How can I engage in research, teaching or internships and earn credit?

You can find more information at each of these links.  

Research Assistantships

  • See a current listing of available psychology research assistantships.
  • Most students begin their exploration of research by participating in the ongoing research of a faculty member or graduate student. 
  • Course credit is pass/fail.
  • To register for research credit, arrange an RA with a researcher and then submit the RA 398B contract.
  • Students may also participate in research in a more advanced and independent role through Independent Study Opportunities, see below. 

Independent Studies

  • Advanced students who wish to pursue study of a subject outside the context of a class can do that by arranging independent readings or independent research with a faculty sponsor. 
  • Independent Readings in Psychology (Psych 396A) allows students to engage in scholarly research on a specific topic. The student must work with a faculty sponsor and develop a detailed plan of study together with the sponsor. The particular readings along with the nature of the paper that will be the culmination of the project should be detailed in the plan of study.
    To register for independent readings, secure a faculty sponsor and fill out the Psych 396A contract together.
  • Independent Study – Research (Psych 496A) allows students to engage in research in a psychology laboratory. This letter-graded research experience is generally appropriate for students who have prior research experience and who are ready to embark upon research that is relatively independent (a full study or a portion of a more extensive project). Students must find a lab to work in and a faculty sponsor. Together with the faculty sponsor, a plan of study is developed that describes the nature of the research, which includes information about the research report that will be submitted at the conclusion of semester.
  • To register for independent study research, secure a faculty sponsor and fill out the Psych 496A contract together.

Teaching Assistantships


  • The Department of Psychology strongly encourages students interested in pursuing either jobs or graduate study in the applied areas of psychology (such as Clinical or Counseling Psychology, Psychiatry or Psychiatric Nursing, School or Educational Psychology, Human Resources, Social Work, Applied Behavior Analysis, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health or Substance Abuse Counseling) to gain practical experience through internships for course credit.
  • Students negotiate directly with community sites to arrange to do internships with them. Students may arrange to do internships in any setting that will allow them to engage in activities that advance their intended careers. As a starting point for identifying potential internship sites, students should click on this link: View a list of sites where psychology students have interned in the past. Students should also explore options available through Career Services by going to
  • After securing an internship position, to receive course credit for it, students should process the internship contracts available in Handshake, found on the Career Services website.  The process is also described below. The requirements for earning internship course credit are as follows:
    • Receiving a satisfactory end–of–term evaluation from the intern’s on-site direct supervisor;
    • Completing 40 hours of work on-site for each credit received;
    • Submitting weekly reports to faculty sponsor;
    • Submitting an 8–10-page final paper on “What I Learned from My Internship” by the second day of final exams; 
    • Submitting a completed Internship Site and Supervisor Final Assessment form by the second day of final exams.
  • Internships may be taken as either PSY 398 or UMass 298. 
    PSY 398 is a three-credit course and students with a GPA of 2.5 or better may register for it. 
    UMass 298 is a variable credit course and and a GPA of 2.0 or better may register for it. 
    Students may take both PSY 398 and UMass 298 concurrently in a single term, provided they complete the required hours of on-site work for each of the sites.
  • Internships require faculty sponsors, who review interns’ weekly reports, receive interns’ final papers and final Site Assessments, and handle any issues that arise during the course of the internship. Any member of the UMass faculty may sponsor a PBS student for an internship taken as UMass 298, and any member of the UMass PBS faculty may sponsor a PBS student for an internship taken as PSY 398.  Dr. Erik Cheries ( serves as the internship liason for PBS students taking both UMass 298 and PSY 398.  You may speak to him about questions or concerns regarding the internship process.   

FAQ Type: