Research and Experiential Learning Opportunities

"Experiential Learning" refers to hands-on application of your education. The following opportunities take students beyond the classroom and into the research lab, the community, overseas and more!

Prof. Kristal student Rob Hoey

For-Credit Experiential Learning Opportunities

PSY 498 Undergraduate Research

  • Students serve as research assistants in one of the department’s labs.
  • Participation usually lasts more than one semester.
  • Interested students should review faculty research interests and contact relevant faculty. Permission of a faculty sponsor is required.

PSY 499 Independent Study

  • Students pursue a program of specialized study that would not be available through regular courses.
  • Permission of a faculty sponsor is required.

PSY 495 Undergraduate Supervised Teaching

  • Students serve as teaching assistants for one of the department’s undergraduate courses.
  • Open to students who have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, grade of A- or better in the relevant course, and junior standing or higher.
  • Permission of a faculty sponsor is required,

PSY 496 Supervised Applied Experience

  • Students do applied work in a community, government or private agency, or related organization.
  • Permission of the department and sponsoring agency is required.
Student Huaizhen Cai from the Dent Lab
Take Learning to the Next Level

The University at Buffalo offers many exciting ways to get experience beyond the classroom. Learn more about UB's Experiential Learning opportunities.

Start Today!

Get Involved with Faculty Research

Undergraduates are welcome to join one of our many research labs and contribute to the active discoveries in psychological science. Interested students should visit the websites of research labs, or contact faculty members directly. 

Start now! It's never too early to explore your options. Current research areas include:  

  • Behavioral neuroscience (e.g., how biological factors control behavior)
  • Clinical psychology (e.g., how to diagnose, treat, and prevent psychological disorders)
  • Cognitive psychology (e.g., how we perceive, retain, recall, and use information)
  • Social-personality psychology (e.g., how we navigate our interpersonal world) 

Research facilities available to undergraduates are used to explore many topics, including: 

  • How the brain responds to surprising information
  • Eye movements that give clues to an individual’s interpretation of a sentence
  • Consumption of addictive substances like nicotine and alcohol
  • How couples respond to threatening situations in their relationships
  • Muscle contractions involved in movement preparation
  • Cardiac responses during stressful situations
  • Movement of fingers while performing a melody on the piano
  • How non-human animals regulate their behavior and interact with each other 

Students can receive course credit through PSY 498 Undergraduate Research.

  • This option involves taking part in ongoing research in one of the department’s psychology labs. Students take part in all aspects of research and participate in the intellectual community of that lab.
  • This option is an excellent way to prepare for graduate study in psychology.
  • Students interested in this option should review faculty research interests and contact any faculty member whose interests sound like a good fit. You must have permission of the instructor to enroll.
  • Participation usually lasts for more than one semester. 

A related option is PSY 499 Independent Study

  • Independent Study is available to students who have completed PSY 207 Psychological Statistics and PSY 350 Scientific Inquiry. 
  • PSY 499 allows students to pursue a program of specialized study, for a semester or longer, that would not be available through regularly scheduled courses. Enrolling requires permission of a faculty sponsor.

Participate in an Experiment

Students currently taking PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology can complete research credit requirements through the SONA sign-up system. 

Study Abroad

Students are provided with opportunities to use Study Abroad coursework in psychology to satisfy major requirements, pending approval of the department. Interested students should contact the Senior Academic Advisor for Psychology.

Join a Club

Undergraduate Psychology Association:

  • The Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA) is led by student officers and open to all students. 
  • UPA sponsors guest speakers on topics of interest to psychology students, volunteering on campus and in the community, social activities for students and faculty and a yearly Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology:

  • Psi Chi, the world’s premier honor society in psychology, was founded in 1929 for the purpose of encouraging excellence in psychological science. 
  • Membership in Psi Chi is an earned lifetime honor, which is open to psychology majors who have a minimum GPA of 3.1 overall and 3.4 in psychology courses.
  • UB’s student-run Psi Chi chapter inducts new members twice yearly (fall and spring), sponsors workshops on careers in psychology and applying to graduate school, and promotes travel to regional and national psychology conferences. 

Learn about more opportunities to get involved through the UB Student Association.