PSY 510

1. A student who wishes to take Thesis (PSY510) must get the approval of a supervising faculty member in the psychology department. With the advice of the faculty member, the student will form a three-person committee (with the supervising faculty member as chair). Committee members will usually be psychology faculty members, but one member may be from another department.

2. A student’s Thesis work is expected to be unique. Thus, it is inappropriate to submit papers or writing assignments that the student has already submitted or is in the process of preparing for assignments in other classes. It is highly appropriate, however, to address or extend a topic the student has worked on or written about in the past or is now working on for another class. In this case, the student should, prior to preparing the proposal, discuss with her/his supervisor what conceptual overlap with or extension of other work is acceptable. If the supervisor is uncertain of what constitutes an appropriate extension, she/he should convene a meeting of the committee to discuss this issue.

3. The student will then prepare an extensive proposal, written in APA style, that describes the rationale behind the research, the methods to be used, the approach to analyzing the data, and some discussion of the implications of the anticipated results. Copies of this proposal should be given to committee members at least 1 week before the committee meets to discuss the proposal. At this meeting, the student will orally present the rationale and methodology of the research. The goal of this meeting is to provide constructive feedback to the student—feedback that will be useful in improving the project. Students may not begin collecting data (except for pilot data) until the project has been approved by the committee.

4. At the conclusion of the research, the student will write a research paper according to APA format. After the paper is written, the student will schedule a meeting of the committee (giving faculty members at least 7 days to read the paper) for the purpose of making a final presentation. The final presentation must occur at least 7 days before the last regular class day of spring term. Other members of the psychology department will also be invited. Students will present the rationale, methods, results, and implications of the research. The goal is to give the student practice in oral presentation of complex ideas and to provide constructive feedback.

5. After discussing the student's performance with members of the committee, the student's grade will be determined by the supervising faculty member.

6. The student will turn in a final version of the paper (after incorporating suggestions of the committee), and one copy will be kept on file in the psychology department electronic archives (accessible through our web site).

Note: The psychology department urges students to carefully consider the term in which they plan to receive credit for Thesis. Students should realize these projects typically take a year to complete.


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