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PY 398: Research Practicum in Psychology

The Research Practicum gives you 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 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.

Brain scan with activated areas denoted in orange. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Dr. John Eric Gampher.


Although PY 398 has no prerequisites beyond PY 101: Introductory Psychology, we recommend that you first (or simultaneously) complete appropriate coursework. Typically this would include PY 216 and 316, as well as a relevant introductory coursework in your area of interest. 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 for you to participate in their research.

How to Enroll

A good place to start is the descriptions of faculty research interests in the faculty directory. 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.

It is important to discuss the number of hours per week that you can commit to. This decision translates to the number of credit hours for which you register. Talk to your practicum supervisor to determine what your time commitment will be.

Once you've made those arrangements, you must complete a Practicum Authorization Form in collaboration with your supervisor. Once the form is completed and signed by your supervisor, return it to a Psychology advisor. Assuming that your enrollment is approved, you will receive notification from the department that you can register for the course.

Activity Logs

You'll complete an activity log of your practicum that will be graded by your supervisor. You'll use the log to keep track of your time, but also to keep a record of your activities and accomplishments each week. This is a part of your grade, so be sure to fill it out during the semester instead of all at once at the end. You are responsible for making sure that your supervisor has the form on time and is aware of the deadline for submitting your grade.


Contact the Practicum coordinator, Dr. John Eric Gampher.