PY 398: Research Practicum in Psychology


Purpose.  PY 398 was established to provide students with an opportunity to receive academic credit for conducting supervised research.  In your other classes, you learn from books, articles, and lectures about the body of psychological knowledge.  In PY 398, you become part of the process by which new knowledge is created!

PY 398 is taken for a grade (A-F).

Supervisors and Settings.  Most supervisors for PY 398 are primary faculty in the Department of Psychology.  Sometimes students gain research experience by working as part of a team or lab group which is led by a faculty member, even though day-to-day supervision is provided by a graduate student.  Finally,  UAB has many faculty engaged in psychological research outside the Department of Psychology, and many of them have served as supervisors for PY 398.  If you have a question about whether a particular individual can serve as a PY 398 supervisor, please e-mail the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Maria Hopkins.

Prerequisites.  Although PY 398 has no prerequisites beyond PY 101 (Introductory Psychology), it is recommended that you first (or simultaneously) complete appropriate coursework.  Typically this would include PY 214, 217, and PY 315, as well as a relevant introductory coursework in the area in which you want to work.  For example, if you want to participate in research on basic neural processes, you might first take PY 253 (Brain, Mind and Behavior) or PY 353 (Behavioral Neuroscience).  A faculty supervisor whom you approach may have their own requirements regarding qualifications to participate in their research. 

How to Proceed.  If you are interested in gaining research experience through PY 398, a good place to start is the descriptions of research interests of Psychology faculty.  You might also check the bulletin boards in Campbell Hall, and the Psychology Advisors may also know of possible opportunities.  And by all means check our PY 398 Opportunities web page!

Students are responsible for contacting faculty with whom they would like to work.  The nature of the research project is negotiated between you and the faculty member who will supervise the work. The project may include laboratory research, data analysis, field experience, library research, etc. 

Note:  Be sure to read the General Information on PY 396, 397 and PY 398 and complete the required forms if you are interested in enrolling in this course.