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Research Opportunities

Opportunities for Student Research

There are a variety of research opportunities available to our students including thesis, project, and involvement in faculty research in a variety of capacities. 

Thesis and Project Options

To earn the 36 credits needed for the Master's degree, matriculated students in Community Social Psychology have the option, in consultation with a faculty member of completing either a thesis or a project. Note that neither the thesis nor project are required nor are they guaranteed options. Both of these requirements entail developing an integrative piece of scholarship. The thesis is larger in scope, more formal and more rigorous than the project, and it must involve empirical research. 

Specifically the thesis will:

  • Be completed over the course of two semesters (usually consecutive), counting for six credits toward the degree
  • Involve a Thesis Committee of three faculty
  • Be written in accordance with University guidelines
  • Be defended by the student in front of the Thesis Committee at a public meeting 
The thesis is a piece of quantitative and/or qualitative research, involving a review of literature, the clear statement of a research question, the design of an appropriate method for collecting data and the analysis of results as the basis for drawing conclusions.

Specifically the project will:

  • Typically be completed over the course of one academic semester, counting for three credits toward the degree
  • Be carried out under the supervision of one faculty member
  • Be written in accordance with guidelines established by the graduate program
  • May involve an appropriate form of public presentation

The project may also be a piece of research, though narrower in scope and more focused than a thesis (e.g., a pilot study or a program evaluation). It may also involve the development, implementation and evaluation of an action-oriented intervention.

Completion of a thesis is not appropriate for all students, but can be a good choice for students interested in enhancing their research skills. The thesis can also benefit those who are considering going on to a doctoral program and a possible career in university teaching and research. Again a thesis is not a guaranteed option, and the specifics need to be negotiated with an individual faculty member.

A project might be a good choice for students interested in enhancing their program design, intervention and evaluation skills, and it might also benefit those students pursuing careers in human services and community development.

CSP students are highly encouraged to discuss the thesis or project option with their CSP faculty advisers.


Our faculty are engaged in a variety of research endeavors including work through various labs, groups, and centers. Take some time to review Faculty Bios on our website.

In addition, there are a few research centers within our college: