What kinds of projects have our SMP students done?

Katie Grein '13 presents her SMP

Check out the database of past PsycSMP abstracts

Prospective PsycSMPs: A past student may have suggested a path for future research that you would like to follow!

Students can visit the College Archives (Calvert 009-ground floor) to read or view past St. Mary's Projects Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (appointments recommended).

Access to a full SMP can depend on how a student completed a release form, but most SMPs can be read or viewed in the College Archives without restriction.

Electronic copies of SMPs are usually provided to faculty and staff upon request, but students are provided electronic copies of SMPs only with the permission of a faculty member.

SMP Spotlight

Christine Kodluboy '13 with her mentor, Dr. Scott Mirabile

42 students completed an SMP in psychology in AY12-13. Congratulations to them all!

At the end of each year, mentors select particularly outstanding SMPs to be featured in our PsycSMP Showcase. 12-13 Showcase projects were written by Katherine Grein, Christine Kodluboy, Lydia Martin, Heather Palacorolla, Liza Sitz, Emma Sullivan, and Abby Vandegrift.


St. Mary's Projects

The eight credit project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. With the approval of the department, majors may complete eight semester hours of the St. Mary’s Project in any discipline or cross-disciplinary study area. The project is supervised by a faculty mentor, appointed by the department chair.

The College has established certain guidelines for the SMP:

  • It must be student-initiated;
  • It must demonstrate methodological competence (by identifying an area to be explored and proposing a method of inquiry appropriate for the topic);
  • It must draw on and extend knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. It must include a reflection on the social context, the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which the project is a contribution;
  • It must be shared with the larger community through some form of public presentation.

Students usually work on their SMP throughout their senior year; in certain circumstances, however, you may choose to begin your project in your junior year, and finish it a term before you graduate. By the middle of your junior year, you should have given serious thought to whether or not you want to do an SMP. Talk to students a year or two ahead of yourself, both in Psychology and in other disciplines, about their projects-or decisions not to pursue one. Talk to faculty you may be interested in working with. Look at the list of Recent Projects, our SMP Showcase, and browse through the numerous topics and abstracts listed in our index of past projects (see box to the right). Attend SMP Presentation Days when they are held.  Think about possible topics-what you might wish to spend this much time studying, and about whether the SMP is the right choice for you.

Alumni have indicated that their PsycSMP was a positive learning experience and was especially helpful in preparing them for grad school (most especially for those who did empirical projects). 

For more details on the SMP, read through our tips for getting started on your Psychology SMP and the College's general web page on the SMP. Students interested in completing an SMP in Psychology must submit a PsycSMP Declaration of Intent Form to SMP Coordinator, Angie Draheim, during the advising period prior to starting an SMP.

Note: Psychology majors are not required to complete an SMP. Instead, they may opt to complete an Alternative Capstone Experience.

Emma Sullivan '13 presents her SMP