Undergraduate Studies Heading link
Welcome to our Undergraduate Studies page! As a department at one of the nations largest diverse urban research institutions, we work diligently to reflect excellence in education, research, and practice! Discover more about our general and applied psychology majors and their offerings. Our department also collaborates with several other programs on campus including Educational Psychology, Neuroscience, Public Health, and Psychiatry to name a few. There are many opportunities available to our undergraduate students and we welcome you to learn more!
Undergraduate Studies Heading link
Undergraduate Research Heading link
Undergraduate research is an essential part of our student’s experiences at UIC and in the Department of Psychology. The research opportunities we offer students year-round includes, Summer Research Opportunities, Honors Courses, Capstone, Labs, and more. Take advantage of the most important resource at a Carnegie 1 research institution. Learn about how you can get involved in research today!
Psychology Undergraduate Research Courses Heading link
Undergraduate Research Courses
Our undergraduate program offers research courses to help foster mentorships between faculty and students, and also introduce students to different kinds of research experiences depending on their goals. Psch 396 - Directed Psychology Psch 397 - Readings in Psychology Psch 399 Independent Research 1 TO 3 hours. Participation in ongoing research in psychology under the direction of a faculty member. A final report describing the research and its theory is required. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. A combined maximum of 8 hours of credit in PSCH 396, PSCH 397, and PSCH 399 may be applied toward the degree. Prerequisite(s): PSCH 242 and consent of the instructor. 1 TO 3 hours. Bibliographic research on a special topic under the direction of a faculty member. Paper is required for course credit. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. A combined maximum of 8 hours of credit in PSCH 396, PSCH 397, and PSCH 399 may be applied toward the degree. Prerequisite(s): PSCH 343, a 3.00 grade point average, and consent of the instructor. Individual research on a special topic under the direction of a faculty member. A paper is required for course credit. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. A combined maximum of 8 hours of credit in PSCH 396, PSCH 397, and PSCH 399 may be applied toward the degree. Prerequisite(s) : PSCH 343; one from PSCH 313, PSCH 321, PSCH 351, PSCH 353, PSCH 361, PSCH 363; a 3.00 grade point average; membership in one of the departmental distinction programs; consent of the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies. (Can be taken by students who are not doing high distinction with instructor's permission.) Students must complete an application in order to be considered for credit in PSCH 399.
*Download the PSCH 399 Form – Independent Study Course
Credit for Research Outside of UIC Dept of Psychology
Credit may be obtained for research outside of the UIC Psychology Department through PSCH 396 (under the Director of Undergraduate Studies’ call number), under these conditions (in addition to the normal conditions outlined above):
- The faculty member and project have been approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS), Dr. Kate Zinsser. For this, you must submit a paragraph or two describing the proposed project, your role in it, and the psychological implications of the research. This must be submitted to the departmental Undergraduate Advisor and the DUGS via e-mail; and request that the faculty member who is your proposed research mentor email DUGS to indicate his/her understanding of the arrangement, and/or to ask any questions about the requirements. This must be done during the normal class registration period prior to the semester you want to register. Students must register for the credit during the normal drop/add period (First 2 weeks of course generally).
- You must write an APA-style paper about your research experience and hand it in to Dr. Ellen Herbener before the last day of classes. Before you receive a grade, this paper must be approved by your research supervisor, who must send Dr. Herbener a note (email is ok) approving the paper and your work in the course, before the end of exam week. Otherwise you will be assigned a grade of Unsatisfactory.
How to Get Started
Interested in research, but not entirely sure how to get started? There are three options students can use to:
1. Connect with Faculty
Review the Faculty page and read what the faculty members are researching. Then, approach them directly, and ask if they have an opening in their lab for a 396 student, and if so, ask whether you could meet with them for an interview. It’s important to be flexible at this stage, and realize that after you learn the basics of research in one semester, you’ll be able to branch out later to work in other faculty labs that might meet your particular interests better. Faculty will expect to hear from you initially by email. Please allow a reasonable time for their reply and have prepared your reasons for wanting to work with them. Tell them about your interests and your qualifications (GPA, etc).
2. UIC Psi Chi Matchmaker Event
UIC Psi Chi arranges a forum called “Matchmaker” in the Fall and Spring Semesters for undergraduates to attend and discover the research opportunities that are actively available. These forums will be announced on their website, social media, and via e-mail to majors. Note: Matchmaker meetings usually take place on the 1st Friday of each semester.
