There are numerous ways for students to gain research experience in the cognitive & linguistic sciences. Some experiences grant course credit, others provide stipends. Opportunities are listed below:
Students can work with faculty either on semester-long independent study projects (350's) or year-long honors theses (360's and 370's). Students interested in 350 projects should consult with professors with whom they would like to work for sponsorship and advice on developing a research or reading project. Students interested in doing an honors thesis their senior year should likewise consult with professors about sponsorship and advice (in the spring of their junior year) but must also meet the College's criteria for admission to the Honors program.
Students can get research experience over the summer and receive stipends for their work. This program is competitive:
Social Science Research Program provides a generous stipend along with a housing/commuting supplement for students working with a professor in any of the social sciences at Wellesley College. The program lasts for 10 weeks. Applications are typically due at the beginning of March. Students apply to work on projects posted by interested professors. For details (along with a listing of projects in the program) students should consult the website.
MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) program: Students interested in research opportunities at MIT should consider the UROP program, a program for matching student research assistants to faculty researchers at MIT that provides course credit (through cross-registration during the school year). Students should consult the Wellesley-MIT-UROP website for details about applying as well as listings of current UROP openings. Cognitive & linguistic sciences majors are most likely to find projects related to their major in the department of brain & cognitive sciences or at the Media Lab (the latter may require some programming skills). Students interested in working at MIT over the summer may consider applying for The Summer Research Internships in Science program at Wellesley.
Research Experiences For Undergraduates (REU) program at the National Science Foundation: The NSF sponsors a number of summer research "sites" that allow students to work intensively with a mentor on a summer-long research project. These research opportunities typically pay a stipend and are very competitive. You can check this link.