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UConn’s undergraduate program in Psychological Sciences is designed to prepare students for advanced work and professions in psychology and related areas. The Psychological Sciences Department’s curriculum reflects the nature of the field as both a social and a natural science. Psychological Sciences majors may choose to complete their entire degree locally at UConn Waterbury or may transition to the main campus in Storrs upon completion of 54 credits (2 years of full time study).
Waterbury Campus Psychological Sciences Faculty
- Hippocampal memory, Virtual reality testing of complex behaviors, spatial memory and development, gender differences, substance abuse, PTSD, techniques for building psychological resiliency in at-risk populations
- Research Lab: Human Neuroscience Lab
- Developmental cognitive/social neuroscience; Neural mirroring systems; Learning & memory; Executive function
- Research Lab: C.A.P. (Cognition, Action, & Psychophysiology) Lab
Looking for a field experience? First think about the types of organization and activities that interest you, particularly those aligning with career goals.
Look here at past placements for ideas.
- Meet with a faculty member to discuss potential off-campus sites that align with your goals and interests.
- Contact potential sites by identifying yourself as a UConn student who would like to volunteer at their organization. Schedule an appointment to discuss potential activities that align with pursuits in psychological sciences. During this meeting, identify an on-site supervisor and discuss days/times the field experience might take place.
- Report back to the sponsoring faculty member about your meeting(s), and determine whether you will enroll in Psyc 3880.
3880 Course Guidelines
Credits not to exceed six per semester, and hours by arrangement. With a change in content, this course may be repeated for credit. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). Due to the S/U grading, PSYC 3880 cannot be used on the Psychological Sciences Major or Minor plan of study. However, if a plan of study requires an internship course and specifically lists PSYC 3880 as an option (e.g., criminal justice minor), then Psyc 3880 may be used on the plan of study.
This course is intended to enable undergraduate students to obtain career relevant educational experiences that usually are not available in formal classroom settings. These experiences include (1) an off-campus site, (2) a field supervisor, (3) a set of educationally relevant field activities, (4) a UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor, and (5) some procedure for evaluating the student. Students engaged in such off-campus activities may receive academic credit contingent upon the extent to which these activities conform to the guidelines listed below.
- Off-Campus Site: Identification of an appropriate off-campus site is the responsibility of the student. An appropriate off-campus site should provide a reasonable learning situation where the student would be able to both observe and participate in work related to psychological sciences. Ideally, the student would be able to obtain an overview of the role(s) of those who do psychological sciences-related work in non-academic settings. While the site may be affiliated with UConn, a field experience that takes place at the main Storrs UConn campus is not acceptable.
- Field Supervisor: The student is expected to both identify and obtain the cooperation of a field supervisor who would monitor the activities and learning opportunities of the student. The field supervisor should agree to complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version that both summarizes and evaluates the student’s activities at the off-campus site.
- Educationally Relevant Activities: Such activities could include a wide variety of tasks depending on the area of psychological sciences to which they are relevant. Such tasks should involve professional activities related to psychological science and not clerical duties. The student should consult with their UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor to determine relevance.
- UConn Psychological Sciences Faculty Sponsor: A faculty sponsor can be any faculty member within the Department of Psychological Sciences. The faculty sponsor is responsible for determining the amount of academic credit and for assigning a grade. In meeting these responsibilities, faculty sponsors may wish to meet with the student periodically to discuss the off-campus experience, may wish to consult with the off-campus supervisor, may wish to visit the off-campus site, and may require specific products from the student and/or the off-campus supervisor. As stated in the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan, the faculty sponsor will evaluate a paper written by the student at the end of the term in which the student describes their activities, integrates those activities into some theoretical framework within psychological sciences, and specifically identifies how those activities have enhanced the student’s educational goals. The student must make arrangements with their UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor before the beginning of the field experience.
- Opportunities for Evaluation: The field supervisor is expected to complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version by the end of the term. In addition, the student will complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Student Version and submit a paper to the UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor at the end of the term as indicated in the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan.
A note on financial compensation: Whether or not students are paid for their off-campus activities is irrelevant to the extent that their “paid employee” status does not interfere with the quality of their learning experience.
Additional CLAS Restrictions
No credit may be given retroactively for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in the internship course in advance. A student may count no more than fifteen internship credits towards a bachelor’s degree in CLAS, and each credit for internship work must entail at least forty-two hours of work per semester or term. The required number of hours of work must be stated clearly in the learning agreement or work plan for the internship signed by both the instructor of record and the internship supervisor.
- Read and understand all policies pertaining to PSYC 3880 as outlined by the University, including The Student Code, CLAS, Department of Psychological Sciences, and the field experience agency, and agree to abide by them.