3. UIC Psi Chi Researchers
Visit the UIC Psi Chi Website at any time to see postings from researchers who are looking for assistants.
You will make a specific arrangement with the faculty member to work in his or her laboratory on a research project (this may involve literature searches, running experiments, data collection, data analysis, observations, interviewing, etc.) for a certain number of hours a week for an agreed upon amount of credit (1-3 credit hours). Generally, 9 hours of work per week for 15 weeks is required for 3 hours of credit, 6 hours per week for 2 hours of credit, and 3 hours per week for 1 hour of credit. You must work a total of 135 hours in the research if you sign up for 3 credits of PSCH 396, or you must work a total of 90 hours total if you sign up for 2 credits of PSCH 396. Once you and the Professor decide how many credits you shall take, you can register yourself in their CRN, choosing the decided number of credits. At the end of the semester you must submit a 7-page paper to your Professor outlining the theoretical basis of the research and the part you played in it as a research assistant
The Psychology Undergraduate Research Readiness (PURR) program in UIC’s Department of Psychology provides targeted education, research experience, and mentorship for undergraduate Psychology and allied majors who aim to pursue graduate education in the field of Psychology.
The overarching goal for this program is for undergraduate students to gain the skills and resources to:
- Network and strengthen academic and research portfolios
- Effectively goal set for graduate education and career planning
- Confidently create a transition plan for post-undergrad
Students will build and strengthen their working knowledge of Psychology while in the PURR Program by participating in workshops that promote personal growth and development, research and focus areas related to the field, graduate school admissions process, and more. Upon completing the program, students will be able to:
- Evaluate post-undergraduate opportunities (i.e., graduate education or workplace)
- Demonstrate proficient knowledge of the research process and graduate school preparation
- Increase academic competitiveness as candidates for admission to graduate school
- Assess personal and professional goals
- Expand personal and professional networks
During the fall and spring semesters, we host several workshops that provide undergraduates with professional development information to prepare them to apply for research labs, graduate education, and post-graduate opportunities. Workshops will include interactive activities, guest speakers, and information sessions. Workshops will be “hybrid”, so you can attend in-person or online. Session topics include: Creating a CV, Developing a Personal Statement for Graduate School, Alumni Panels, and more.
Level 1: PURR Participant
Everyone in the PURR Program starts as a PURR Participant. The only requirement for PURR Participants is to attend or view the recording of at least 1 workshop each semester, although you are welcome to attend/view more. After one semester at Level 1 you can move up to Level 2 and become a PURR Selected Mentee, or you can stay at Level 1 for as many semesters as you like.
Level 2: PURR Selected Mentee
After at least one semester as a PURR Participant, you can become a PURR Selected Mentee. At the beginning of each semester, we will survey our returning PURR Participants to see who would like to be a Selected Mentee. Selected Mentees are matched with a graduate student mentor. Selected Mentees are expected to have a greater level of involvement, attending or viewing all required PURR workshops for the semester and meeting regularly with their mentors. Although we try to match everyone who wants a mentor, if there are not enough mentors in a given semester, we will select mentees based on factors such as year in the program, mentor/mentee match, etc. PURR Selected Mentees can also reapply for as many subsequent semesters of mentoring as they would like, although being matched with a mentor again depends on mentor availability and the number of other students requesting mentors.
Interested in participating?
Sign up for more information here!
The UIC Psychology Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) Research and Teaching Fellowship aims to support/mentor recent UIC Psychology graduates interested in pursuing graduate studies in Psychology. As part of the program, participants engage in 10 volunteer hours per week of supervised research with a faculty mentor for a full (9-month) academic year.
To support the efforts of fellows, the department offers each participant a paid Visiting Teaching Associate (VTA) appointment. Meaning, participants will be assigned to serve as a TA for one or more psychology undergraduate courses.
- TA: Minimum of 20 hours per week; Minimum appointment 50% and Maximum appointment 67%.
- Research: Fellows are also required to volunteer 10 hours per week in a research lab, with the option to participate in periodic professional development events, which include graduate application workshops, career panels, and networking socials.
Participants in the Post-Bac Research and Teaching Fellowship will gain valuable skills in research, communication, academic professionalism, and teamwork that will translate to a variety of future academic and work contexts. In addition to the research and teaching experiences, participants will have the opportunity to engage in professional development workshops focused on enhancing readiness and competitiveness for Psychology graduate applications. Priority for the Fellowship will be given to applicants who recently completed their undergraduate degree at UIC with a major in Psychology, and final decisions will be made by Psychology faculty mentors based on research fit.
