Research Opportunities

Psychology Research

Research experience is a great learning opportunity for psychology majors and minors and especially recommended for students considering graduate school in psychology.

Get Involved

To get started, you can volunteer to serve as a Research Assistant (RA) in one of the faculty research labs in our department. 

Once you find a lab you are interested in, you can reach out to the faculty member to express your interest and request an interview. Students often receive course credit for this experience PSY 3994 Directed Research in Psychology. Note that 1 credit = 4 hours and there is a maximum of 4 credits per semester. This is an elective course that counts toward the major. Students can take a maximum of 8 credits of PSY 3994 over the duration of their undergraduate years.

Independent Project

You may wish to discuss with your faculty lab director about opportunities to conduct your own research project under faculty supervision. Independent mentored projects can take the form of a Project in Psychology (PSY 3991), a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program), or an Honors Project in Psychology (PSY 3986).


Students often present their research at conferences. Here are some examples of conferences that UMD Psychology undergraduate students have presented their research in recent years:

Regional Conferences
Midwestern Psychological Association
Minnesota Association of Children’s Mental Health
Twin Ports Undergraduate Psychology Conference (TPUP)

National and International Conferences
Academy of Management
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Association for Applied Sport Psychology
Association for Behavior Analysis
Association for Psychological Science
International Academy of Sex Research
National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
Society for Behavioral Medicine
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Society for Judgment and Decision Making
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Society for Psychophysiological Research
Society for Teaching of Psychology
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality
Society of Neuroscience
World Congress of the International Health Economics Association

Contact your faculty research mentor to learn more about what a conference submission requires and which conference fits best for your research.

Travel Funding

The Psychology Department has a small pool of money set aside to support undergraduate student travel to research conferences. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis each year. To be eligible you must be

  • A psychology major or minor
  • Presenting a poster or talk at a professional or undergraduate research conference at the time of the funding request
  • Have taken or are taking PSY 3986 (Honors Project), PSY 3994 (Directed Research), or conducted a UROP related to the presentation. 


One undergraduate student will be funded per poster or presentation. You are eligible for department travel funding only once during your undergraduate years. University of Minnesota, UMD, CEHSP, and UMD Psychology Department rules and policies regarding travel apply. Either the faculty supervisor or the student may make the request in the form of an email to the Department Head (Dr. Hessler) with the Office Supervisor (Bonnie Williams) CC'd. Requests must be made in advance of travel with details about dates, location, meeting or conference name, and a reference for the presentation. A notification of acceptance for the presentation must be provided to the Department Head for funds to be released. If a student applies directly, they must copy their research supervisor on the email and gain their approval for travel.