SONA Participation Requirement for Psychology Majors

What is the SONA Participation Requirement?

Beyond their coursework, all SUNY New Paltz psychology majors must complete the SONA Participation Requirement. It is not a course you take, but a variety of activities you fulfill in addition to your classwork.

To satisfy the SONA Participation Requirement, psychology majors must accrue at least 12 points worth (i.e., 6 hours) of research activities. The number of points earned for each activity depends on the type and length of the activity.

The SONA Participation Requirement is only required of psychology majors. Psychology minors do not complete it.

Signing Up for SONA Activities

Students sign up for SONA activities electronically after creating an account on the SONA Systems website. Once you create an account, you can use the SONA Systems website to track your progress on the SONA Participation Requirement, as well as on earning SONA points for classes offering SONA extra credit.

Receiving SONA Points After You Participate

  • Points for online research are usually awarded immediately upon completing the study.
  • Points for in-person research and lectures/job talks are usually awarded within 48 hours. If it takes longer than 48 hours, do not be alarmed. The delay might be due to a weekend, holiday, or unforeseen factors. If concerned about not receiving your points, email the psychology advising assistants, indicating the activity you completed and your name.
  • You may choose how to apply points after you receive them. You can allocate earned SONA points to either the SONA Participation Requirement or the class but not to both. Once points are allocated, the allocation cannot be changed. Therefore, you must be careful in selecting what you are allocating points to (a course or the SONA Participation Requirement). If you encounter difficult, contact the the undergraduate psychology advising assistants for assistance. If you want to apply SONA points for extra credit in a class, you must log into the SONA website and assign those points to that class by 5 PM on the Common Exam Day.
  • All points left unassigned after the Common Exam Day can be applied towards the SONA Participation Requirement OR toward a class offering extra credit for SONA points in a future semester.

What If I Must Cancel an SONA Appointment?

If you sign up for an in-person study, you can cancel it up to 24 hours before it starts. You have two options:

  1. The preferred method: Cancel by logging into your SONA website account and finding your appointment.
  2. If you cannot log in to cancel an appointment, call the researcher’s lab (not office) to let the researcher know that you need to cancel and reschedule your appointment. Contact information for labs is available in on the study pages of the SONA website. Please call at least 24 hours in advance.

Completing the SONA Participation Requirement

  • To see how many points you have earned toward the SONA Participation Requirement (or toward extra credit in a course), log into your SONA account and click “My schedule/credits.” (NOTE: Yes, the link says credits, but it goes to a page that tracks SONA points; you will also be able to see future activities you have signed up for.)
  • After completing 12 points of SONA activities, you must submit the online form to have the SONA Participation Requirement marked as completed on your progress report. This step should be completed at least a month before graduating to ensure that it is processed in time.
  • Aim to complete the SONA Participation Requirement prior to your final semester at SUNY New Paltz to avoid a deficiency notice from Records and Registration.


For questions about the SONA Participation Requirement, please contact the psychology advising assistants.

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