Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Research - Get Involved!
We highly recommend that you become involved in research with a faculty member with whom you share an interest. The importance of this cannot be overstated. An enthusiastic letter from your research professor can make all the difference in admission to graduate programs. In fact, it is difficult to get into a high-quality graduate psychology program without at least some research experience. Perhaps equally important, you will attain a much better sense of your own enthusiasms and abilities as a potential behavioral scientist than if you simply acquire classroom knowledge.
Research Areas: Where to Look and How to Start
The Psychology Department at SUNY-Albany has research strengths in behavioral neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and social-personality psychology. If you plan to attend graduate school, we strongly encourage you to talk with at least one professor in the area of your interest. For a brief guide to each of the fields of psychology please click here.
The real place to rise above the crowd and show your potential for professional accomplishment is in research. Psychology is an empirical science and research is the engine that drives it. Research also takes considerable time. For the experience to best benefit you, you will need to get involved early so that you have something to show for your work.
Again, you need to make an informed choice about whom you work with and what you work on. Professors vary considerably in style and substance in directing undergraduates in their research projects. On this website you will find descriptions of individual faculty research interests as organized by graduate programs. Beyond simply reading this list, however, you should talk to undergraduates who have worked with these faculty members, and discuss the projects you might want to work on with both the graduate students and the professors who would be involved. Most importantly, thoroughly discuss with the professor what you would be doing, what is expected, how much importance you would have to the project, how much access you would have to him or her, and the like, and then decide if that participation will be valuable for you. Doing research can be one of the best experiences of your undergraduate life but what you learn from the experience will largely be determined by how much effort and time you put into it. Regardless of what field of psychology you might enter after graduation and what graduate degree you pursue, if you decide to, understanding the research process is very important to being successful in psychology. If you are unsure of whether you would like research experience, please come into the Advisement Office (SS399B) to speak with an advisor.
Research Available in the Psychology Department at the University at Albany
Most faculty accept undergraduates in independent study or directed research. You may receive credit for directed study by registering for APSY 297/297Z, APSY 397/397Z, or APSY 497Z. In order to assist in a research laboratory and receive course credit, you must apply to the laboratory you are interested in. For a list of most of the research laboratories in the department please click here for Undergraduate Independent Study Opportunities. Please visit the Advisement Office for the most up-to-date list of research opportunities. Please note that you must follow each professor’s instructions to apply; there is no universal application.