- Discuss the PSYC 3880 Learning Agreement Field-Experience-Packet and course responsibilities with your field supervisor. Agree to hours of work per week for the term (see credit conversion chart).
- Discuss the PSYC 3880 Learning Agreement and course responsibilities with your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor.
- If requested, meet periodically with your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor during the term to discuss progress.
- At term’s end, submit a paper to your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor; describe your activities, integrate those activities into some theoretical framework within psychological sciences, and specifically identify how those activities have enhanced your educational goals. Your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor will determine the length and scope of the paper.
- At term’s end, complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Student Version. You will receive an email to your UConn email address instructing you to complete an electronic version. A paper version is also included in the packet.
Field Supervisor’s Responsibilities
- Discuss with the student their responsibilities and how those responsibilities will enhance the student’s psychological sciences education.
- Agree to supervise the student for the appropriate number of hours per week for the term (see credit conversion chart).
- At term’s end, complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version. The student will receive an email with an electronic version that s/he may forward to you. Alternatively, you may request a paper version from the student.
UConn Psychological Sciences Faculty Sponsor’s Responsibilities
- Discuss with the student their responsibilities, including any periodic meetings and the scope of the final paper.
- If desired, meet with the student periodically during the term to discuss progress.
- Evaluate the student’s final paper.
- Review the Student Version and Supervisor Version of the PSYC 3880 Field Experience Final Evaluations.
- Assign a grade of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory).
To register for PSYC 3880 (Field Experience):
- Complete the PSYC 3880 Learning Agreement and turn it in to your faculty sponsor.
- Complete the Independent Study Authorization in the Field Experience Packet. Paper copies can be obtained from your faculty instructor. This form requires the signature of a) your faculty instructor; b) your academic advisor; and c) Dr. Treadwell. Turn in the this form to the Registrar’s Office, located on the 2nd floor in the Student Services Suite (her desk is to the right of the main entrance).
- Forms are due by the end of the 4th week of the classes during the regular academic year and by the end of the add/drop period for summer courses.
- No credit may be given retroactively for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in the internship course in advance.
PSYC 3889 (Undergraduate Research) is an independent study course available for students interested in gaining “hands-on” research experience with our Waterbury Psychological Sciences faculty members. Students help with an established research project.
1. Think about why you want to participate in research.
Before you get involved with research, it is important to establish your goals and interests. When you approach faculty members to discuss possible opportunities, be prepared to discuss your goals and interest, and why you want to participate in research.
2. Think about the areas of psychological sciences in which you might like to participate in research.
Our faculty have a broad range of research interests; Waterbury faculty members are involved in the following Department areas:
- Behavioral Neuroscience – Understanding the biological basis of behavior and cognition.
- Clinical – Understanding, prevention, and treatment of psychological disorders as well as promoting mental well-being.
- Developmental – Understanding changes in behavior and cognition over the life-span.
3. Learn more about these faculty members’ research.
Visit each professor’s website about their lab to find out more about their research activities
4. Contact individual faculty members to discuss the possibility of a research experience.
Contact one of us to discuss the possibility of completing a PSYC 3889 (Undergraduate Research) experience. It is important that your email be professional. Ideally, explain why you are specifically interested in their lab and why they will benefit from your knowledge and skills.
Students who have made arrangements with a Waterbury faculty member to participate in Psyc 3889 will complete an Independent Study Authorization Form. Fill out the form with your student details, and then obtain a) your Instructor’s signature; b) your academic advisor’s signature; and c) Dr. Treadwell’s signature. When completed, submit the form to the Registrar, located on the 2nd floor in the Student Services Suite (her desk is to the right of the main entrance). Authorization forms for enrollment are due by the end of the 4th week of the classes during the regular academic year and by the end of the add/drop period for summer courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can! The entire bachelor of arts degree in Psychological Sciences can be completed at UConn Waterbury. Some students also travel to the UConn-Hartford Campus to accommodate their busy schedules.
Yes, you can! The undergraduate degree in psychological sciences has been designed to take advantage of UConn Waterbury’s urban location. Students will be encouraged to take PSYC 3880 (Field Experience) in their chosen areas of interest. These experiences should enable students to build their resumes and career opportunities while completing their degree.
There are numerous career opportunities for those with a degree in psychological sciences. Psychological Sciences graduates have career opportunities in such fields as sales, human relations, management training, public relations, research, technical writing, advertising, computer programming, psychological services, child care management, and teaching. Many law, medical, and education students have undergraduate degrees in psychological sciences.
With a graduate degree in psychological sciences numerous career options in the public and private sectors are available. A few examples are Clinical, Geriatric, Health, Industrial, Forensic, School, and Sports Psychology. Other career opportunities include Human Factor’s Engineering, Community Psychology, Counseling Psychology as well as in academia.