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 talk with a faculty sponsor. 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.



PSYC 306 must be completed prior to enrolling in PSYC 397. It is also strongly recommended that one advanced 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  must be completed by the student and faculty member and be submitted by the faculty member to the Undergraduate Program Director (psyc-ugrad@luc.edu) by 5pm on the first Thursday of instruction of the semester that PSYC397 will be taken.  Once it is approved the student will be registered and both the student and faculty member will be notified by the department. Contracts submitted directly by students will not be accepted. Early submission of the PSYC397 contract is encouraged.

Only a total of 3 hours of credit of either PSYC 399 or 397 may count toward the 12-course major requirement. Students taking honors will only receive credit towards the major for PSYC 369/370.  Additional credit hours will count towards university credit but not towards the major.

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 to be submitted by the faculty member to the undergraduate program director (psyc-ugrad@luc.edu) at the end of the semester. 
  • Meet regularly with a faculty sponsor

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