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Research with Faculty

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Finding a Lab

First, look through the faculty profiles and research projects sections of our website. Alternatively, you can also consider working with faculty members outside of our department.

Take note of which labs are interesting to you, and then write a detailed and respectful email to the professor in charge of the lab. You can also write to graduate students or the coordinator of a lab.

Research labs recruit at different times in the year and they are all run differently - be flexible and persistent as you look for a good opportunity. Some faculty will email majors to recruit so be sure to check your email!

Getting Credit for Research in Our Department

Psychology and Neuroscience majors typically get credit for research as Independent Study (PSYC366). The credits can vary from 1-6 credits. Students and their faculty mentors agree on the number of credits based on the number of hours worked per week. Students who continue to work in a lab for a longer period of time could potentially enroll in Advanced Research (PSYC466).

Neuroscience majors also often get credit for research as NSCI368 (Research) which is a variable credit course (1-6 credits) that involves a weekly seminar as well as participation in a research lab. Students who continue to work in a lab and have completed NSCI368 could potentially enroll in Advanced Research (NSCI468).


Students CANNOT register themselves for research credit courses. Your faculty mentor or a designated lab representative will need to provide the registration information to our Advising Office to be enrolled.  Make sure that you and your lab have the following information for registration purposes:

  • Your full name
  • Your UD ID
  • The research course you need
  • The number of credits

Please note that you can only enroll in these independent study or research courses if your faculty mentor is in or officially affiliated with our department.

Research Thesis

​Please note that BEFORE you pursue a senior thesis or thesis research, you should have participated in a faculty member's lab for at least two semesters at the PSYC366 or NSCI368 level. These research courses help you get acquainted with working in a lab, gain basic research skills, and begin to develop your own research questions.

There are two options for completing a thesis:

1.  PSYC468 (Thesis Research)

PSYC468 is a course in which students pursue an advanced, independent research project under faculty supervision. At least two semesters of PSYC366 is the prerequisite to enrolling in this course. In addition, you must have a written thesis proposal, that is agreed to by your faculty research mentor, prior to the start of your thesis research.

Students in this course must write a formal research report of their work. Students give their final written paper to the Psychology Undergraduate Committee. 

2.  UNIV401 & UNIV402 (Senior Thesis)

Highly-motivated students can elect to conduct a senior thesis to earn a Degree with Distinction. In addition to designing, conducting, and writing up the research, it requires a committee and an oral defense. This process mirrors what students would experience when creating and defending a Master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. Read more about this experience here

Reminder: either 6 credits of PSYC468 or UNIV401+402 are REQUIRED for the Psychology B.S. degree. (but not the B.A.)

Does Undergraduate Research Fulfill the DLE Requirement?

It depends!
  • If you conduct thesis research as PSYC468, then YES. It counts as a DLE.
  • If you conduct a senior thesis as UNIV401+402, then YES.  It counts as a DLE.
  • If you conduct neuroscience research as NSCI368, then YES. It counts as a DLE.
  • If you conduct research as a PSYC366/PSYC466/NSCI468, then DLE status is NOT automatic but possible. You can apply to have ​the course count as the DLE requirement by completing the Independent Study and DLE Agreement webform.  Note that you need to complete the webform BEFORE the semester starts.

Details about the webform process:

After registering for the Independent Study course(s), students are to complete the first portion of the webform and route it electronically to the supervising faculty member. After the faculty member completes the applicable portion, the form is routed to the Center for Educational Effectiveness if DLE credit is desired and/or to the Honors Program if Honors credit is desired. Please note that an Independent Study course will only receive the DLE designation if it is submitted to the Center for Educational Effectiveness. After applicable approvals by the faculty supervisor and the above offices if appropriate, the form is returned to the student to confirm that he or she is in agreement with the responsibilities indicated.

Once the student has indicated agreement with the responsibilities by approving the final version, copies are sent to the Dean’s Office, the Registrar’s Office and all of the approvers for record keeping. If there are any questions about this form, please contact the Registrar’s Office


You can always check if a course automatically counts as a DLE by checking Courses Search. On the course description, look for the "DLE" in the upper right under where it indicates the number of open seats. See the example below.

Other Research Opportunities Both On and Off Campus

UD offers a number of different campus programs to facilitate and fund undergraduate students working on research. For example:

  • The McNair Scholars Program offers effective preparation for doctoral study to low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education.
  • The Summer Scholars Program through the Undergraduate Research Program which provides a stipend for students to work on their projects full-time for 10 weeks in the summer and continue to complete three credits' worth of research in the following academic year.
  • The Plastino Scholars Program supports outstanding University of Delaware undergraduate students in self-designed, off-campus learning experiences that create a difference in their lives, and in the lives of others.

Click here to explore additional opportunities listed on the Undergraduate Research Program website.

There are psychology-specific summer programs outside of UD that offer opportunities in a wide range of areas such as developmental, clinical, and industrial-organizational psychology. For example:

  • The American Psychological Association Summer Science Fellowship aims to immerse advanced undergraduate students in the science of psychology and help prepare them for the rigors of graduate study in psychological science.
  • The Family Institute at Northwestern University sponsors an eight-week summer volunteer research internship program for advanced undergraduates who are interested in learning more about a career in clinical research and intervention with families.
  • The Summer Program in the Neurological Sciences offers a unique opportunity for academically talented high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to receive training in neuroscience research.

Click here to learn more about these and other psychology-specific summer programs outside of UD.

There are also a number of psychology-related and interdisciplinary summer research opportunities offered outside of UD. Subject areas includes life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, arts & humanities, healthcare & premedicine, math & computer science, engineering and more. For example:

  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute Summer Scholars Program offers a 10-week full-time internship working in positions in laboratory, clinical, behavioral, and translational research.
  • The Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program is a competitive program that offers a 10-week opportunity to do hands-on biology related laboratory research at Columbia University or Barnard College.
  • The Summer Research Experience Program in Cancer Science work full-time in the summer as a part of a collaborative environment of a research laboratory headed by a world-renowned cancer researcher.

Click here to explore additional opportunities listed on the Undergraduate Research Program website.

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