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Independent studies are important for students planning to apply for graduate school. This experience gives students great opportunities to work with faculty in the research environment. Research credit can be earned through PSY 490/491 or it can be done as a volunteer.

PSY 490 Special Problems in Psychology (fall, spring, summer)

Description: Students work under the direction of a faculty member on an experimental, theoretical, or applied problem. This is a graded course.

Restrictions: As specified by the faculty of record. A maximum of 1 - 8 490/491 credits can be taken in a semester with a combined total of 12 independent study credits for the degree. Needs instructor and departmental approval.

PSY 491 Participation in Psychological Project (fall, spring, summer)

Description: Students participate in a psychological project under direction of a faculty member. This is a pass/no pass course (no grade, only credit).

Restrictions: As specified by the faculty of record. A maximum of 1 - 8 490/491 credits can be taken in a semester with a combined total of 12 independent study credits for the degree. Needs instructor and departmental approval.

How to Locate Psychology Research Opportunities
There are opportunities in the Department of Psychology for students to get involved in research in a faculty member's lab, either as a volunteer or for credit (via PSY 490 or PSY 491). The following are ways to identify these opportunities:

• View Listings on the Psychology website: Click on an individual study to learn more about it: IndependentStudy.aspx

• Read through the "Independent Studies" Notebook in the Advising Library (100 PSY Building): This notebook contains listings of available independent studies. Many of these listings may also be listed on the Psychology website.

• Contacting Faculty to Learn of Additional Independent Study Opportunities: You can identify which faculty members are doing research in an area of interest to you. Click on the orange "Research Topic" button on the menu column to the left. Click on each faculty to learn more about their particular research. For each one that provides a "vita" (extensive resume) link, open the link to learn more about that faculty member's background, research and recently published articles. After reviewing their information, contact those that you are most interested in.

Summer Research Opportunites
These summer research opportunities are located at other institions outside of MSU. Often, psychology faculty receive postings and flyers from colleagues at other schools and pass them onto the advisors.

PSY Undergraduate 2017 Summer Research


HUMAN SERVICES INTERNSHIP, PSY 381 AND PSY 382 (9 - 15 cr. total) This course is designed for the student planning for a career working directly with people in need. It teaches you how to effectively help people in direct-service situations, whether through non-profit organizations (e.g., homeless shelters, domestic abuse programs, refugee services, foster care services) or government jobs (e.g., child protective services, welfare office). The class uses lectures, discussions, guest speakers, videos, homework, in class assignments, and tests to enhance your understanding of the material. Attendance is extremely important and will be strictly enforced. This course is a two semester commitment and students must agree to sign up for both semesters in order to be allowed into the course.

Psychology Internship Brochure

Psychology Human Service Internship Application for Spring/Summer 2018

BUSINESS PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP, PSY 382 (6-12 cr.) In this course, students complete an internship related to Industrial/Organizational Psychology. As a prerequisite for the internship, students are required to complete PSY 255 so they have background knowledge of the factors relevant to improving organizational performance. Additionally, students are required to attend three orientation sessions in the spring semester prior to the internship which is completed in the summer. All academic assignments for the course are completed online.

Psychology Business Internship Brochure

Business Internship Application for Summer 2017 - CLOSED

GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP, PSY 382 (6-12 cr.) Whether a student intends to start a career after graduation or attend graduate school, it is imperative that the student gain experience to make him/her more marketable in these arenas. This internship is for students who desire experience in an area related to the field of Psychology. This can be very broad because Psychology touches on many fields, but all areas need to be approved in advance by the department to make sure that they follow in line with the goals of the program.

Psychology General Internship Brochure

Psychology General Internship Application for Summer 2017


Practicums provide another opportunity to gain valuable experience. They require a consecutive, two-semester commitment. To receive credit, both semesters must be completed satisfactorily. Practicum openings fill quickly, so contact the instructor early for details on the screening procedure. Practicums are popular choices, but they require substantial commitment. It is important that you understand the demands of the project before you begin. An absolute minimum number of hours toward the project will be expected.

Current Available Practicum: http://psychology.msu.edu/MSUAP/


College of Social Science Study Away Programs

The College of Social Science Semester Study Programs are available in Washington DC, Hawaii, New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston and New York. These are great ways to get to know other students, faculty, and go somewhere in the U.S. to learn more about yourself and the location you are visiting.

