Undergraduate Research

Psychology students at UTRGV can work with faculty in a variety of research areas including clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, animal behavior, health psychology, neuropsychology, evolutionary psychology, social psychology, and forensic psychology.

Engaging in research can help students to:

  • Apply their knowledge and get hands on experience,
  • Better understand the research process,
  • Develop a closer mentoring relationship with a faculty member,
  • Learn whether or not graduate work in psychology, including the research process, would be interesting to them,
  • Improve their chances of being admitted to graduate school (where research skills are valued), and
  • Get a letter of recommendation for work or graduate school applications.

Undergraduate students sometimes participate in research as volunteer student assistants, for upper-division course credit (PSYC 4380), or (rarely) for pay. You must make individual arrangements with a faculty research mentor in order to enroll in PSYC 4380.

Students who are interested in conducting research should approach a faculty member that has research interests that are appealing to the student. That faculty member can help guide the student in developing a project or joining an ongoing project. Students sometimes also become involved in research through Psychology Club or Psi Chi activities.

Graduate students in psychology are particularly encouraged to become involved in research, such as through a thesis project. It is particularly important for students who plan to later pursue a Ph.D., where research skills are more strongly emphasized and previous research experience is more important.