Interested in learning more? Complete this form!
How to Apply
Students should complete the online application and will be required to submit an unofficial copy of their transcripts. The application for fall 2024 will open during the spring 2024 semester.
*Please Note: Applicants who graduate spring 2024 or graduated fall 2023 will be considered for placement in the program fall 2024. If you are graduating in December 2024, you do not qualify to apply at this time. Please complete the Prospect Inquiry form above to stay updated on new information.
If a student has identified a tenured/tenure-track or clinical-track Faculty sponsor/mentor (this is NOT required), an e-mail/letter in support of the student should be emailed to Program Director, Tikia Travis email@example.com. The email/letter should articulate a commitment to serve as the student’s research advisor (this email may be brief).
- Applications submitted during the application open and close period are guaranteed for review.
- Participation in the Psychology Post-Bac Research and Teaching Fellowship does not guarantee admission into the University nor to the UIC Psychology Graduate program. If the fellow wishes to take classes for credit during their fellow period, they may apply for admission as a Graduate Student-At-Large at UIC. Any application fees, course fees, etc. are the responsibility of the student and will not be covered by the department. UIC employees are eligible for one tuition waiver per year (see here).
 This program is meant for recent graduates who plan to transition to graduate study who might want to gain additional experience before applying; it is not meant to become a permanent job. Participation is therefore capped at a maximum of two years.
 This is an estimated percent appointment. However, participants are required to commit a minimum of 50% (20 hours weekly) to TA’ing and serving 10 hours weekly as a volunteer in a research lab.
Questions about the Fellowship should be directed Program Director, Tikia Travis firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UIC Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) offers UIC students from all backgrounds and in all majors information and resources that help them find, secure, and succeed in such experiences–on and off campus and nationally and internationally. The OUR also supports faculty and staff in mentoring students and garnering funding for their projects.
Undergraduate Research Experience
The Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) is a university-wide program dedicated to fostering scholarly engagement and intellectual growth. Students gain valuable research skills and relevant experience, develop professional relationships with faculty members and other researchers, and earn credit hours within or outside of the major. Learn more here.
Research Opportunities on Campus
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) has compiled research opportunities to assist students in their search for a research experience. They have provided a list of opportunities available to students.
Undergrad Students in Research Heading link
Honors Opportunities Heading link
Psi Chi (pronounced “Sigh Kye”) is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Psi Chi’s sister honor society is Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges
Psi Chi functions as a federation of chapters located at about 1,100 senior colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Ireland, and New Zealand. The Central Office is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Board of Directors, composed of psychologists who are Psi Chi members and are elected by the chapters, guides the affairs of the organization and sets policy with the approval of the chapters.
Psi Chi serves two major goals–one immediate and visibly rewarding to the individual member, the other slower and more difficult to accomplish, but offering greater rewards in the long run. The first of these is the Society’s obligation to provide academic recognition to its inductees by the mere fact of membership. The second goal is the obligation of each of the Society’s local chapters to nurture the spark of that accomplishment by offering a climate congenial to members’ creative development. For example, the chapters make active attempts to nourish and stimulate professional growth through programs designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum and to provide practical experience and fellowship through affiliation with the chapter. In addition, the international organization provides programs to help achieve these goals, including Society and regional conventions held annually in conjunction with the psychological associations, research award competitions, and certificate recognition programs.
The Society publishes a quarterly magazine, Eye on Psi Chi, which helps to unite the members, inform them, and recognize their contributions and accomplishments. The quarterly Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research fosters and rewards the scholarly efforts of undergraduate psychology students and provides a valuable learning experience introducing them to the publishing and review process.
Students become members by joining the chapter at the school where they are enrolled. Psi Chi chapters are operated by student officers and faculty advisors. Together they select and induct the members and carry out the goals of the Society. All chapters register their inductees at the Central Office, where membership records are preserved for reference purposes. The total number of memberships registered at the Central Office is now over 500,000 lifetime members. Many of these members have gone on to distinguished careers in psychology. To learn more about the UIC Chapter of Psi Chi click here.
Student Organizations Heading link
Student organizations are vital in cultivating the experience and professional development of students at UIC. The Department of Psychology proudly supports our students efforts to make our programs and department diverse, inclusive, and community-oriented. Check out of some of the student organizations below that our students actively engage in throughout the year.