Psychology majors have the opportunity to earn departmental elective credit for their fieldwork experience in areas related to psychology. The Psychology Department offers Psych 497, a weekly seminar open to students who are also engaged in work in the community. Students have the chance to gain valuable training and work experience in the fields of counseling, social services, criminal justice, education and human resources. In conjunction with the field experience, the Psych 497 seminar helps students to further define their educational and career goals by encouraging the exploration of larger academic questions which relate to the fieldwork they are doing.
Psych 497 FAQs
How do I register for Psych 497 credit?
To register for Psych 497, you will need to do the following:
- Find a fieldwork site where you can work in a psychology-related position.
- Complete this short survey or copy and paste the survey link found in the additional details section under PSYCH 497 on the Time Schedule or MyPlan into a web browser. Cy Delgado will follow up with you about your responses to the survey questions.
- Once your site is selected, talk with your site supervisor about the work you will be doing.
- During your meeting with your site supervisor, please ask them to sign the Psych 497 Application and Learning Contract forms
- Once your forms are completed, submit them to Cy Delgado in Psychology Undergraduate Advising, 119A Guthrie Hall.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Due to the popularity of this opportunity, the Psych 497 class has filled to capacity in the past. Priority is given to seniors and psych majors. Please fill out the survey early even if you do not have a fieldwork site selected. Application and Learning Contract must be turned in by the first week of the quarter to remain enrolled in the course.
How do I find a Psych 497 fieldwork site?
There are a lot of different ways to find a volunteer experience.
- Visit our page for fieldwork - which lists fieldworks sites that have worked with psychology students in the past. When you find an organization, please contact the volunteer coordinator and let them know that you are a UW undergraduate Psychology student who wants to explore the opportunity of working with their organization. They may be able to connect you with individuals on their staff with work that might interest you.
- You may also look for internships on Handshake (a list maintained by the UW Career & Internship Center) or at the United Way of King County or Volunteer Match.
- If you are interested in an area that is not covered in the above lists, please feel free to search out another organization that does psychology related work.
- If you don't see a volunteer opportunity listed at the organization you're interested in contact them anyway! Some organizations don't always post all the positions they have available.
- Talk with Cy if you need any additional help.
How do I know if my Psych 497 fieldwork site is "psychology related?"
Psychology is a very broad field covering many things from child development to mental health; animal behavior to sensory perception. There are many different types of experiences that are related to psychology. You are encouraged to reflect on your psychology coursework to identify how your volunteer experience may be related.
Keep in mind that psychology is the study of human and animal behavior. With your experience you will want to seek out positions where you will have a large amount of interaction with people. A position where you file, answer phones, copy, stalk goods, cook or prep will most likely limit your interactions with others and will not provide an in depth experince where you can observe, converse, and relect in a deep and meaningful way.
Your site supervisor may be helpful, as you identify these commonalities. Cy and the other Psychology Advisers are available to help you with this process. When you submit your Learning Contract, you will be expected to include specific ways that your fieldwork experience is related to psychology.
What do I need to discuss with my site supervisor?
Your relationship with your site supervisor is very important. When you first meet to discuss your fieldwork experience, please discuss the following topics:
- Discuss what you would like to learn about the organization and the work that they do.
- Discuss your future career goals and interests and how this experience may prepare you for that work.
- Discuss the type of work they will expect from you at this organization
- Discuss the quality of supervision and the type of training you will receive as a volunteer.
- Discuss the number of hours you will be expected to perform and your schedule.
- Decide how many credits (2-5 per quarter) you want to receive (you earn 1 credit per 3 hrs/week)
What is expected from my site supervisor?
A critical component of your fieldwork experience is the training and supervision that you will receive at the field site. Below is an outline of what is expected of your field site supervisor. Please keep these guidelines in mind and refer to them when talking with the agency where you plan to do your fieldwork. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the training or supervision that will be provided by the agency, please don't hesitate to contact Cy Delgado, in the Psychology Advising Office.
The field site supervisor must agree to:
- Provide a good learning and training environment for the student, to include adequate orientation to the program and regular supervision, as necessary, keeping routine work such as data entry and filing to a minimum.
- Work directly with the student and make explicit arrangements with the student concerning the student's overall learning objectives, communication with the student, expectations, and records of the student's hours and performance.
- Complete an evaluation of the student's performance--this evaluation will be emailed to the site supervisor toward the end of the academic quarter, and must be returned to the Psychology Advising Office before the student can receive credit.
How many credits should I register for? How many hours do I have to work per week?
You may be registered for a minimum of 2 credits and a maximum of 5 credits of Psych 497 for a single quarter. There is a total maximum of 10 credits of Psych 497. You may only apply 18 credits of Psych 496-499 to an undergraduate degree.
First Time Students:
As a rule, each credit of Psych 497 is worth 3 hours of work per week. When you are taking Psych 497 for the first time, in addition to your fieldwork you must attend a weekly class session (Please check the current UW Time Schedule/MyPlan for class day and time). The class will count for 3 hours of work per week (Example: 2 credits = 3 hrs/week of work + 3 hrs/week of class; 3 credits = 6 hrs/week of work + 3 hrs/week of class). See chart below:
Class + Homework
Hours Per Week
Total Site Hours
If you are taking Psych 497 for a second or third time, you will not need to attend the class. Instead, you will be expected to work at your site for 3 hours per week per credit and you will need to submit final papers and homework as assigned.
Total Site Hours
I have been or will be continuing my fieldwork at the same site, are there any different expectations?
If you have already been working at a site for a period of time or before registering for Psych 497, you will be asked to do an additional project or take on additional responsibilites to further your learning.
What happens if I want to complete my hours during the summer?
Psych 497 credits may only be assigned in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters. If you want to receive credit for work completed during the summer, you should contact Cy Delgado before the summer quarter begins to discuss this process. He will asssit you with registering for Psych 497 for the autumn quarter and will send your site supervisor an evaluation in September.
Can I count past hours of volunteering towards the required hours for the course?
With the exception of summer, any hours completed prior to the first day of the quater in which you are registered for the course cannot count towards the hours you are required to complete.
Can I receive credit for experience I have completed in the past?
No. Psych 497 is intended to grant students credit for acadmic work done concurrently with the fieldwork experience.
What are my options if I cannot attend the class or if my opportunity is not considered "psychology related"?
If this is your first quarter completing a psychology fieldwork experience and the class is full or if you have a time conflict, you will not be able to receive Psych 497 credit. In this case, and for students who complete non-psychology related internships, you have the option to apply for General Studies 350 credit. The General Studies 350 class is managed through the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center located at 120 Mary Gates Hall. You will need to find a UW faculty sponsor to register for this type of credit. Please contact the Carlson staff for assistance at 206-616-2885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will I learn by completing Psych 497?
Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to learn many things about the application of psychology in the world of work. Below you can find a link to the specific learning goals for this experience.