For more information, e-mail: Study.Away@ssc.msu.edu Web site: http://msustudyprograms.wordpress.com

College of Social Science Internship Program (SSC 493)

All Social Science majors should consider gaining practical experience during their undergraduate studies. An internship is an excellent way to explore specific careers and validate your interests and abilities. Through an internship you can learn valuable job search and career exploration techniques, develop job related skills, and frequently make contacts that will be useful in securing a professional position. The College of Social Science Internship Program assists juniors and seniors with securing local, state, and nationwide internships within government, industry, and public sector organizations. In the past, internships have included: assisting staff in alcohol and substance abuse counseling, providing job counseling and referrals, researching arbitration decisions for the personnel offices of various organizations, analyzing state and federal legislation pertaining to constituent needs, and gaining clinical experience at various community service and psychiatric agencies.

To be eligible to enroll in the College of Social Science Internship Program you must have completed your freshman and sophomore year. In addition, a research methods course and 16 credits of social science courses must be completed. Internships generally run a minimum of fifteen weeks, give variable credit and may occur in any semester. A time commitment of three hours per week for each credit earned is required. College credit is awarded after successful completion of the internship assignment, written academic work, and favorable performance evaluations from on-site sponsors and participating faculty. For more information on the College of Social Science Internship Program call the College Internship Office (phone: 353-6676).

College Restrictions on Experiential Learning

The total of independent study, practicum, internship, and field experience credits may not exceed 20 credits combined. Participation in PSY 371 (4 cr.) and PSY 381 (3 cr.) will NOT be counted against this limit. If you have any questions, contact your advisor.

• A maximum of 12 credits of independent study may be applied toward the degree.

• A maximum of 12 credits in internship, field experience, and practicum courses combined may be applied toward the degree.

Study Abroad for Psychology Majors

Why Should I Study Abroad?

Michigan State University is a national leader in Study Abroad. There are a wide variety of study abroad programs that students participate in. Study abroad provides important experiences that can help you develop the personal, academic, and professional skills you'll need to succeed. A study abroad experience can improve your academic and professional career prospects; it can also be your entry into your field's international community.

What Types of Programs are Available to Me?

MSU currently offers over 150 Study Abroad programs. Psychology majors can study abroad in a variety of settings while completing course work in their major and/or earning general education and elective credits.

Programs are available throughout the year, ranging in length from two weeks to a full academic year. While some require that you already speak a foreign language, most have no such requirement and courses are taught in English. Many programs are accompanied by an MSU faculty member; others allow you to enroll directly in a foreign university. These integrated classroom programs work especially well if you plan to take courses in your major during study abroad. In all cases, MSU's Office of Study Abroad works with representatives on site to ensure students receive the support they need.

Would You Like to Learn More About Study Abroad and the Resources Available to You?

• For a full listing of study abroad opportunities, including study abroad programs offered by other U.S. institutions...visit the Office of Study Abroad in Room 109 International Center

• Talk with a study abroad peer advisor in Room 107 International Center

• Look through the MSU study abroad catalog

• Log-on to the MSU study abroad web site at: studyabroad.msu.edu/

To Learn more about the MSU Psychology Study Abroad Program at Kent University in the UK, check out our website: http://psychology.msu.edu/Undergrads/Kent.aspx and also more information can be found on the MSU Study Abroad website: https://osa.isp.msu.edu/Programs/program/index/106552

Student Groups


PSI CHI is the national honor society for Psychology students. Nominations are automatic, based on spring Semester enrollment. Criteria for nomination to the MSU chapter are:
• Completion of a minimum of 9 numerically graded Psychology credits at MSU & 56 credits
• Top 35% of your class at MSU and Psychology GPA of no lower than 3.0.

Each year students are nominated for membership in the National organization and the active chapter at M.S.U. Every spring semester there is an induction ceremony and election of officers. We look forward to an active group of students in the coming year. For more information, please contact Professor Kimberly Fenn at kfenn@msu.edu.

Website: MSU PSI CHI

Psychology Club

Psychology Club is for anyone with an interest in psychology. There are a broad range of careers that are influenced by concepts in psychology. As a member of Psychology Club, you will have many opportunities to engage and learn more about psychology through service, speakers, and fun! We are very interested in receiving feedback and suggestions on how to improve club experiences. Please send an email to psyclub@msu.edu to receive more information about the club.


Meetings are on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 8:30pm in Room 119 Psychology Building. Check out the PSY Club website for specific dates and topics!


Why not explore your interests. Discover what you like to do and possibly what you do not want to do by volunteering a little of your time each week, beginning with your freshman year. While this experience may not lead to academic credit, you should consider the broad opportunities available to you through the Service-Learning Center. Visit them in Room 27 Student Services Building, or at their website, www.servicelearning.msu.edu . They have information on over 500 opportunities - local, national, and international.