Senior Experience in Psychology

All psychology majors must complete a Senior Experience to fulfill the requirements of the major. The Senior Experience has two components: a) a scholarly requirement, completed via the Senior Topical Seminar (Psyc 430 or 431) and accompanying Senior Paper (see below), and b) an applied experience. For the applied component of our major, most students elect to complete a field internship (a placement at a community agency or organization), while others elect to complete a research internship (an independent research project with a Psychology faculty member). For more information, see the FAQ's.

Senior Paper Requirement

The senior paper is completed as part of a 400-level seminar, typically taken during a student’s senior year in either the fall or the spring. This enables direct connections between course work and developing an argument or a research proposal, and provides direct supervision from a faculty member with topical expertise. Note that these courses may or may not count towards the University's Writing Centered requirement.

GUIDELINES for Senior paper in Psychology:

  • Length: 4000-5000 words (not including title page, abstract, or references)
  • Type of paper: Argument paper or Research proposal
  • Minimum of 12 empirical, scholarly references
  • APA format must be correct throughout the paper, including the reference section
  • Note: topic must be approved in advance by the faculty member teaching the seminar
  • You must pass the paper with a grade of D or better in order to get credit for your Senior Paper in Psychology.


Students who are invited to compete for honors will be notified during the fall of their senior year. These students will consult with a faculty member in order to determine an appropriate honors thesis. More details are available at Honors Program.

Research Interns:

Research interns will write an empirical report of their research under the direction of their faculty supervisor as part of the 168 hours internship experience requirement for PSYC 498. This is part of the internship experience, and does not qualify as the student's Senior Paper.


Field Internship

Research Internship

Most Recent PSYC 498 Syllabus

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