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Earn your Psychology degree at UCM - Lee's Summit

Designed for busy, career-driven students, UCM offers a B.A. in Psychology completion program at UCM - Lee's Summit.

Testimonial about the B.S. in Psychology degree at UCM

"I chose Psychology at UCM because of the real-life aspect of the program and the technology in it."
- Madeline Cramer, B.A. in Psychology alumna

Testimonial about the B.S. in Psychology degree at UCM

"I've been able to experience on-the-job training while assisting Dr. Lundervold in the Behavioral Medicine Lab."
- Amy Garcia, B.S. in Psychology graduate and current Psychology graduate student

Testimonial about the B.A. in Psychology degree at UCM

"I've been able to apply what I've learned in my classes to the real world and many of my other classes."
- Sara Thomas, B.A. in Psychology graduate and current Criminal Justice graduate student

Testimonial about the B.A. in Psychology degree at UCM

"The psychology professors at UCM were more than willing to be mentors. They genuinely cared about my goals and success."
- Brittany Echols, B.A. in Psychology alumna

Research Participation

Research Participation

What is Sona?

How Do I Get to Sona?

How Do I Access My Account?

Am I Eligible to Participate?

Afternoon Research Talks

How Much Credit Do I Get for Participating?

What Happens If I Don't Show Up?

What Rights Do I Have as a Research Participant?

Do I Have Responsibilities as a Research Participant?

How Do I Keep Track of My Credits and Absences

What If My Researcher Didn't Show Up to My Appointment?

How Do I Become a Researcher?

How Do I Advertise My Research on Sona?


Research Participation

Students at UCM are able to participate in original research, help advance science, and earn necessary research participation credit by volunteering to participate in psychological research studies. Research participation opportunities are posted in our online registration system, SONA. Students enrolled in PSY 1100 must earn a minimum of ten research participations credits (or as assigned by individual instructors) in order to earn credit for General Psychology. Other students are welcome to participate in student research as well. For further instructions see below.


What is SONA?

SONA is an online research participation site that allows UCM students research trainees and faculty members to post descriptions of their current research and enables users to view available studies, sign up for upcoming research, and log and keep track of research participation and earned credits. SONA allows researchers to keep track of participations, issue credits, and also conduct their research online through the online survey collection tool.


How Do I Get to SONA?

The UCM Sona homepage can easily be accessed by following the link:

You may also search the UCM homepage by simply using the search icon tool and searching “research participation” and following the link provided.


How Do I Access My Account?

All General Psychology students will be assigned a SONA account (to be emailed to student email addresses after final enrollment). Other students should visit the SONA log in page and select. “Request account” for assistance in creating a participant research account.

SONA has provided an instructional video for student and faculty convenience, to show them how to log in to the SONA system and sign up for studies.


Faculty, students, and student research trainees may also want to see the following instruction manuals. The manuals are available on the bulletin board outside the Department of Psychological Science office, Lovinger Suite 1111.

              Instructions for participants in Gen Psych (PSY 1100)

              Instructions for all other students

              Instructions for researchers


Am I Eligible to Participate?

Participants must be at least 18 years old in order to participate in research at UCM. Students who are minors are, however, able to participate in Thursday Afternoon Research Talks (T.A.R.T.’s), in order to obtain their necessary research credits. Contact individual instructors for further instructions on alternate assignments for minor students.


Afternoon Research Talks

The UCM Department of Psychological Science sponsors a series of research presentations during the fall and spring semesters. The presentations may include student research, faculty research, thesis presentations, or other topics that are related to research, such as how to prepare for a professional conference. If you are interested in presenting, please contact David Kreiner.


Videos of the presentations are generally available for viewing within a week after the presentation. If you would like to get credit in a course for attending or viewing a presentation, please check with your instructor about whether you can earn those points by watching the video and about whether anything in addition is required in order to earn credit in that course for attending. Some videos from previous semesters are available at the bottom of this page. Speakers and topics will be added as the information becomes available.

For a list of scheduled research talks follow the link:


How Much Credit Do I Get for Participating?

Research participation credits are grant as the basis of 1 credit per every ten minutes of participation. The amount of credits that students will receive for participation in each study will be included in the study’s information in SONA. Online participation is granted in the same manner as face-to-face participation (10 minutes = 1 credit). Therefore, PSY 1100 students will need to complete a minimum of 100 minutes of participation.


What Happens if I Don’t Show Up?

Students are responsible for attending the research studies that they sign up for. All participants have up till 24 hours prior to the research appointment to cancel a sign-up. After that time, students are responsible for being at the appointment. Students who fail to appear at research they have signed up for will be marked an unexcused. In the case of an emergency the student should contact the researcher they have signed up with, or the SONA administrator, in order to avoid being marked as an “unexcused absence.”

