Definitely! In fact, most of our psychology majors gain some psychological research experience during their time at Yale. It is never too early to start doing research. Many psychology labs accept students with varying backgrounds and levels of previous research experience. In fact, many labs encourage freshman and sophomores to apply for positions in the hope that these students will work in the lab for several semesters and possibly complete senior requirement in the lab.
There are many, many undergraduate research opportunities available to you! Most psychology laboratories at Yale have opportunities for undergraduates to get involved. Some labs take on undergraduates during the academic year either for academic credit, for pay (through work-study program, etc.) or on a volunteer basis. Some labs will also hire undergraduate research assistants (RAs) full-time over the summer break.
Our department does keep a website that lists some of the research opportunities available each semester (click here for a listed of posted ads). However, this list DOES NOT represent all the research opportunities available to you as a Yale student.
Unlike classes and other academic experiences, you usually need to do some work to seek out research opportunities. No matter what type of position you're looking for (course credit, summer, paid, volunteer, etc.), the process is basically the same. Your first step will be to figure out which professors are doing work that you find especially interesting. To help start this search at Yale, get to know what the professors in the Psychology department do and what research questions they're working on.
The PSYC department offers several different kinds of independent research courses for credit. We offer full credit directed research course (PSYC 493), and half credit directed research course (PSYC 495). These courses are graded pass/fall.
First, you have to find a faculty member who is willing to supervise such a course for you. Since you must enroll in the course at the start of the semester, you must find a faculty member during shopping week. This process for doing this is described above. Once you and a faculty member have discussed a project and have already agreed on a plan of action, then download a tutorial form here. Bring this form to the faculty member who has agreed to supervise you.
No. We do not offer a Directed Reading or Directed Research course during the summer. Therefore, one cannot get a credit for research done during the summer.