Departmental Honors Program

The 2020-2021 application is now closed.

2020-2021 Program Faculty Coordinator -- Naomi Eisenberger, Ph.D.

Departmental Honors is a year-long program with two components:

1) Individual research under the guidance of a psychology faculty advisor, culminating in a full thesis 
​2) Weekly seminars (Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00pm, every quarter) with the Program Faculty Coordinator, serving as support for the research and writing processes and introduces students to graduate school options, research presentation methods, and career paths.

Students who successfully complete the program will earn an " Honors" or " Highest Honors" notation on their diploma. Departmental Honors Students will earn 12 units of credit toward graduation for completing this program. If the entire series is completed, the last of these 4-unit courses can count as a Psychology Elective. Psychobiology and Cognitive Science majors may petition for elective credit if their research aligns with their major. Cognitive Science majors may alternatively use the last of the 4-unit courses towards one of their fieldwork/research course requirements.


Applicants must have an overall minimum UCLA GPA of 3.50 as of Winter 2020. Applicants with an overall UCLA GPA between 3.30 and 3.49 will be considered, but must submit a letter of support from their prospective advisor in addition to their application to Applicants must be Psychology, Psychobiology, or Cognitive Science majors and must have all of the preparation courses for their majors completed by the end of Summer 2020. Accepted participants must begin their projects during Summer 2020, with the assistance of a faculty advisor (however, there is no summer class enrollment).

Apply for the 2020-2021 Cohort

  • The application will available during Spring Quarter.
  • Find a Psychology Faculty Advisor who will sponsor your research project for the 2020-2021 year. They must be Psychology Department Ladder Faculty. Your sponsor needs to be available during Summer 2020 to provide assistance with the IRB process. You must secure a Faculty Advisor prior to submitting your application.
  • You do not need to have a full project organized when applying, but you should have a general topic in mind, a tentative plan, and you should select a faculty member in an area related to your topic. The following list can help you get started: Psychology Faculty
  • Part of the application includes a projected time line for the completion of your project and thesis paper. Your advisor will help you estimate these dates before you submit your application.
  • You will also provide an (approximately) 500-word statement of purpose describing why you want to participate in this program, what you hope to study and accomplish, and why you feel that you are qualified to complete a research thesis project, including detailed descriptions of previous research experience.

Selection Process

Applicants are selected based on their research experience and their overall GPAs. Probability for selection depends on the competitive level of the applicant pool, which varies each year. We will select between 20 and 22 students for next year' s cohort.

Please email Nandini Inmula ( with any specific questions.

Psychology Departmental Honors Awards

Timothy Chheang Memorial Scholarship Award

  • Each Spring, one student receiving Highest Honors for his or her Psychology honors thesis project will be presented with the Timothy Chheang Memorial Scholarship Award.  The recipient will receive a $1, 000 award.*

Nissim and Arlyne Levy Endowed Award

  • Each Spring, one student receiving Highest Honors for his or her Psychology honors thesis project will be presented with the Nissim and Arlyne Levy Endowed Award.  The recipient will receive a $1, 000 award.*

*Students are not eligible to receive both awards.