Psychology 199 A & B: Directed Independent Research in Psychology

Course Description

Psychology 199 is a special studies course created to offer self-initiating students the opportunity to design and conduct their own independent research. This is done under the direction of a sponsor who must be a regular faculty member in the Psychology Department. Throughout the quarter, students enrolled in Psych 199 work closely with a faculty sponsor who guides them through the various phases of the students’ research. At the end of the quarter, students must submit a final version of their research paper to their faculty sponsor.

Psych 199 is not intended as a Research Assistant position in which a student simply aids professors or graduate students in their research. Students interested in working as Research Assistants should enroll in Psych 196A instead.

Course Deadlines:

Course Contracts (see enrollment instructions below) must be submitted to the Psychology Advising Office via Message Center on MyUCLA by Friday, January 12th at 5:00pm for Winter Quarter 2024 in order to be enrolled in the course. Course Contracts and submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed.

  • Junior or Senior standing. Juniors must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the major.
  • Psychology, Psychobiology, or Cognitive Science major standing.
  • Pre-major students may enroll provided that Psych 100B (Research Methods in Psychology) has been completed before enrolling in Psych 199.
  • Students from other departments may enroll only with consent of the Psych Dept. Non-majors must submit a petition along with their Psych 199 Contract indicating their prior research experience through course work or individual research experience (at least one year of prior experience.
  • This is NOT a variable-unit course: Psych 199A is a 4-unit P/NP course & Psych 199B is a 4-unit Letter Grade course.
  • Only one Psych 199 course may be taken per term, and only 16 units of Psych 199 may be applied toward the degree.
  • Only one Psych 199B course may ever be taken for a letter grade. Additional Psych 199 enrollment must be in Psych 199A (P/NP basis) only.
  • Student must do all the work in the same quarter that the 199 class is taken for credit. Student will not receive credit for work done in a different quarter than when the 199 class is taken.
  • Psychology major: One Psych 199B (Letter Grade) can satisfy one upper division elective requirement for the Psychology major.
  • Psychobiology: Psych 199 does NOT satisfy any requirement for the Psychobiology major.
  • Cognitive Science: Psych 199A or 199B can be used towards the research requirement for the Cognitive Science major, provided the Vice Chair has approved the research topic and final paper.
  • Once you have your own research project in mind, you must obtain a Faculty Sponsor who is a regular faculty member in the Psychology Dept. A list of Faculty members is available on
  • Log on to MyUCLA and select CONTRACT COURSES on left menu bar to create your contract
  • Follow the instructions to create your Psych 199A/199B contract & email it to the Professor for approval and signature. A scanned signature or e-signature is acceptable.
  • The Professor will also need to sign off on the Psych 199 learning contract, which should be submitted to the department with the course contract.
  • You do NOT need the Department Chair’s signature.
  • Once you have completed course contract and have obtained your faculty mentor’s signatures, submit the course contract and learning contract to the Psych Advising Office via Message Center on MyUCLA. Please see the steps below for submitting documents.
    • Log in to MyUCLA
    • Click on the yellow “Need Help?” button in the top right corner
    • Click “Message Center”
    • Click the green “Ask a Question” button
    • Select “Academic Counseling Unit” and type “Psychology” in the text field
    • Type “199 Contract Course Enrollment” into the Subject Line
    • Attach electronic or scanned copies of your course contract
    • Click “Send”
    • You will receive a reply via Message Center once your contract has been received and processed.
  • The deadline to submit the contract to the Psych Advising Office is Friday of Week 1.
  • Visit your College Counseling Unit if you need approval to take more than 5 P/NP units or are planning to exceed 19 units for the quarter.
  • Finally, check your MyUCLA Study List on Thursday of Week 2 to make sure you are properly enrolled with the correct Professor. The deadline to make changes to your Study List without a late fee is Friday of Week 2.

Student and Faculty Sponsor’s Responsibilities

The faculty sponsor will specify the work that will be involved for credit and the date the final version of the research paper should be submitted to him or her. The faculty sponsor will receive a grade roster at the end of the quarter and assign the final grade.

The last day to submit your contract for enrollment to Psych Advising Office is Friday of Week 1.

The last day to submit the research paper to your Faculty Sponsor is Friday of Finals Week.