Research Experiences

Do psychology majors have the opportunity to get research experiences in psychology?

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.

What undergraduate research opportunities are available?

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.

How can I take part in one of the research opportunities? I'm not sure where to start?

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.

I want to take a Directed Research course. What do I do?

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.

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