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Independent Study


Students have various opportunites to prepare for fieldwork or laboratory research. The information provided will explain what is needed to get placed into a laboratory at Hunter College. Please make sure you read through all of the information given; this way, you will be sure that you fulfill each step of the application process accordingly.

There are various benefits to obtaining fieldwork or laboratory experience:

  • Obtaining credits for psychology-related work
  • Obtaining letters of recommendation
  • Obtaining a new skill set
  • Improving your resume
  • Gain laboratory or fieldwork experience
  • Graduate schools either highly recommend or require laboratory/fieldwork experience


Students can earn (3) credits for psychology-related work through Independent Study classes. Below is a list of optional courses:

PSYCH 20100 - Independent Study in Psychology

Designed to meet the needs of individual students under the direction of a particular faculty sponsor. The course may involve independent readings, tutorials, work as an advising assistant or peer counselor, field placement, an individual research project, or participation in ongoing faculty research, any of these culminating in a written report.

Pre-req: 6 credits in Psychology (including PSYCH 10000, an additional PSYCH class) and departmental consent.


PSYCH 39500 - Independent Research in Psychology

Designed to meet the needs of individual students under the direction of a particular instructor at a more advanced level than PSYCH 20100. Such study may involve independent reading, tutorials, independent research projects, or participation in ongoing faculty research, any of these culminating in an APA-style research report or literature review. 

Pre-req: PSYCH 25000 and departmental consent.



  • You must be an undergraduate student and declared major in Psychology.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • A minimum of 100 hours per semester is required for PSYCH 201. 
  • A minimum of 126 hours is required for PSYCH 395.
  • If you are not doing laboratory research for credit, the minimum number of hours will be decided by your mentor.



Steps to enrolling in Independent Study/Research in Psychology:

  • The first step is to find the opportunity (e.g., fieldwork or research project).
    • Click here to review a listing of eligible faculty mentors for research opportunities. 
    • Refer to the Career Development Services Office for guidance with finding suitable placement in an internship site. 
  • The second step is finding a psychology faculty mentor (click here to review the eligible faculty members).
  • The third step is filling and signing the Independent Study/Research Agreement Form.



  • Apply 3-6 months in advance
    • If you're interested in conducting research, the best way to be granted a signature and approval from a mentor is by taking the time to speak with him/her during the semester. Students are encouraged to take at least one course with a mentor and get to know him/her by asking questions after class sessions and visiting the instructor during office hours. It's imperative to foster a connection as this will help grant you access to the faculty member's lab and potentially garner a letter of reference for graduate school or future employment.
    • If you're interested in gaining practical experience, then an externship may be best. The Career Development Services Offices in Hunter East, Room 805 can assist in finding a suitable internship for credit. The student can seek a signature from a mentor once the internship is secured. A minimum of 100 hours and a 7-10 page paper (all subject to the mentor's approval) is required to receive a grade for this indepenent course of study.


Mentor's Expectations for Research Opportunities:

  • A professional Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • You thoroughly understand the work your mentor(s) performs.
  • You have read all material on the mentor's respective listing page -- including publications or articles.