PY 398 gives you the 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 this course you become part of the process through which new knowledge is created! It is taken for a grade (A-F).


Most supervisors are primary faculty in the Department of Psychology. Sometimes you will gain research experience by working as part of a team or lab group led by a faculty member, even though day-to-day supervision is provided by a graduate student.

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 email the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Maria Hopkins.


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 may have their own requirements regarding your 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. 

You are responsible for contacting faculty you would like to work with. The nature of the research project is negotiated between you and the faculty supervisor. It may include laboratory research, data analysis, field experience, library research, etc. 

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