Departmental Honors Program

The 2022-2023 application is now open for submissions and will close on Friday, May 27 at 4PM PST.

2022-2023 Program Faculty Coordinator — Dr. Naomi Eisenberger

View the 2021 Information Session —

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 2022.
  • 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 2022. Accepted participants must begin their projects during Summer 2022, with the assistance of a faculty advisor (however, there is no summer class enrollment).
  • Applicants must earn a B or higher in PSYCH 100A and 100B. Note that eligible students may have these courses in progress during Spring and Summer 2022 — list “IP” for your grade if that is the case. Applicants who took these courses P/NP from Winter 2020 through Summer 2021 must have earned a Pass grade to be eligible and can list “P” to reference this.

Apply for the 2022-2023 Cohort

  • Find a Psychology Faculty Advisor who will sponsor your research project for the 2022-2023 year. They must be Psychology Department Faculty. Faculty not listed on this document will not be eligible to serve as advisors for this program. Your sponsor needs to be available during Summer 2022 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. Please make sure to note who is eligible to serve as an advisor by using this list.
  • 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 any 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 each cohort annually.

Decisions will be emailed to applicants in mid-June 2022.

Please contact our office via Message Center on myUCLA with any specific questions about the Departmental Honors Program.

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 an approx. $1k 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 an approx. $1k award.

*Students are not eligible to receive both awards.