Because research is an essential part of psychology the Department of Psychology at Colorado State University provides many opportunities for students to become involved in the research process.
It is expected that a student majoring in Psychology will experience research in multiple ways.
Participation in research is required in the PSY100 and PSY250 courses at Colorado State University. Students in these courses gain valuable first-hand knowledge as the role of a subject in psychology research and contribute to the advancement of the field. Research is designed to enhance learning experiences in PSY100 and PSY250, and references course material. After participation, researchers provide feedback to subjects explaining their studies, and where students can learn the hypothesis and designs of the studies in which they have participated.
The Department of Psychology offers an opportunity for qualified undergraduates to obtain firsthand, supervised research experiences in psychology in the role of Research Assistant. Students may assist professors and/or graduate students with a research project by helping to prepare the study, collect data, and/or enter data into computers. Students can obtain pass/fail elective credit for their assistance if desired, or they can serve as a research assistant voluntarily. Whichever option is selected, obtaining research experience can be a valuable asset when applying for graduate school or jobs after graduation.
A senior thesis is a good thing to do if you are planning on going to graduate school or would just like the extra research experience. Your senior thesis is formal APA research paper. It can be based on your own research study, one that you did with another person or a review of the literature (lit review) on a specific topic of interest. They typically take about a year to complete; therefore, most people begin the process either as a second semester junior or a first semester senior. You must also defend your thesis to a committee of 3-4 people. Once you are done with your thesis you can submit it for publication and/or present it at a conference such as the Rocky Mountain Psychology Association (RMPA) or the American Psychological Association (APA).
To get your thesis started you need to find a thesis advisor. Finding your thesis advisor is as simple as looking at the department faculty’s area of specializations and choosing a person who has research interests similar to yours. Contact this person and ask if they will advise your senior thesis. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain research experience and earn a letter of recommendation.
The above document is an overview of how our research pool is run with all the policies and procedures required for use of the research pool.