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Department of Psychology

University of Mississippi

Research Assistantships

Students interested in gaining research experience beyond their laboratory class can register for Psy 405 (Minor Research Problems) or Psy 420 (Special Topics).

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 (Z grade) 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 to follow the advice below for how to obtain a Psy 405 or 420 experience. Scheduling your time for these courses in on an individual basis; it depends on the faculty members’ research schedules and the nature of the project(s).

Prerequisites for 405 and 420: Permission of instructor.

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 labs 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.

Research Lab Descriptions