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Departmental Honors in Psychology

The Psychology Department established a Departmental Honors program to provide academically superior undergraduates with opportunities for greater depth of study and independent research in psychology.

The Psychology Departmental Honors program is open to psychology majors who have a minimum accumulative GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.50 or better in psychology courses.

Interested students should apply for departmental honors during the beginning of their junior year. Application is made to the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies, who will suggest faculty members as possible honors advisers on the basis of the student's interests. The final choice of an honors adviser is left to the student and must be made before the student begins the honors thesis.


General requirements for all students enrolled in the Psychology Departmental Honors are the following:

  • All requirements for the psychology major must be fulfilled.
  • Psychology 3110 must be completed.
  • The following courses, which may be used to satisfy Arts & Sciences area requirements and/or General Education requirements, must be completed:
  • English Composition: Any junior-level English course with a J suffix, such as ENG3060J, 3070J, 3080J, or 3090J.
  • Ethics: Any Philosophy course on ethics, such as PHIL1300, PHIL3300, or PHIL3310, or a Tier III or Tier III-equivalent ethics course that has been approved by the Undergraduate Chair from any other department.
  • Philosophy of Science: Any Philosophy course on science or psychology, such as PHIL2160, PHIL2500, PHIL4120, or PHIL4160.
  • Computer Science: Any Computer Science course at the 2000-level or higher or ET 2100.
  • An honors thesis must be completed and approved. The completed thesis is to be presented in both oral and written form to a committee composed of the student's honors adviser and at least two other members of the Psychology Department chosen by the student and the honors adviser. One of the other members of the thesis committee must be a faculty member, and the other may be either a faculty member or a post-master's graduate student. At least two members of the committee must approve the thesis. The thesis is expected to be empirical research and is to be planned and carried out under the direction of the student's honors adviser. The student is encouraged to begin work on the honors thesis during his or her junior year. The student must get approval for the proposed research from the members of the thesis committee prior to data collection. Up to 12 hours of credit may be taken for honors work by enrolling in PSY 4970H, PSY 4980H, and PSY 4990H. All work on the thesis, including the oral presentation, must be completed at least one month prior to graduation, at which time a copy of the completed thesis must be submitted to the College of Arts & Sciences. This copy may be either an original or a copy on good quality bond paper. The thesis is to be written in accordance with APA style. Additional instructions for the thesis and formats for title and signature pages are available from the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Students should check with the College of Arts & Sciences to determine the specific notification and submission dates for the academic year in which they expect to graduate, as well as to complete application forms required by the college in order to graduate with honors in psychology. In addition, the student should be sure to check the appropriate space on the card that accompanies the application for graduation indicating that he or she is completing an Honors project.
  • The student must notify the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies when the thesis has been successfully defended. At that time, progress in fulfilling the Psychology Honors requirements will be checked prior to notifying the College of Arts & Sciences regarding completion of the program.
  • All courses required for the Honors Program must be completed with an earned grade (A-F).
  • Students completing the Honors Program must have a minimum accumulative GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.50 or higher in psychology courses upon graduation.

Once the student has identified a research supervisor and commenced work on the research project, she or he will be officially registered as a departmental honors student with the College of Arts & Sciences. Students in a recognized departmental honors program may take a maximum of three graduate courses in their major department during their senior year (i.e., after earning 90 or more hours of credit). Hours earned in these courses will count toward total hours required for graduation and the grades will be calculated into the undergraduate GPA. Registration in graduate courses requires written permission from the instructor and the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies.

Students who are planning to attend graduate school in psychology should include the following courses among the courses that they use to satisfy psychology major requirements: PSY 2720, 2410, 2310, 2210, 2710, 2510, 3120, and 4010. Completion of the latter psychology courses is recommended, but not required, to graduate with departmental honors.