Honors Programs in Psychology (effective through Summer 2010)

The Honors Program in Psychology and in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences:  | Previous requirements

Psychology and Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences concentrators with strong academic records and an interest in research are encouraged to consider participating in the Honors Program. The program is designed to enable advanced students to gain experience in design, conduct, and analysis of research studies. Students experience an intensive collaboration with a faculty member, and complete a major effort to create new scientific knowledge. The Honors Program can serve as a capstone for their undergraduate studies, and as important preparation for graduate training or employment in a variety of fields.


1.   Requirements. In addition to completing all the requirements for the concentration, an Honors degree designation requires maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4, participation in two terms of independent study, and the completion of a written thesis describing an original research project conducted in collaboration with a faculty mentor.

2.   Faculty Partnership. Students wishing to pursue Honors should explore their interests in research and statistics early in their concentration. The student must then identify a faculty research mentor to work in partnership on an Honors project. The research mentor can be any faculty member or research scientist holding a faculty appointment in the University. With the mentor as a collaborator, the student will prepare a project plan and timeline for completion.

3.   Admission to the Honors Program. A student and their faculty research mentor must apply together for admission to the program. The student may apply at any time once a concentration has been declared and a suitable plan has been approved by their mentor. Students are encouraged to declare their Honors participation as early as possible.

4.   Courses. Once accepted into the Honors Program, Psychology concentrators will elect both PSYCH 425 and 427; Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science concentrators will elect both PSYCH 424 and 426. The Honors courses are graded, can be used towards the required concentration hours, a laboratory course requirement for concentrators and 426 or 427 may satisfy the college upper-level writing requirement. It is permissible to substitute other independent study credits upon approval by the Psychology Honors Program advisor.

5.   The Honors Thesis. The required senior Honors thesis is a written report describing the design and execution of the research project conducted in collaboration with the faculty mentor. The thesis will be due one calendar month before the anticipated graduation date. All Honors theses must be prepared in American Psychological Association (APA) format, and typically run fifty double-spaced pages in length. One copiy of the thesis and a submission form must be submitted.

6.   Evaluation of Thesis. The thesis will be evaluated by three readers: the mentor, an outside reader (a faculty member not involved in the research project), and a representative of the Honors Program. Students and mentors may suggest possible readers, but the program office will be responsible for contacting evaluators. The reports of all readers will address the quality of the science reported in the thesis, as well as the quality of the written presentation. The report of the mentor will also address the role the student played in the design, execution, and interpretation of the experiments reported in the thesis, and should point out the role played by others on the project. The Honors Committee will then meet to review the recommendations of the readers and decide on the appropriate level of Honors. The Honors Committee will attempt to maintain uniform standards, and is not constrained by the recommendations of the readers. Based on LS&A guidelines, a determination of "No Honors," "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors" is made. This determination of an Honors designation must be completed prior to the actual awarding of the degree.


Students interested in the department Honors Program may obtain further information from the program website and at the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office, 1343 East Hall.

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109 © 2016 Regents of the University of Michigan