor:

  1. Become familiar with the scope of Departmental research opportunities, and with individual faculty specialties and research interests.
  2. When you find a compatible research interest, contact the faculty member to arrange a meeting to discuss mutual interests and PSY 499 (Research) enrollment possibilities.
  3. It is recommended that you participate in research activities for a minimum of two semesters and that this begins two years before you graduate in order to establish a relationship with your mentor prior to the semester when you may be requesting a letter of recommendation.

III. Additional PSY 499 (Research) Details

Although you are limited with respect to how many credits can count toward your degree, you can enroll in PSY 499 (Research) as many semesters as you want. Other important points to consider are:

  • The composition of PSY 499 (Research) courses will vary greatly among different faculty mentors.
  • PSY 499 is typically a 3-credit course, which equates to 9 hours a week conducting research duties.
  • You may take up to 9 credits of PSY 499 to count toward the credits required for the Psychology BA or BS degree.
  • You may take only 3 credits of PSY 499 to count toward the 15 (BA) or 21 (BS) upper-division credits needed for graduation.
  • During one of the two required semesters of PSY 499, students must submit a Research Project Summary.

PSY 407 (Practicum) Credits

Do a practicum! A great way to get a head start on a future career is to do a practicum for credit (PSY 407). Doing a practicum provides an opportunity to learn more about what career students might want to pursue (or avoid) after graduation. These kinds of experiences are great to have on a CV for future graduate school or job applications and helps students network with people in the community who share common interests.