David B. Gray Research Scholar Program

The research scholars program is for those exceptional students who choose to do a more extensive, three semester capstone research project in psychology.  Students eligible for this program must:

  1. Have a 3.5 GPA overall,
  2. Have a 3.5 GPA in psychology,
  3. Have taken at least three psychology courses,
  4. Obtained a letter of reference from a faculty member, and
  5. Must submit a writing sample to the chair of the department. 

Students accepted into the program begin their projects in the spring of their junior year and defend a thesis in the spring of their senior year.  Students must show concurrent enrollment in PSY 601 and 602.

Research Scholar Program and Requirements

In the spring semester of their junior year, all research scholars must provide a formal proposal of their research project for approval from an appointed Research Scholar Committee.  These proposals must be submitted by the proposal deadline given in PSY 601.  During the spring of their junior year, research scholars should register for 2 credits in PSY 601 and 2 credits in PSY 650S-01 (a directed studies card must be obtained from the Registrar for PSY 650).

The Research Scholar Committee will be comprised of the student’s faculty research advisor and two other Westminster faculty members, who will be selected by the faculty of the Psychology Department.  One of the three faculty members may be selected from outside of the Psychology Department depending on the proposed area of research.  After submitting their proposals and prior to the end of the spring semester, research scholars must complete any revisions needed to obtain full approval by their Research Scholar Committee to continue in the program.

In the fall semester of their senior year, all research scholars will develop their research project, meet the same requirements, and follow the same course schedule and deadlines as specified in PSY 602.  Research scholars will present their ongoing research project during the departmental Capstone presentations scheduled at the end of the semester.  During the fall of their senior year, research scholars should register for 2 credits in PSY 602 and 2 credits in PSY650.

In the spring semester of their senior year, all research scholars will continue to work on their research project under the guidance of their faculty advisor and with the approval of their committee.  Depending on the amount of additional time needed to complete their research program, research scholars may choose to register for one to four credits in the Research Scholars Program (PSY 651, 652, 653, or 654, depending on the number of credits).   

To complete the Research Scholar Program in the spring of their senior year, all research scholars must submit their final project to their Research Scholar Committee by mid-April for approval.  After making final revisions, all research scholars will present their final project at a time coordinated by the Research Scholar Committee.  Presentations will be advertised and open to the entire Westminster campus community.

Recognition

Students who complete the Research Scholar Program will be recognized at the annual Psychology Department Senior Dinner and have their names engraved on a perpetual plaque displayed in the department.  They will also be entitled to wear a special stole at graduation that commemorates their accomplishment.