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Psychology students are encouraged to develop high-quality research projects in and out of the classroom, which often culminate in symposium and conference presentations, as well as professional publications.
Psychology majors—especially those considering graduate study in psychology—are strongly encouraged to pursue additional research opportunities. They may gain research experience beyond their required coursework in a number of ways.
Richter Scholar Program. Richter Scholar students are employed for a ten-week period in the summer after their first year. During this time, they work one-on-one with a faculty member on research. A few students complete Richter projects in psychology every year and these students sometimes continue to work with their faculty mentor throughout their undergraduate career.
Research Assistant. The psychology faculty maintain active research laboratories and seek to involve students in their projects. Research Assistants work with faculty during the academic year as volunteers, as paid research assistants, or for course credit. Students gain first-hand experience with research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination of research.
Research Internship. Students who want to learn more about large-scale projects may take advantage of opportunities at research universities in the Chicago area, either as paid research assistants or as research interns under the supervision of Lake Forest College faculty. For example, Lake Forest students have joined labs at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
Another type of research internship occurs in the context of an elective applied research course at Lake Forest College: Psychological Research in Community Settings (Psyc 321). In this follow-up to Psyc 221-222, students refine and extend their statistical and methodological skills by conducting research in a real-life setting (e.g., by doing evaluation research for a non-profit agency).
Senior Thesis. A few of our strongest students each year pursue senior thesis research. Although occasionally this research is part of a faculty member’s research program, it is typically a student-generated research project. Students interested in senior theses start formulating research ideas in the spring of the junior year, find a faculty member who is willing to advise them on their project, and conduct the thesis research itself throughout the senior year.
Student Publications and Presentations
Students routinely serve as co-authors on professional and undergraduate publications, co-presenters at national and international conferences, and sole presenters at Lake Forest College’s Student Symposium.