Honors in Psychology

Outstanding students in psychology and other closely related disciplines are encouraged to participate in the Honors Program in Psychology. The program requires preparation of a thesis, which consists of a proposal, data collection, written analysis and an oral defense of the final thesis. Successful completion of the program results in graduation with "Distinguished Independent Work in Psychology."

Psychology Honors Application (pdf, 24kb)

What are the advantages of completing an honors thesis?

  • It demonstrates to a graduate or professional program or future employer that you are capable of planning and following through and completing a project.
  • It provides tangible proof of your motivation and dedication to the field.
  • It shows that you understand all dimensions of the scientific endeavor.
  • It provides you with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor.

Requirements for psychology majors to participate in the Honors Program

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA): At the completion of the seventh semester, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 for all psychology courses attempted, 3.5 for all courses attempted that count toward satisfaction of major requirements and 3.0 for all courses attempted.
  2. Course requirements: Students must register for, and satisfactorily complete, at least four credits of PSYC 499, preferably distributed over two semesters. If a student chooses not to complete their Honors thesis it is their responsibility to drop PSYC 499 and switch these research credits to PSYC 397 (see Academic Advisor for assistance).

Students who are interested in completing an independent research project but who for any reason cannot or choose not to participate in the Honors Program, are encouraged to obtain the Certificate in Excellence in Research. 

For additional information on the requirements of the Honors Program in Psychology, see the Psychology section of the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Appeals of requirements

Any student who fails to meet one or more of the requirements listed above may petition the Undergraduate Committee for a waiver of a particular requirement. Non-majors desiring to obtain honors in psychology must petition the Undergraduate Committee to obtain permission to participate in the department honors program. Appeals for waiver of requirements must be filed by the first Monday in November for students who plan to complete their thesis in the spring semester.

Procedures

  1. Formation of Honors Committee: Prior to the end of the seventh semester, the student must form an Honors Committee consisting of a faculty sponsor in the Psychology Department who will serve as chair of the committee and at least two other faculty members in the Psychology Department chosen in conjunction with the faculty sponsor.
  2. Written research proposal: During the semester prior to the semester in which the student plans to complete the Honors research, the student must submit a written research proposal to the members of the Honors Committee no later than one week prior to the last day of classes. Approval of the proposal by the Honors Committee is necessary for the student to be accepted into the Honors Program. A copy of the approved proposal signed by all committee members and a completed honors application form (available in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office, S4-230B) must be filed in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office no later than the last day of classes during the semester prior to the semester in which the student wishes to receive honors.
  3. Defense of the thesis: One week prior to the scheduled defense, the student must submit to the Honors Committee a written thesis based on the research accomplished. The student must defend the thesis orally before the committee and any other interested parties no later than the Friday prior to the last week of classes.
  4. Procedures for final certification: Determination of the student's receipt of the "Distinguished Independent Work in Psychology" designation will reside solely with a student's Honors Committee, assuming the student has met all the requirements listed above; such certification must be conveyed to the Academic Advisor by the student's faculty sponsor so that timely notification of the award can be transmitted to the dean's office and to the registrar. A copy of the final thesis, signed by all members of the Honors Committee, must be filed in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office to certify completion of the Honors Program.

Timetable for Completing an Honors Thesis:

Timetable for Completing Honors Thesis

Certificate of Excellence in Research in Psychology

Students in Psychology and other closely related disciplines who are interested in completing an independent research project but who for any reason cannot or choose not to participate in the Honors Program, are encouraged to obtain the Certificate in Excellence in Research. The program requires preparation of a thesis, which consists of a proposal, data collection, written analysis and an oral defense of the final thesis. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate in Excellence in Research from the Psychology Department.

Application for Certificate in Excellence in Research (.doc)

What are the advantages of obtaining a Certificate in Excellence in Research?

  • It demonstrates to a graduate or professional program or future employer that you are capable of planning and following through and completing a project.
  • It provides tangible proof of your motivation and dedication to the field.
  • It shows that you understand all dimensions of the scientific endeavor.
  • It provides you with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor.

Requirements for psychology majors to obtain a Certificate in Excellence in Research

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA): At the completion of the seventh semester, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all psychology courses attempted, 3.0 for all courses attempted that count toward satisfaction of major requirements and 3.0 for all courses attempted.
  2. Course requirements: Students must register for, and satisfactorily complete, at least eight credits of PSYC 397, preferably distributed over two semesters.

Appeals of requirements

Non-majors desiring to obtain the certificate in psychology must petition the Psychology Undergraduate Committee to obtain permission to participate in the program. Petitions must be filed by the first Monday in November for students who plan to complete their thesis in the spring semester.

Procedures

  1. Formation of Project Committee: Prior to the end of the seventh semester, the student must form a Project Committee consisting of a faculty sponsor in the Psychology Department who will serve as chair of the committee and at least two other faculty members in the Psychology Department chosen in conjunction with the faculty sponsor.
  2. Written research proposal: During the semester prior to the semester in which the student plans to complete the research, the student must submit a written research proposal to the members of the Committee no later than one week prior to the last day of classes. The proposal must include the background research related to the project, the hypothesis/hypotheses to be tested, the methods to be used and the expected results. Approval of the proposal by the Committee is necessary for the student to be accepted into the program. A copy of the approved proposal signed by all committee members and a completed certificate application form (available in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office, S4-230B) must be filed in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office no later than the last day of classes during the semester prior to the semester in which the student wishes to finish the research project.
  3. Defense of the thesis: One week prior to the scheduled defense, the student must submit to the Committee a written thesis based on the research accomplished. The student must defend the thesis orally before the committee and any other interested parties no later than the Friday prior to the last week of classes.
  4. Procedures for final certification: Determination of the student's receipt of the "Certificate in Excellence in Research" will reside solely with a student's Committee, assuming the student has met all the requirements listed above; such certification must be conveyed to the Academic Advisor by the student's faculty sponsor so that the actual certificate can be completed and mailed to the students. A copy of the final thesis, signed by all members of the Committee, must be filed in the Undergraduate Psychology Advising Office to certify completion of the program. 



Last Updated: 10/28/16