Independent Research Opportunities

Independent Research Opportunities

Kutztown University gives students opportunities to acquire credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing research assistant experience, apply for student research funds, present papers, and attend psychology conferences.  

Our annual student research conference is jointly sponsored by the Kutztown University Chapter of Psi Chi and the Lehigh Valley Psychological Association.   

Through the University Undergraduate Research Committee, student researchers can apply for funds to conduct research and to present their research at conferences. Students who are members of the International Psi Chi Honor Society are also eligible to apply for various research awards and grants in addition to presenting their work at the Psi Chi sessions held at EPA, APA, and APS. Finally, through the generosity of emeriti faculty, the Psychology Department has the Keller-Sharp Research Fund available for student research support. 

KU also has a relationship with the Research Scholars program at Lehigh Valley Hospital.  If you have an interest in obtaining research experience at LVH you must contact Dr. James Jackson: Some of these positions are full-time paid positions during the summer; during the academic year you may be able to earn credit for PSY 305 or 370, but for course credit, you will also need a supervising faculty member from KU. 

Independent Study Request Form

  • Practicum (PSY 305) 1-3 credits

    This is a supervised practicum in an approved research or applied setting that may be on- or off-campus. Experiences might include, but are not limited to, working as a research assistant in a laboratory or other facility, volunteer work for a service organization or government agency, or work with a school district. This practicum is not designed for activities related to the provision of clinical/counseling or I/O services to agencies and businesses. Early in the semester prior to the practicum, the student, with the help of the faculty supervisor, must contact the site and develop a proposal outlining the work location and the anticipated practicum activities. The proposal must be approved before the student can register for the course. PREREQUISITES: PSY011, junior or senior standing, 12 or more credits of PSY, QPA of 2.5 or permission of instructor, approval of the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Course may be repeated for credit, up to a maximum of 6 credits.

    Practicum (PSY 305)

    Site Example Experience
    Oley Valley School District Work with elementary school guidance counselor, observe testing sessions, help monitor and score tests, act as classroom teacher's aide, help design classroom activities.
    Lehigh Valley Hospital Research assistant on a research project with a physician, medical resident, or other health professional. Perform intake interviews, screen clinical patients, perform data entry and literature searches, observe medical procedures, receive training in research and medical ethics. 

    Contact: Dr. James Jackson

  • PSY 370 Selected Research Topics 1-6 credits

    This course is designed to allow students to do independent research under the direction of a faculty member. The topic must be accepted by the department member with whom the student will work with. PREREQUISITES: PSY 011, PSY 200 and PSY 270. May be repeated for credit, up to 6 credits. 

    Independent projects give students a competitive edge for entry into doctoral and master's degree programs. Undergraduate research is also a vehicle for improving critical thinking and writing skills that are valued by all employers. The specific requirements are determined by the faculty supervisor. In most cases, projects involve collecting, analyzing, and reporting of original research data. In some cases, projects may consist of writing a theoretical or review paper. 

    In order to plan, students need to contact the faculty supervisor 2-3 months before they register for the course. In addition, the following is a list of the college and department requirements before registering for PSY 370: 

    1. The student must have a minimum of 12 s.h. in the discipline of the independent study.
    2. The student must have a minimum QPA of 2.5 overall and within the major.
    3. The student, in conjunction with the faculty member who is supervising the independent study, must prepare a project outline describing:
    1. The topic of the independent study

    2. Methodology/plan of action

    3. Equipment/resources needed

    4. Products expected of the student (e.g., paper, video, oral or poster presentation)

    5. Methods of evaluation

    This outline must be submitted to the faculty supervisor, the department chair and the Dean along with the Registration form (which is available from the department secretary).

    PSY 370 Form