Student Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research experience

Grad students present posters


Undergraduate students interested in joining a faculty research lab can apply to take up to 3 credits of PSY 485 a semester. After successfully completing one semester, a student may continue, with faculty permission, with PSY 486c (Advanced Undergraduate Research). PSY 486c also fulfills the capstone requirement for the major. 

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PSY 485 and PSY 486C partner undergraduate students with a faculty member to work on faculty-led or student-led research projects.  Conducting research provides students with skills and abilities that employers and graduate programs seek. NAU Psychology students who have completed undergraduate research experience report multiple benefits, not the least of which is preparation for graduate school and the development of specific skills employers are seeking.  Above all, students’ participation in research gives them first-hand experience with how psychological knowledge is generated, enabling them to have even greater insight into the relevance of research methods and statistics to this endeavor. Further, writing, presentation, and professional development skills are also enhanced and refined with this experience.

However, research is time consuming, intensive, and hard work. Students can sign up for 1-3 credit hours of PSY 485 per semester, with a total of 6 credit hours counting toward the Psychology major. When determining how many credit hours to sign up for in any given semester, students should understand that about 3 hours a week are required per credit hour (e.g., 1 credit hour = 3 hours a week; 3 credit hours = 9 hours a week). 

Application process

Our department follows an application procedure for the ability to sign up for PSY 485/486c credits.  If a student wishes to work with a specific faculty member, it is advised that he or she speak with that faculty member before applying for entry into the program. The application will allow students to provide their preferences for faculty research labs. The selection of students is competitive; faculty generally seek students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher, successful completion of PSY 101 (or 101H) and PSY 230, successful completion or concurrent enrollment in PSY 302w, interest and skills that are relevant to research, and ability to commit their time and energy to the research lab.

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Prior to applying for PSY 485, please review our faculty and their research interests.  It is important to note that students do NOT have to have spoken with a faculty member prior to application and students can list up to three research labs in which they are interested. While every attempt will be made to match student interests with faculty availability,  with a faculty member of your choice, however, it is not always possible there are a limited number of research spaces available. Please be aware that the general skills acquired in PSY 485/PSY 486c are more important for your future goals than the actual topic of research.

Application deadlines

For Fall semester, the deadlines are about mid-March.  For Spring semester, the deadlines are about mid-October.  Please check our homepage for submission deadlines.

Complete the online application.

Submit your unofficial university transcript (.pdf preferred) to psy485@nau.edu.