Departmental Honors Program

--The 2017-2018 application is closed--

Departmental Honors is a year-long program with two components. Students who are admitted for the 2017-2018 year will conduct individual research with guidance of a psychology faculty advisor that culminates in a full thesis. Participants also meet for a once-a-week seminar (Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00pm, every quarter) with the Program Faculty Coordinator, Professor Matthew Lieberman. This seminar serves as support for the research and writing processes and introduces students to graduate school options, research presentation methods, and career paths.

2017-2018 Program Faculty Coordinator -- Professor Matthew Lieberman

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.

Eligibility to apply for the 2017-2018 Cohort

Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.5 (or better) as of Winter 2017. Applicants with an overall GPA between 3.3 and 3.49 will be considered, but they must submit a letter of support from their prospective advisor in addition to their application. Applicants must be Psychology, Psychobiology, or Cognitive Science majors and must have all of the prep courses for their majors completed by the end of Summer 2017. Accepted participants must begin their projects during Summer 2017, with the assistance of a faculty advisor (however, there is no summer class enrollment).

To Apply

  • Find a Psychology Faculty Advisor who will sponsor your research project for the 2017-2018 year. They must be Psychology Department Faculty. Your sponsor needs to be available during Summer 2017 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.
  • The application will available at the beginning of Spring Quarter.

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.

For more information drop by the Psychology Advising Office (1531 Franz Hall) for drop-in advising.

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.