Terminal Research Project (TeRP)

In order to enhance our MA students’ opportunities to conduct meaningful and rigorous research as a terminal experience in the Department of Psychology, we offer an additional option for that terminal experience. That is the Terminal Research Project. This can be accomplished by our students completing a minimum of 6 hours of PSY 6917 Supervised Research, according to the guidelines below. This option allows the student to design and complete an independent empirical study under the supervision of a two member faculty supervisory committee with the committee head being a tenure track faculty member from the Department of Psychology. It is expected that the rigor of these projects will be equivalent to a traditional thesis. The terminal experience for students who choose this option will consist of three elements:


First, the student will complete an empirical study and have an initial defense before the TeRP committee.

The second activity involves making an oral presentation to the students and faculty of the Department and invited guests.

The third is the preparation of a manuscript intended for publication in a refereed academic journal.

This accomplishes several goals that exceed the thesis process. First, it enables our students to have a terminal experience that better prepares them for publishing in the field of psychology. By preparing a manuscript to be submitted to a refereed journal in our field following APA manuscript style, the student has a more authentic sample of academic behavior typically experienced in the field of psychology. Second, the oral presentation to faculty, students and invited guests allows a better assessment of oral communication skills that fit within our ALC’s for graduate students.

Process for Completing the TeRP:

  1. In consultation with appropriate faculty member(s), students identify a topic for an empirical study
  2. Identify a tenure track faculty member to supervise the project (likely the faculty member who assisted in topic development) then submit the TeRP Project Form to the Department Coordinator
  3. During each term the student works on the TeRP, from submitting the Project Form to the Department Coordinator to submitting the Project Manuscript to the Department Chair, the, the student must register for at least 1 semester hour of Supervised Research credit (PSY 6917). A total of 6 semester hours of Supervised Research credit are required for the master's degree, and no more than 6 semester hours will count toward the total semester hours required for graduation (note: this total will vary by concentration). Note: Upon completion of 6 semester hours of Supervised Research credit, graduate students who continue TeRP work must register for at least one semester hour of credit each semester (not including summer) thereafter until the TeRP is submitted and approved by the Department Chair. Failure to register for TeRP hours for 3 consecutive semesters will result in the student having to reapply to the program, subject to the policies and procedures in effect at that time. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment will be charged for 1 semester hour of TeRP credit per semester for each semester during the time they were not continuously registered. A TeRP grade of “G” (deferred) will be given until the final TeRP has been approved by the Department Chair.
  4. Develop a research proposal in consultation with the supervising faculty member including:
    • Literature review
    • Statement of research question or hypothesis
    • Methodology including
      • Participants
      • Instruments, measures, and/or apparatus
      • Procedures
      • Analysis procedures
  5. Identify a second member of the Project Committee
  6. Present and defend the Project Proposal to the project committee (Supervising faculty and second member) and revise as required
  7. Submit IRB proposal
  8. Upon receipt of IRB approval
    1. Recruit participants and obtain necessary informed consent
    2. Collect data
  9. Conduct data analysis in consultation with supervising faculty member
  10. Prepare results, discussion, and conclusion sections as appropriate
  11. Submit draft Project Manuscript to supervising faculty member and edit as required
  12. Upon approval of supervising faculty member, submit to the second member and identify a defense date
  13. Defend the Project Manuscript and make required revisions
  14. Obtain signatures from supervising faculty member and second member when they judge the quality to warrant a grade of “B” or better
  15. Prepare and deliver a presentation of the Project Manuscript to a public forum in the Department of Psychology (NOTE: Should the student not be available for face-to-face presentation, provisions can be made for a remote presentation via video conferencing)
  16. Prepare the Project Manuscript for submission to an appropriate refereed journal
  17. Write a cover letter to the journal editor
  18. Submit all documents* to the Department Chair for approval (NOTE: edits required by the Department Chair must be completed and the Project Manuscript resubmitted to and approved by the Department Chair prior to graduation)

TeRP Forms

Supporting Documents

  • Project Manuscript
  • Signature page with Project Committee signatures
  • Verification of presentation to public forum
  • Cover Letter to Editor
  • Instructions to Authors of the relevant journal
  • SASS Audit confirming completion of course requirements for the MA
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