We encourage undergraduates at Georgia Tech and elsewhere to become involved in research as early as possible in their studies. The most important and informative letters of recommendation for graduate studies and references for future employment typically come from faculty who supervise research. Getting involved in research requires students to take the initiative.
Students may do research for course credit, for pay, or as volunteers. Regardless of how they are compensated, undergraduate research assistants have real responsibilities that cannot be taken lightly. However, expectations may differ for paid, credit, and volunteer research assistants.
Is Psychology Coursework Required?
Some labs will accept entering students with no psychology coursework whereas others may prefer that students complete some coursework first. the responsibilities of undergraduate research assistants typically increase with experience.
How Do I Find Opportunities?
Students interested in conducting research in a faculty member's lab should start by browsing the research areas within the School of Psychology to identify which areas are of interest. Within each area, faculty members have ongoing, unique programs of research. To learn more about the current research being conducted in a specific lab, students should browse the individual lab websites. Find the "Contact Us" area of the individual lab's webpage and follow instructions about whom to contact if you are interested in applying for an undergraduate research position in that lab.
You can also view research assistant recruitment announcements or flyers on the bulletin board near the faculty mailboxes in the J.S. Coon building. Or, click here to view current recruitment announcements from labs.
Research Experience for Course Credit
Option 1: Paper copy of the Petition to Enroll form: Complete a Petition to Enroll form which can either be printed here or found in the front office in the J.S. Coon building. The professor under which a student will begin working should help fill out the form. Completed forms should be turned in to Shebbie Murray in J.S. Coon, Rm. 134 prior to registration.
Option 2: Instead of the paper form, you can request a research permit electronically: The online permit request form can be found here (scroll down to PSYC): https://registrar.gatech.edu/registration/permits-and-overloads (Links to an external site.) The online permit form request will first get sent to the faculty member you have arranged to work with, they will approve/deny the request, and then you will be issued a permit to register if the request is approved.
After a request to enroll is processed, students will receive an email with the CRN of the course for which they should register. It is the student's responsibility to register for the course prior to the close of Phase II registration. As a general guideline, for each credit hour, a student is expected to complete 3 hours of research per week (e.g., 3 credit hours = 9 hours per week commitment). Alternative time-commitments and specific research expectations must be arranged individually with the advising professor. Up to 3 hours of 2699/4699 can be applied toward PSYC electives for PSYC majors.
Research for Credit FAQs!
What section of research should I enroll in?
- If your classification is Freshman/Sophomore, you can only enroll in PSYC 2699.
- If your classification is Junior/Senior, you should be enrolling in PSYC 4699.
- To find out your classification, please follow this link: http://www.catalog.gatech.edu/rules/6/ (Links to an external site.)
How do I enroll in research hours?
- After reaching out to a faculty member and getting approval to sign up with them for research hours, please fill out the online permit request form or use the paper copy (follow directions above). Do not fill out this form unless you have spoken with the faculty member, and they have offered you a position in their lab. It is YOUR responsibility to enroll in the appropriate number of hours in Oscar.
- The online permit request form can be found here: https://registrar.gatech.edu/registration/permits-and-overloads (Links to an external site.)
- The online permit form request will first get sent to the faculty member you plan to work with, then they will approve/deny the request, and finally you will be issued a permit to register if the request is approved.
How does the Online PSYC Research Permit Process work?
- Submit a permit request using the link provided.
- The permit request gets sent to course instructor.
- Instructor either approves or denies the request and this information is sent to Shebbie Murray.
- If approved, you will receive an email notifying you that you have been issued a permit and you can enroll in the course. If denied, you will be notified via email.
How do I enroll in 1, 2, or 3 credit hours of PSYC 2699 or 4699?
- The PSYC 2699/4699 courses are identified as "Variable Hour Courses" in Buzzport/Oscar. When you register for PSYC 2699/4699, the number of credit hours defaults to 1 hour. It is YOUR responsibility to adjust the number of credit hours on your schedule. Details on this process are pasted below.
How do I change the number of hours for a variable hour course?
- Log into Buzzport (Links to an external site.)
- On the Home tab locate the "Registration and Student Services" channel
- Select the "Registration - OSCAR" link
- Select "Student Services & Financial Aid"
- Select "Registration"
- Select "Add/Drop Classes"
- Select "Term"
- Select "Change Course Options" at the bottom of screen
- Enter the desired number of hours
Most labs welcome interest in research positions from motivated undergraduates studying at other universities. Georgia Tech students may also contact researchers in other departments at Tech and at nearby schools such as Georgia State and Emory about research opportunities. Students who spend their summers in different parts of the country should consider contacting local labs about summer positions. In addition, there are organized summer workshops and internships.
For any questions about Undergraduate Research Opportunities, please contact Dr. Audrey Duarte (firstname.lastname@example.org).