Independent Academic Work

Research, Independent Study, Internships, and Readings

As described in the University’s course catalog, independent academic work is the collective term that encompasses research practica, internships, independent studies, and psychological readings.

Research practica involve planning and conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting the results in the lab of a full-time departmental faculty member or in another lab but under the sponsorship of a full-time departmental faculty member. (Psychology Research 200.502, 504, 512, 514)

Internships are practical work experiences (e.g., clinical internships) that have an academic component and are sponsored by a full-time departmental faculty member. Independent studies are paired with academic internships and include readings and a paper summarizing the research literature associated with the focus of the internship and reflecting upon the internship experience. (Psychology Internship 200.510; Independent Study 200.540, 541, 542)

Psychological Readings are self-directed specialized courses of study conducted under the aegis of a mentor. This academic experience may culminate in a formal paper on a topic agreed upon by the student and his or her mentor. Academic credit is awarded for work that is equivalent to class-based courses. (Psychological Readings 200.506)

Each type of independent work must be sponsored by a member of the full-time faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. To register for research, internship, independent study, and psychological readings experiences, you must submit an Undergraduate Research/Independent Study/Internship form signed by the faculty sponsor to the Registrar’s Office, in addition to an Add/Drop form as appropriate. This form must be submitted by the Add deadline established by the Registrar’s Office. There is no retroactive credit for work done prior to the registration for that independent work experience. Note that each type of independent work has a different course number, and each sponsoring faculty member has his or her own section number.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences guidelines stipulate that students may earn no more than 3 credits for a research practicum or independent study per semester, and no more than 6 credits per academic year, which includes the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Questions regarding independent academic work in Psychology should be directed to Dr. Stephen Drigotas, the department’s Director of Undergraduate Advising.

We post research, internship, and job opportunities as we become aware of them on our Undergraduate Opportunities page.

For more information on getting involved in independent academic work, please review the guidelines for each: