Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

PSYC 397. Independent Research

Seniors who are actively involved in a research project directed by a Psychology Department faculty member may, under certain circumstances, obtain credit for a capstone experience in psychology. Research teams in the department, for example, may involve both graduate and undergraduate students in research supervised by a faculty member of the Psychology Department. Undergraduate students may be given significant responsibilities on a research team that may qualify as a capstone experience.

Permission is needed both from the faculty member directing the research and the Psychology Department undergraduate program director. Students interested in this option should first talk with a faculty sponsor and then make an appointment to see the undergraduate program director. Students seeking to enter a graduate research program in psychology or related field may find this option particularly attractive as it not only gives students additional research experience in psychology but also permits students an important mentoring relationship with a faculty member in the department.

PSYC 397 may count as one of the required capstone experiences for the 12-course psychology major. Specifically, students may take one laboratory course and PSYC 397 to fulfill the major requirements.

For a course description of PSYC 397, click here.


PSYC 306 must be completed prior to enrolling in PSYC 397. It is also strongly recommended that one laboratory course in psychology also be completed. Students should discuss with a faculty member the possibility of completing PSYC 397 given the requirements listed below for this course. If a faculty member is willing then the PSYC 397 contract must be completed and signed by the sponsoring faculty member (ask the Psychology Department support staff for PSYC 397 contract forms). The completed contract should be brought to the undergraduate program director, Dr. Jennifer Fiebig, for final approval. Only one PSYC 397 or 399 course may count toward the 12-course major requirement.

Student Responsibilities

PSYC 397 students are expected to:

  • Participate in data collection and analysis
  • Read published articles in the field of inquiry
  • Write an APA manuscript detailing some part of the research project
  • Meet regularly with a faculty sponsor

Credit for PSYC 397 is awarded by the department only when these responsibilities have been met.