From the Washington University in St. Louis Undergraduate Guide to Psychology:

“There are numerous and varied opportunities for students to become involved in psychological research conducted within the Department of Psychology and affiliated laboratories. Information about research areas and the opportunities for undergraduates to engage in this research can be found in the Listing of Psychological Research Opportunities, available in PDF version on the WU Psychology website’s Undergraduate Program page.

After identifying a research opportunity that interests you, you should contact directly the appropriate individual identified in the Listing for that project. In some cases, you may receive academic credit by enrolling in Psy 500, Independent Study, after receiving approval from that person and completing the electronic Petition to Enroll form: Sharon Corcoran will enroll you in Psych 500 (For approved research opportunities outside the Psychology Department, paper petition forms must be submitted. They are available from Sharon Corcoran in room 207B.) It is expected that no fewer than 3-4 hours per week for 15 weeks will be devoted to aspects of the research for each unit of credit to be earned (e.g., 9-12 hours per week for 3 units of credit).

The following are some of the goals we hope are accomplished by engaging in the undergraduate research experience:

(1) Expose the student to various aspects of empirical research and the functions of a psychology laboratory;
(2) Provide the student with the opportunity to practice and refine research skills;
(3) Give the student a deeper and fuller understanding of a particular topic or field of psychological inquiry;
(4) Promote and support research in the department and the discipline by providing researchers with interested, qualified assistants;
(5) Train students interested in continuing their study in psychology to be prepared and effective in pursuing these goals and to make meaningful contributions to scientific knowledge.

To accomplish these goals, the following guidelines are suggested:
(1) Students are expected to devote no fewer than 3-4 hours per week for 15 weeks to aspects of the research for each unit of credit to be earned. This includes working in the laboratory, attending laboratory meetings, meeting with supervisors, and reading material related to the project.
(2) The student should meet with the supervisor in charge at the beginning of the semester and establish what is expected from each side, including information about the project(s) in which s/he will be involved,
and in what capacities s/he is expected to assist.
(3) We recommend that there be at least one assessment/feedback session during the course of the semester between the professor and student.

Assessment of the student’s work and effort for the Independent Study and any additional requirements are the responsibility of the student’s research mentor. Papers, presentations, and/or discussions of material are all possibilities that the mentor may require of the student. These expectations should be outlined at the beginning of the semester.

N.B.: For Psych 500 work completed in labs outside the Psychology Department, only pass/fail credit will be given.”