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Independent Study / Externships

Two facets of the Psychology department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside make us very special (in addition to an emphasis on excellence in teaching). They are our focus on undergraduate research and the availability of an externship program.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates can participate in research by enrolling in an Independent Study (PSYC 499). Students can contribute to an ongoing faculty research project or design and conduct a research project of their own, supervised by a faculty member.

Students who contribute to an ongoing project gain research experience through readings, assisting in study design, creating study materials, testing research participants, and through contributing to the study analysis, interpretation and reporting. Many students gain authorship on conference presentations or even journal articles or book chapters.

Students who conduct projects of their own receive one-on-one mentoring from a faculty member on the project design, data analysis, and reporting of the results. Students have also presented the results of their supervised research at conferences ranging from regional undergraduate research meetings to international scholarly conferences.

Students who are interested in pursuing a graduate education are urged to enroll in one or more Independent Study projects with faculty members. Find out more about faculty research and psychology labs.

Prerequisites for PSYC 499 vary by faculty member, but generally PSYC 300 is required. The expectation is that for each credit, a student should spend about 3 hours working on the Independent Study project.

Publications and Presentations with Students:

Several faculty members have worked in-depth with undergraduates, rewarding  students' participation with co-authorships on publications and presentations. As a quick summary, look at the impressive statistics on co-authorships with students below:

Dr. Beyer           5 publications and 19 presentations
Dr. Gregg          1 publication and 14 presentations
Dr. Gurtman     1 publication and 29 presentations


The externship program consists of supervised experiences in planned projects done in a community setting. The prerequisites include 18 credits in Psychology, a minimum 3.0 GPA in Psychology, and consent of instructor. The supervisor of the externship program is Dr. Carlstrom.

Externship students typically work 8 hours per week in a community setting. Through this experience students will integrate what they learned in psychology classes with their work with people in social service and mental health settings. This experience helps students deepen current knowledge, improve skills, acquire new knowledge, develop references, network, and reality-test careers in applied psychological settings. Students have worked at over 15 agencies, including stress disorder programs in hospital settings, domestic violence and abuse shelters, hospice care, residential centers for people with developmental disabilities, community centers, sexual assault services, run-away shelters, community jobs programs, and community agencies that support people with mental health issues.

900 Wood Road · P.O. Box 2000 · Kenosha, WI 53141-2000 P 262-595-2345

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