The opportunities provided at The University of Memphis represent a point of entry
into the world of Psychology that will take you far beyond the courses needed to earn
a major in psychology. Motivated students can enter this world by becoming involved
in ongoing research, colloquia, clubs, and Honors Seminars. The experience you gain
from taking advantage of these and other opportunities within the department will
supplement the knowledge you need to succeed in post-baccalaureate work in or outside
the field of psychology.
The key to getting involved in psychology and events within the department is keeping
your eyes on the Undergraduate bulletin board (across the hall from Room 204) for
updated information on the opportunities available to you. For more information on
research areas and meetings, please see the Research Area Meeting Schedule.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Faculty members and graduate students often recruit undergraduates using flyers posted
around the psychology department, especially on the Undergraduate bulletin board (located
in the hall across from room 204). Recruitment also takes place through the Psychology
Academic Advising & Center (Room 205), in-class requests for help, and through Psi
Chi and the Psychology Club meetings. Click on Faculty Research to find out the many
areas of psychological research being conducted at The U of M. Opportunities for undergraduates
to get involved in research are readily available, and the enrichments are both numerous
- You may receive letters of recommendation. You may ask for letters of recommendation from the faculty member or graduate student
that you assist; however, receiving a letter of recommendation remains at the discretion
of the researcher. Since graduate school applications are generally due before the
spring semester of your senior year, you are encouraged to get involved in research
as soon as possible.
- You can get course credit for assisting with research. There are two ways that you may register to receive course credit for assisting
with research within the department: PSYC 4503 and PSYC 4504. These classes are considered
pass/fail, and you may contract for any number of hours. However, only 9 credit hours
of work can count toward your degree requirements. Of these 9 credit hours, you may
contract with the same researcher for a maximum of 6 hours of course credit. See the
Undergraduate Secretary in the main office (Psychology Room 202) for course contracts
and contact information.
PSYC 4503: Contracting for PSYC 4503 will allow you and the researcher of your choice to create
a semester-long plan that will give you hands-on experience with psychological research
PSYC 4504: The contract for PSYC 4504 is designed to allow you and the researcher of your choice
to set up a special project, culminating in the writing of a related paper.
- You may receive a paid assistantship for your work. The Psychology Department sponsors an assistantship program for psychology majors
who are interested in research and teaching activities. The assistantship requires
approximately 10 work hours per week for fall and spring semesters. These assistantships
are rare, not guaranteed, and the rate of pay varies. For more information, check
the undergraduate bulletin board, or contact the Department Chair in the main office
- You will receive experience and hands-on training beyond the average undergraduate
psychology major. You will have a competitive edge over your peers in that you may, depending on your
interests and how you take advantage of your opportunities, take part in research
conferences and possibly receive authorship on published research. You may also ask
to sit in on specialty area research colloquia, where the current research of graduate
students, faculty, and invited speakers is discussed.
- You will gain many valuable friends and experiences that you will carry for the rest
of your life. Each psychological experience you share with a faculty member or graduate student
will enhance your knowledge of psychology and the steps necessary to achieve greatness
in the field. Yes, there may be hard work involved, but in the end you will benefit
from the opportunities you take now.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
- The Addington Award: The Addington Award is given to the outstanding senior psychology major in honor
of Milton Addington, a former faculty member. The winner is selected on the basis
of grades, contribution to the department, and an interview with Mrs. Addington and
a representative of the benefactor. This honor carries a monetary award.
- The Chi Beta Phi Award: The Chi Beta Phi award is given each year to the graduating senior who has the highest
grade point average.
- Student Affiliation with APA and APS. Any student may become a Student Affiliate of
the American Psychological Association or the American Psychological Society by completing an application and paying the membership fee. Members may attend APA
or APS conventions, subscribe to APA or APS journals, and purchase other APA or APS
publications at a reduced rate. Application forms for Student Affiliate memberships
are available from the Departmental office.
- Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology Psi Chi was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining
excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is
awarded to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology
one of their major interests and who meet the qualifications. Psi Chi is a member
of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American
Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. The University of
Memphis chapter, chartered in 1954, strives to sponsor a variety of events that include
discussion panels, speakers, symposiums, and other social activities that encourage
a sense of unity within the psychology department. The society has two major publications,
Eye on Psi Chi, a magazine that helps to unite chapters and members across the nation,
and Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research, a national, fully reviewed, quarterly
journal dedicated to the publication of student research.
- Gamma Beta Phi Incorporated in 1964, The Gamma Beta Phi Society is an honor and service organization.
The objectives as stated in its Constitution are to recognize and encourage excellence
in education, to promote the development of leadership ability and character in its
members, and to foster, disseminate and improve education through appropriate service
- Naturally, this is not an exhaustive list of clubs and societies on campus. There
are many, many more organizations on campus that you may become involved with. For
more information on these, contact the Center for Student Volunteerism in the University
Center (Second Floor, across from the Information Desk).
There are now two ways that Psychology majors can receive honors from the University
of Memphis. One way is receive honors recognition through the department of Psychology,
and the other is to get an Honors diploma through the University of Memphis Honors
This site is only a jumping off point for you to become familiar with the opportunities
available in the Department of Psychology at The University of Memphis. Keep your
eyes open and you will discover opportunities around every corner of the Psychology
building. Also, do not be afraid to speak to your advisors or class professors about
any of the opportunities listed here. Most will be more than knowledgeable on some
aspect of these opportunities, and will usually be more than happy to refer you to
a more knowledgeable person if he or she is not.