Honors and Honors Project

A student may receive a B.A. degree with Honors in Psychology or a B.S. degree with Honors in Psychology by meeting the standards outlined below. Students must also complete an Application for Research in the Department and an Application for Honors in Psychology.

I. College Standards for Honors in the Major

1. The student must have at least a 3.4 GPA in the major at the time of application for honors work and must have at least a 3.4 GPA in the major at the time of graduation in order to receive the designation of "Honors" on the diploma.

2. The student must complete an Honors Project that must consist of at least one unit of work and receive a grade of at least "A-." The project must be undertaken in the senior year or in the summer prior to the senior year. It may be completed in one semester as one unit or in two semesters as two 1/2 units. While it may be based on previous work, such as an independent study, it must represent a "significant and original project over and above any past work."

3. The student must have a committee of at least three faculty members, one of whom will serve as primary advisor. The other members may include a faculty member from outside the student's major. To apply for Honors, the student submits a proposal to the committee. After approval by the committee, permission to enroll in Honors work in the following term will be granted. The committee's evaluation of the project will be based on the final product and an oral examination; the primary advisor will assign a letter grade to the project, after consultation with the other committee members.

II. Requirements for Honors in Psychology

1. For Honors in Psychology, the student must complete 12 units in Psychology, one of which will be Independent Study and one of which will be an Honors Project.

2. The Honors Project must be an empirical study carried out in one semester (as PSYC 496) or in two semesters (as PSYC 495 and 497, which are 1/2 unit designations).

3. The Honors project must be based on an Independent Study (PSYC 406) which may be undertaken in the junior year, the summer before the senior year, or the fall of the senior year. The Independent Study may be either a Literature Review Independent Study or an Empirical Independent Study. In either case, the Independent Study must provide the background for the empirical research in the Honors Project and usually will include as one of its products the proposal for the Honors Project. PSYC 406 is a prerequisite for PSYC 496 and PSYC 495-497.

4. To enroll in Independent Study, the student must meet the requirements described in this Handbook. This includes preparation of a proposal for Independent Study and selection of a faculty sponsor. An additional proposal for the Honors Project and selection of an Honors Committee are required before enrollment in PSYC 496 or PSYC 495-497.
5. The Honors Committee must consist of the primary advisor and two additional faculty members, one of whom may be from another discipline. The Honors Committee will approve of the Honors Project, but final permission to enroll in PSYC 496 or 495-497 must be granted by the Department.

6. After completion of the research report based on the Honors research, the Honors Committee will conduct an oral examination of the student before assigning a grade to the Honors Project.

7. The student will receive the designation of HONORS IN PSYCHOLOGY on the diploma if a grade of "A-" or "A" was earned on the Honors Project and the student has a GPA in Psychology of at least 3.4 at the time of graduation.

8. Students who are in the Honors Program may use PSYC 406 as their Honors Project for that program. Thus, a student may graduate in the Honors Program with HONORS IN PSYCHOLOGY, too.

9. Students may enroll in PSYC 406 with a minimum GPA in the major of 3.0; however, in order to progress to PSYC 496 or PSYC 495-497, a GPA of 3.4 must be attained. If a student completes PSYC 406, but is unable to continue in the process toward HONORS IN PSYCHOLOGY, she or he will nevertheless have earned a credit for PSYC 406.

Titles of recent Honors in Psychology projects include the following:

"Interdependence theory in Close Relationships: The Effects of Social Value Orientation and Type of Other on Cooperation in Relationships"

"False Memories and the Mood Congruency Effect"

"Virginia Baptist Children's Home: An In-Depth Review"

"The Effects of Persuasive Messages on a Provision of Public Goods Dilemma"

Schedule Options for Honors in Psychology Project

The following chart shows seven possible arrangements for initiating and completing the pre-requisite Independent Study and the Honors in Psychology project.

Schedule
Number
Fall Semester (Junior)
Spring Semester
(Junior)
Summer
Fall Semester
(Senior)
Spring Semester
(Senior)

(1)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC 496*

(2)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC 495*

PSYC
497

(3)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC
496*

(4)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC
495*

PSYC
497*

(5)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC
496*

(6)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC
495*

PSYC
497*

(7)

Propose 406

PSYC
406

PSYC
496*

*Requires Honors Committee approval of an Honors Proposal and permission of Department.

 
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