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, typically 15-20 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