Professors start recruiting students for their research teams during the spring semester. They present their research ideas at the “Dog-n-Pony” show, and if you find a professor whose research interests match your own, you may ask to be a part of that professor’s research team.
Research begins starting the next semester. During the fall semester (PSYC 491), students usually complete background reading on the topic of the research and begin to plan the experiment. The spring semester (PSYC 492) usually consists of actual data collection and analysis, as well as preparing to present the results at two conferences: one hosted by the Virginia Psychological Association and another hosted by UMW’s Department of Psychological Science. At the end of the year, students write up their research findings in a formal, APA-style paper.
Both PSYC 491 and 492 are 3 credits each. Prerequisites include PSYC 261 – Introductory Statistics for Psychology, PSYC 360 – Advanced Statistics for Psychology, PSYC 362 – Research Methods for Psychology, and permission of instructor. A maximum of 6 credits in PSYC 490, 491, and 492 combined can count toward the major program.