Guidelines and tips on how to arrange and register for your Mentored Research (PSYC 4998/PSYC 4999)

To pursue Mentored Research (aka an Independent Study), students typically begin exploring PSYC 4998 (old number PSYC 399) options during advance registration the semester preceding their research project. Spaces in each lab are limited so please plan and arrange your PSYC 4998 in a timely manner.  Students must arrange their own mentored research project (PSYC 4998).

Here are the appropriate steps:

  1. Identify the semester you intend to pursue a research project (PSYC 4998). Start investigating research options during advance registration in the prior semester.
  2. Read the available research options here.
  3. Identify a potential faculty mentor. It is best to identify a mentor after taking their class or working in their lab as a research assistant, though this is not always possible. (If you would like to pursue a research project in Psychology with a researcher outside the Psychology Department, you must discuss this with the Director of Undergraduate Studies ( Having an extra-departmental mentor typically occurs when a student has already established a relationship with the mentor via a research assistantship in their lab.)
  4. Arrange a meeting with your potential mentor to identify the suitability of completing your research project with them. In advance of this meeting, read some of their relevant publications to get a sense of their research. Also, read through the PSYC 4998 application to help focus some of your discussion in this meeting.
  5. During this meeting, identify if you will complete a one- or two-semester Mentored Research project (aka Independent Study). Two-semester PSYC 4998s can run Fall to Spring (one academic year), or Spring to Fall (starting one academic year and finishing the next). Discuss the intended research project to ensure you have similar expectations, and construct a broad timeline of the anticipated research project. You will need to address some items from the PSYC 4998 application, such as anticipated statistical analyses. In some cases, it is appropriate to have a day-to-day supervisor who is a post-doctoral fellow in Psychology, etc. If appropriate, please meet with this day-to-day supervisor.
  6. If this process has been unsatisfying thus far, review the research options again to identify a more suitable research project.
  7. Complete the Mentored Research (PSYC 4998) online application. Bear in mind most students have discussed their mentored research with their mentor well before this deadline. All applications will be reviewed after the deadline by the Director of Undergraduate Studies ( and, if approved, your PSYC 4998 will appear on your worksheet prior to the Add deadline.
  8. You will be added to the Mentored Research (PSYC 4998) Canvas site. This site has information for current Mentored Research students and mentors. If you are not added to this site after your PSYC 4998 is approved, please email Caroline Connolly ( with your PennKey and student number.
  9. If you pursue a two-semester PSYC 4998, you are required to complete a Mentored Research Progress Report early in the second semester of your research project. 

After your mentored research is approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Claire Ingulli will send you a unique course reference number (CRN). In  PATH@Penn, you must enter your CRN into the course search tool. Once the course populates in the search, you need to add it to your cart by clicking the ‘Add to Cart’ button in the bottom right corner.


To learn more about undergraduate mentored research in our department, please see our Canvas site here. This site is available to all Penn users.

If you have any questions about the process for enrolling in one of these opportunities or if you want guidance about the selection process, stop by to see one of the psychology advisors during walk-in hours.