You will not lose previously earned credits for failing to appear. However, unexcused absences are tracked in the SONA system. Acquiring more than two unexcused absences will result in students’ being locked out of the research participation system for two weeks. You will NOT be able to participate in research while locked out of the sign-up system.

If contact is made regarding an absence, or in the event of an emergency, the student may be marked as “excused” which will not result in being locked out of the sign up system.


What Rights Do I Have as a Research Participant?

As a research participant you have several rights to be aware of:

First, you have the right to elect not to participate in experiments. Although, many students find that they actually enjoyed their rime as a participant, your participation is voluntary. You may talk to your instructor about alternate options, or attend Afternoon Research Talks.

Second, you have the right to leave an experiment at any time without penalty (however, you may only be credited for time spent participating). In the event of distress you may ask to leave an experiment, and are advised to contact the Counseling Center.

Third, you have certain rights to privacy as a participant. UCM adheres to research participation policies to endure to safety of participants’ privacy through confidentiality or anonymity in both participation and data collection. You will be provided with information about how your privacy is protected during the informed consent procedure before you participate.

All students will be asked to read and sign an informed consent that will also outline your rights as a participant prior to participating in any research study at UCM. 

Research done in the department of Psychological Science is reviewed by UCM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) which functions to ensure the ethical treatment of participants and their identities.


Do I Have Responsibilities as a Research Participant?

Yes, you do! All students are expected to follow certain rules and have certain responsibilities when participating in research at UCM. Including:


  • Protecting your Sona account and identity: Students are responsible for changing their passwords after signing in for the first time. Creating a new password helps to ensure the safety of participant information and prevents any one from being able to access account information. Students are responsible for the activity of their accounts, and should take care to ensure their accounts are password protect with a unique and confidential password.
  • Canceling appointments: As earlier stated, students are responsible for attending the research studies they sign up for. Cancellations must be made 24 hours in advance to avoid being marked “unexcused.” To cancel a study, sign in to your participant account, click on “My schedule and Credits.” Click on “Sign-Up History” and then select “Cancel” next to the study sign-up that you wish to cancel. If you do not cancel within 24 hours, it is your responsibility to personally contact the researchers and inform them of the cancellation. If you fail to notify the researcher of your absence your will be marked “unexcused.”
  •  Researcher contact information may be found on the study’s sign-up page and in the confirmation email you received upon signing up for participation.
  • Being on time: Please be on time to all research participation. Being excessively tardy may result in an inability to participate, and possibly, as unexcused absence.
  • Checking available of research: Students are responsible for continually checking for the availability of research to participate in. Research is NOT collected during finals week, therefore, it is important that students check for available studies to participate in early in the semester to ensure they obtain the research credits they require.


How Do I Keep Track of My Credits and Absences?

Hopefully, you will not have any absences to keep track of! However, if you do, both credits and absences (excused and unexcused) may be tracked in the SONA system by logging in to your research participation account. After logging in, follow the link for the “My Schedule/Credits” menu. Next, click “Sign-up History” at the bottom of the page. This will show you a list of all the research you have signed up for. Each sign up will also indicate if you were granted credit or marked absent (either excused of unexcused).

Participants may also view the “credits overview” window, to monitor both credits earn (which have already been assigned to participants) and credits pending (credits that have not yet been assigned to participants).

If you are currently enrolled in multiple course requiring research participation, this is also the menu you will used to assign credits to individual classes. Credits may only be used for more than one class, in other words, you cannot “double-dip” credits.


What if My Researcher Didn’t Show Up to My Appointment?

We hope this never happens! The Department of Psychological at UCM is committed to providing a quality research experience. In the event that you are where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there to participate, but your researcher does not show up please contact the research coordinator/SONA administrator, immediately.  If the researcher is found to be at fault for the absence, you will not be penalized and will receive full credit for participation.


SONA Administrator: Jason Benson


Office located at: LOV 1206 (in Suite LOV 1200).


How Do I Become a Researcher?

Anyone interested in completing research at UCM must complete the researcher conduct training, via the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program).

After completing training, students and faculty may request a research account my contacting the SONA administrator.

Student researchers are required to have a faculty supervisor in order to conduct research at UCM.


How Do I Advertise My Research on SONA?

All studies posted in UCM’s SONA system must be approved by the IRB at the University of Central Missouri (the Human Subjects Review Committee) or the Department Review Board (training projects only), prior to being approved and posted on SONA.

After approval the appropriate documents must be sent to the SONA administrator for study approval.

For further instructions on how to post about your own research or research opportunities here, contact the Department of Psychological Science research coordinator at 660-543-4185 or through email at