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Honors Program Requirements
Students admitted to the Honors Research Program must meet these requirements in order to be awarded the “honors” designation in the major for the college B.A. or B.S. degree.
- Meet all major requirements for graduation — To complete your Senior Major Release make an appointment with the Psychology Honors Coordinator, EH 1343.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 (effective September 1, 2006) through graduation. (This is a requirement set by the College of LSA for honors degrees)
- Participate in two terms of honors research independent study listed below — These courses are 2-4 credits per term, are graded, and may count towards the required major credits.
- Psychology 424: Senior Honors Research I
- Psychology 426: Senior Honors Research II
- Participate in the Annual Research Forum — All Psychology Honors students present their research at the Psychology Research Forum in April. The Research Forum provides a great opportunity for you to give a professional presentation of your thesis research. All Honors students are required to present a poster at the Research Forum, as your work represents some of the best undergraduate research projects in our department!
- Complete a thesis describing an original empirical project in collaboration with a faculty mentor — Theses typically report a single empirical study, and are written in a style appropriate for submission to a scientific journal. The thesis is typically 30-40 double spaced pages, and must conform to standard American Psychological Association (APA) format. One electronic copy of the thesis and electronic submission form must be submitted by one of the submission dates (April 1, August 1 or December 1). Past theses are bound annually and are available for viewing in the Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office, 1343 East Hall. Also see Past Thesis Topics.
- Meet the submission deadline for graduation — Students must meet a submission deadline of April 1, August 1 or December 1, during the term of graduation. You MUST meet this deadline in order to be reviewed for graduation in the term. If you cannot meet it, you may postpone the date of graduation until the following term in order to allow the honors evaluation to be completed and included with your degree. An honors designation cannot be added to a degree already awarded by the college.
LSA Honors - Changing Your Graduation Date
- Receive a final thesis evaluation of “honors” from the faculty review committee.
Theses are evaluated by three faculty readers: the mentor, an outside reader (a faculty member not involved in the research project), and a faculty representative of the Honors Program. The vast majority of theses result in a designation of "with honors" and only 1% "with highest honors." You will be notified by email when the evaluation is completed and reported to the College.
The Psychology Undergraduate Office offers two advising options.
The Psychology Honors Director offers walk-in advising (fall and winter terms). Times for the upcoming terms will be announced. The Director can help with questions regarding thesis content, research, issues/problems with your project, grad school
The Psychology Honors Coordinator/Academic Advisor will schedule appointments with either prospective or current program students. The honors coordinator is available to answer general questions about the major and the honors thesis project. The honors coordinator also handles senior major releases for psychology honors program students. Students should schedule an appointment for a major release the term before they plan to graduate (by October for April grads, April for August grads, or June for December grads).
Dr. Priti Shah
Director, Honors Research Program
Professor of Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience and Educational Psychology
2004 East Hall
Academic Advisor & Honors Program Coordinator
Psychology Student Academic Affairs Office
1343 East Hall
Students in the Psychology Honors Research Program are eligible to apply for Department of Psychology Awards to help defray the expenses associated with conducting research.
Visit the Undergraduate Awards Page for a full listing of awards and deadlines offered through the Department.
Psychology Honors students are also eligible to apply for awards from the LSA Honors College. Examples of LSA Awards are:
- The Otto Graf Scholarship and Prizes are awarded to junior Honors scholars
- The Virginia Voss Award for writing is awarded to senior Honors women
- LSA Honors Grants are awarded to cover expenses related to research, travel, conference presentations, etc.
LSA Honors also lists National Fellowships & Scholarships (apply! there are many UM past winners for mulitple awards! Schedule an advising appointment with an LSA Honors Advisors today to discuss these opportunities)
Graduating from Two Majors with Honors
The “honors” designation on your college degree is awarded within a designated major. You may apply to more than one honors major program. However, each major has separate requirements for completing their specific honors program. See the program director for more information on this option.
The Department of Psychology provides statistical consultants to help students with data management and analysis. These consultants are available only in the Fall and Winter academic terms.
The Center for Statistical Consultation and Research also provides free consultations to enrolled students for up to one hour per week.
Thesis Format and Submission
Prior to graduation, honors program students complete an original research report on their project in collaboration with their faculty advisor. The thesis is formatted as a standard research journal submission, averaging 30 pages in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.
Completed honors theses are accepted three times a year: April 1, August 1 or December 1.
Delayed submission of a senior honors thesis will delay a student’s graduation. The College of LSA will not retroactively award an honors degree. Students who need to delay the completion of their thesis will have to delay graduation if they wish to graduate with an “honors” designation.
Psychology Honors Theses are evaluated by the honors mentor and two outside readers that are not affiliated with the project. Students and mentors can suggest second readers when submitting their application, however, students and mentors should not be contacting possible readers themselves. The program director will make all decisions on second readers.
Evaluation forms and copies of the theses are sent out by the Honors Program Coordinator.
Each student will receive an email with an individualized thesis submission link the week before the thesis is due. The student must complete the Thesis Submission Form and attach their thesis by 5pm on the day the thesis is due or it will not be accepted.
Honors Project Changes or Problems
With the agreement of your current mentor, you may decide to switch projects, or even mentors. However, the project time frame of two terms is very short; therefore, you need to prepare for the project well in advance of the first term of research, and have a definite plan for its content and completion date. The time to “shop around” is before committing to a specific mentor.
Problems during the Project
The Honors Research Program is committed to helping you through each step of the project, and finding ways to make this the best possible experience for both you and your mentor. We will be in contact with you at each step to make sure you are on course, and to work with you on any problems that arise. Our track record of successful honors graduates also shows that our mentors succeed in developing great collaborations with honors students. The earlier we are made aware of possible problems, the more able we will be to help you resolve the problem and come up with possible alternatives.
What to do if you cannot complete your Honors Thesis
If you are unable to complete your thesis as planned, there are two options available to you.
- You may decide to apply for your degree without the honors designation (without penalty).
- You may seek an extension of the deadline so that you can complete the thesis and graduate at a later time. You may even be able to walk through graduation with your class, but complete the actual degree later. There are several steps you need to take to document your status:
- Meet with your thesis mentor to agree on the project's status and a new timeline.
- Email the Honors Program Director and Honors Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating your new timeline for completing the thesis and your graduation.
- Meet with an Honors Advisor from the LSA Honors Program or email the LSA Honors Auditor, Jacquelyn Turkovich.
- Keep in close contact with your mentor regarding your progress.
- In order to graduate “with honors,” you need to complete the program requirements before you apply to graduate. Honors cannot be awarded retroactively once the degree has been conferred.