Explanation of Psy 405 & 420 Psy 405 (Minor Research Problems) and Psy 420 (Readings and Research in Psychology) are utilized by many psychology professors to provide credit to students for unique research experiences working with psychology professors within the department. These courses are 3-credit hour courses and you can take each course a maximum of two times for credit. Thus, you could earn 12 credit hours through taking Psy 405 twice and taking Psy 420 twice. Psy 405 is not graded and Psy 420 is, thus only Psy 420 will impact your GPA. Both courses count as elective courses within the psychology major. You cannot enroll in Psy 405 or Psy 420 without instructor approval (in other words you cannot add either to your schedule on myOleMiss), so you will need too follow the advice below for how to obtain a Psy 405 or 420 experience.
When should I try to get a Psy 405 or 420 experience? Many professors fill their lab positions for the following semester or year as early as possible (within the first half of the semester before or during the spring semester for the following year), so look into this as soon as possible.
How do I obtain a Psy 405 or 420 experience? If you are interested in taking a Psy 405 or 420, first use the information about the labs/professors currently offering Psy 405 and 420 experiences to students (see link to lab below). Second, once you have read through the potential experiences and know which experience you are most interested in gaining, make sure you meet the expectations that professor has for research assistants (e.g., most have a minimum expected GPA). Third, if you meet their expectations, contact the professor via e-mail or during their office hours to express your interest and see how you can apply for a position. Fourth, apply to the position as soon as you are given the information for how to do so. This can be similar to applying for an internship, so be professional. Fifth, if you are offered a position, make sure you can honor the commitments expected of you before you formally accept the position. Finally, you cannot add a Psy 405/420 to your schedule on myOleMiss, so you will need to complete an “Add class” form and have the professor sign it so that you can be added to their section of Psy 405 or 420.
Video This video is a brief explanation of the Psychology Labs recruiting for undergraduate students in Spring 2017 presented by Emmie Hebert at the 4th Annual UM Conference on Psychological Science.
Study abroad and psychology
Some Psychology faculty utilize teaching assistants to assist students enrolled in their courses. If you have done well in their course and are interested in becoming a teaching assistant for the professor you took the course with, approach the professor to ask them about potential opportunities to work with them. You may be able to earn credit for experiences like this through Psy 401, Psy 405, or Psy 420. We recommend approaching professors you may want to work with as a teaching assistant prior to the registration period for the next semester to increase the likelihood that they will not have already offered positions to other people.