Students enrolled in the Master’s of Science Research Psychology program will not only gain research, statistics, and grant-writing knowledge and skills from the classroom, but they will also complete a capstone project. This project will allow students the opportunity to put newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice in a manner that is best fitting their career or graduate school objectives.
Capstone Proposal and Defense
The capstone project is flexible in a sense that students can chose between a traditional master’s thesis based on original research, a grant application, or propose an applied project (e.g., program evaluation) that best suits their needs. Each student will complete the following three stages of the capstone project:
- Conduct preliminary research, choose your project, and assemble your project committee for a review of your project.
- With approval from your project committee, research, collect data, analyze data, etc., and write your capstone project.
- Finally, present your written project and provide an oral defense for your capstone project to your project committee.*
*Your committee must approve your work at the proposal and defense.
The program provides students with numerous research opportunities and flexibility. Students can request to work with faculty within the School of Psychology, Family, and Community or seek out capstone projects (e.g., grant application) locally, regionally, or nationally. Below are examples of labs where students might work:
The Baker Lab
Dr. Phillip M. Baker leads this collaborative and motivated group of researchers interested in understanding how the brain reduces complex information into behavioral choices. To do this, we manipulate the circuitry of the brain in animal models to understand the contributions of brain areas to reducing external stimuli into internal representations of choices that ultimately guide decisionmaking. Much of our work is hands-on with our animal models in addition to wet lab work.
Child and Adolescent Laboratory
Directed by Dr. Jenny Vaydich, the Child and Adolescent Laboratory within the School of Psychology, Family, and Community at Seattle Pacific University explores the influence of parent-child relationships and interactions on child and adolescent emotion regulation development. We are particularly interested in parent-child relationships and parental emotion socialization during childhood and adolescence. Previous projects have focused on aggression; however, more recent projects have examined the influence of parent-child relationships on symptoms of depression and anxiety.