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Student Opportunities

A major goal of the department is to provide a number of opportunities for all Smith students to work one-on-one or in small groups with members of the faculty. Here are just some of the opportunities available to Smith students during the course of the academic year:

Teaching Assistantships

The success of our introductory course (PSY 100) depends on the contribution of paid student assistants or proctors. Teaching Assistants may participate in and lead small group discussion, advise students on the selection and development of paper topics, do interview testing and work with students on their oral presentations. By participating in a general review of psychology, senior majors develop a coherent overview of the diverse areas that constitute psychology today. For those who are planning to apply to graduate school, teaching assistantships provides an excellent review for the Graduate Record Examinations.

Research Assistantships

All members of our faculty have active research programs. Each year, we present our findings at national and international meetings of learned societies and publish our work in scholarly journals. We are eager to involve majors and premajors in our research. It is a valuable opportunity to learn first-hand the technical skills of doing research in psychology, the methods of processing findings and the style of preparing manuscripts and posters for publication and presentation.

Membership in Psi Chi

The psychology department at Smith has established, nurtured and grown a large and active chapter of Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. Founded in 1929 for the purpose of "encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly psychology, and advancing the science of psychology," Psi Chi is a national organization comprised of local chapters on more than 600 college and university campuses.

Psi Chi provides academic recognition to its initiates by fact of membership. On a larger scale, local chapters of Psi Chi offer a nurturing climate towards creative development. These local chapters provide programs designed to stimulate and nourish professional growth. Annual national and regional conventions are held in conjunction with other psychological associations. Psi Chi also offers research award competitions, certificate recognition programs and a quarterly newsletter. Psychology majors wishing to apply for membership in Psi Chi at Smith College should visit the organization's Web site: https://www.psichi.org/. All applications must be received by mid-February.

Summer Research Opportunities

Many members of the department employ students to work with them throughout the summer on their research. Summer research typically involves the work students do as research assistants during the year or after completing an advanced research course. These opportunities frequently carry stipends, and are advertised to all majors and minors.

Student Liaisons

Psychology majors are selected as representatives who attend psychology department meetings, cast a vote on departmental decisions, and are asked to represent student interests on a wide variety of matters, such as the structure and contents of the curriculum and new faculty hiring. We see our students as participants in the governance of the department. Applications to be selected as a student liaison are sent to all psychology majors in January.