Departmental Honors

A student who earns Psychology Department Honors is someone who, through the execution of a behavioral sciences research project, demonstrates excellence in the exploration of thought, action, and emotion in humans or in nonhuman animals.

Achievement of departmental honors will evaluated through:
1. an honors thesis, and
2. an oral presentation at the Student Research Forum (or, in rare cases, other public departmental program).

To apply for honors in Psychology, a candidate must:
― have a 3.25 GPA in both major and overall course work;
― have participated in the major for at least two semesters;
― have completed at least 60 credit hours, with at least half of those hours completed at Centenary;
― identify and collaborate with a departmental faculty thesis director who oversees the candidate’s honors project;
― identify and gain the support of two committee members, including the thesis director, and one committee member from outside the department;
― complete the Nomination for Departmental Honors form (available from the Registrar);

To be awarded department honors, a student must:
― submit copies of the honors thesis to the committee and all members of the Psychology department;
― satisfy the expectations of each committee member;
― register for and successfully complete at least four hours of Independent Study (PSY 49x) in addition to major requirements;
― present the project at the Student Research Forum (or, if necessary, other appropriate venue).

The honors thesis will:
― be an appropriate summary of your work. In most cases, this will involve a written summary equivalent in length to a publishable article, typically15-20 pages/5,000-7,000 words;
― use APA-style throughout;
― describe an original research behavior sciences research project or in-depth, scholarly literature review; and
― be approved, in advance, by the candidate’s thesis director and members of his or her honors committee.

Recommended timeline:

Prior to the end of your Junior Year:
• Assemble committee
• Submit necessary paperwork to the Registrar
• Register for Independent Study, as relevant
• Design project (in consultation with thesis director)
• Begin gathering and reading relevant literature for the project
• Obtain IRB approval for projects involving human subjects data collection
• Register for Independent Study, as relevant

Fall Semester of Senior Year:
• Update outside committee member on status of project
• Continue to conduct research as part of Independent Study
• Register for Independent Study, as relevant

Spring Semester of Senior Year:
• Invite committee members to Student Research Forum
• Present project at Student Research Forum
• Provide final copy of thesis to committee and department members no later than Monday of the last week of class meetings
• Follow up with Registrar to ensure that all necessary paperwork has been completed