Honors in Psychology

Psychology Department Honors Policy


The purpose of departmental honors is to allow outstanding students, especially those who intend to study at the graduate level, to produce an advanced, original research project.  Departmental honors are reserved for the best students in the department; those who have shown superior abilities in the classroom and in the research labaratory.


1. Completion of Psychology 312.

2. Senior standing (completion of 90 credits of the 124 required for graduation from the C of I).

3. At least a 3.5 GPA within the psychology major, with at least a C in each course taken for the major.


Credits: Students seeking departmental honors must be registered for HON 499 for each term (F, W, S) of their senior year. HON 499 can be taken for between one and three credits per term for up to 9 credits. We urge students to sign up for one credit in the Fall semester (to be taken in conjunction with PSY 498- Capstone), one credit in the Winter, and three credits in the Spring. Departmental Honors will be granted at the end of the project if all the requirements are met and the final thesis receives approval of the Psychology Department.

Proposal: All students must complete a detailed research proposal for their honors thesis by the end of the semester before graduation (normally the fall of their senior year). This proposal will normally be completed as part of the requirements for PSY 498- Psychology Capstone. The proposal must thoughtfully define original and meaningful research that is above that normally expected of undergraduates. The proposal should include, at least, a detailed introduction section including a thorough literature review; a detailed method section; and a discussion of the predicted results and potential implications of the research. This proposal will be reviewed by the faculty to find an appropriate supervisor, if one has not already been determined.

Project: Students are encouraged to seek IRB approval of their proposed research at the earliest possible date, in close collaboration with the faculty supervisor. We strongly encourage each student to define and adhere to deadlines for completion of the phases of the research in order to assure timely completion of the project.

Honors thesis: A completed draft of the final thesis should be submitted to the department by the middle of the student’s final semester. The draft should be a full research report (of at least 25 pages; 35 pages for joint theses) in APA style. The writing must be of very high quality, and will likely require multiple drafts prior to this submission. At least three members of the psychology department faculty will review the draft thesis and provide comments. The student must then work with the faculty supervisor to address these comments and submit the completed thesis by the end of the semester.

Oral presentation: Students will make an oral presentation of their completed thesis. All students must apply to present at the C of I Student Research Conference. If their submission is not selected, they will instead make an oral presentation to the department (faculty and students) before final grades are due.