Honors in Psychology

We encourage qualified students to apply for admission to the Honors College. 

The process for becoming a psychology honors student is relatively simple if a student meets the basic requirements. In order to be considered for admission, a student must:

  • Be admitted to the Honors College
  • Have a 3.5 GPA overall in their psychology courses
  • Have a psychology faculty member who is willing to mentor the student as they work on an undergraduate honors thesis

Students should download and complete the application for Honors in Psychology. The application must be signed by the faculty member, who is pledging to provide mentorship on the thesis.

Requirements for Graduating with Honors

Once accepted as an honors student, there are several things a student needs to do to graduate with honors in psychology. These include:

  • Maintain status in the Honors College
  • Complete PSYC 497, PSYC 498 and PSYC 499 for a total of 9 credits, with grades of A in all three courses
  • Complete an honors thesis 
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.5 overall and in the psychology major, and complete all other requirements for the B.S. in Psychology

How to Register for Honors Thesis Credit 

The first step in preparing to do an honors thesis is to find a faculty member willing to be a mentor for your thesis project. The best way to do this is to get involved with research before the spring of your junior year by doing a Research Internship (PSYC 494) or Independent Study (PSYC 492). This way, you can explore an area of research that interests you, and a professor will get to know your work.

Students generally start work on their honors thesis during the spring semester of their junior year, and continue throughout their senior year. During this time you would sign up for the three-course sequence: PSYC 497, PSYC 498 and PSYC 499. Typically, you would enroll in these courses during three successive semesters, although it is possible to take two courses in one semester. The most typical sequence is to take PSYC 497 junior year, and PSYC 498 and 499 senior year.

At the beginning of each semester, the honors coordinator will verify with your faculty mentor that you are actively working on your honors thesis, and will confirm the class for which you should be enrolled. The honors coordinator relays this information to the associate director of psychology advising and undergraduate academic operations, who will then email you with permission to enroll and instructions on how to enroll.

Completing an Honors Thesis in Psychology

An honors thesis is a research project that you design, run, write up and defend like a master's thesis under the supervision of a faculty mentor. An honors thesis provides an opportunity to do your own research, learn about an area in an in-depth way and work closely with a professor in the Department of Psychology. Completing an honors thesis is a great way to make your application to graduate or professional school stand out.

Graduating With Honors in Psychology

Students who have met all requirements for graduating with honors in psychology receive special recognition at our psychology diploma ceremonies in December and May, including being the first undergraduate students to walk across the platform. Their achievements also are noted on our psychology website and are touted in other publication outlets.