We believe that research experience is an essential part of undergraduate education in psychology, so we provide our students with ample opportunities to contribute to psychological science both inside and outside of the classroom. This allows students to apply what they have learned in their coursework and gain the problem solving, teamwork, and analytical skills that help them excel in graduate school and in a multitude of careers.
Research Methods Courses
Students can tailor their coursework to their interests by choosing from 5 separate sections of research methods: social, developmental, analytic, neuroscience, and cognitive. In each course, students develop independent research projects using the tools and methods (e.g. fMRI processing software) specific to that field. The majors in the psychology department typically require students to take two research methods courses, meaning that students who graduate with these degrees are very well prepared to produce and interpret research results.
Because of our small size, students can become involved in faculty laboratories early and work closely with faculty mentors on research projects. Our faculty members are all leaders in their areas of study, which include mindfulness meditation, the dynamics of close relationships, and autism. Students can receive credit toward graduation for research experiences via the course “Research in Psychology.”
Learn more about working in a research lab
Research and Treatment Centers
Students interested in developmental psychology can conduct research with children 3-5 years old at the Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School. Students interested in neuroscience have access to the CMU-Pitt BRIDGE Center, which houses an fMRI machine.
We also have connections to research and treatment centers throughout the Pittsburgh area. In past years, our students have interned at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, The Children’s Institute, and Matilda Theiss Therapeutic Nursery and Preschool.
Theses, Grants, and Fellowships
During their senior year, students can further build their research portfolio by completing a thesis project with a faculty advisor. Because of their extensive research experience, our students are also competitive for a number of internal and external research grants and fellowships.