- Richard Olson, Director, Richard.Olson@colorado.edu, 303-492-8865
- Ryan Bachtell, Associate Director, Ryan.Bachtell@colorado.edu, 303-735-1012
- Vijay Mittal, Associate Director, Vijay.Mittal@colorado.edu, 303-492-3303
The goal of the Honors Program is to acknowledge highly motivated students who excel both in the classroom and in research and to provide such students with special educational opportunities. This web page describes the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Honors Program. Students interested in General Honors are referred to the university Honors Program.
Maintain a high GPA. Guidelines adopted by the Honors Council are 3.3 for graduating “cum laude,” 3.5 for “magna cum laude,” and 3.8 for “summa cum laude.” These are guidelines and the Honors Council occasionally awards an honors designation inconsistent with these guidelines depending on the quality of the honors thesis. Students with a GPA of less than 3.3 who are interested should contact the Honors Director. Completing a research thesis is a rewarding experience whether or not one graduates with honors. Conducting research in collaboration with a professor is one of the most important educational opportunities uniquely available at a research institution like the University of Colorado.
Honors Thesis. Honors students must conduct an empirical research project under the supervision of a faculty member, write a thesis based on that research, and defend the thesis before a committee of three faculty members. The examining committee includes (a) the student's thesis advisor, (b) one of the departmental representatives to the Honors Council (Professor Olson, Bachtell, or Mittal), and (c) a faculty member outside the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. It is up to the student to form the committee and to schedule the defense date.
Students intending to graduate with departmental Honors must complete an application packet, which can be obtained online or in person at the Honors Program office (Norlin Library M400L). The university deadline for completing this application is around the middle of the semester before you intend to graduate. Students intending to take Senior Thesis credits in the semester that they defend must complete a form available in the Advising Office (D243 Muenzinger). This form needs to be signed by your thesis advisor and by one of the departmental representatives to the Honors Council (Professor Olson, Bachtell, or Mittal).
It is important that you inform us about your interest in graduating with Honors as soon as possible. The university deadline for completing the application packet for graduation with Honors is around the middle of the semester before you intend to graduate. The following general schedule applies:
- 2012 Fall Graduates: Defense deadline is Nov. 2; Honors Council meets soon thereafter to award honors.
- 2013 Spring Graduates: Defense deadline is April 10; Honors Council meets soon thereafter to award honors.
- Summer Graduates: The Honors Council does not meet in the summer so students wishing to graduate with honors in the summer must follow the schedule for spring graduates.
Note: Exact dates are available from the Honors Graduation Page. The thesis defense may be completed anytime before the deadline.
Honors Courses in Psychology and Neuroscience
The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience currently offers two honors courses. These courses are highly recommended but not required for students wishing to graduate with honors.
- PSYC 3001: Junior Honors Seminar
- This seminar includes not only a thorough review of research methods appropriate for conducting an honors reserach project, but also application of those methods to the writing of a proposal for the Senior Honors Seminar. Efforts are also made to link students to research mentors so that they can plan and begin their honors research. Instructors: Check current schedule.
- PSYC 4001: Senior Honors Seminar
- This is a capstone course in psychology and neuroscience that is designed for our best psychology students. The course enrollment is limited to allow a high level of discussion and student interaction. It surveys contemporary issues and current controversies in psychology and neuroscience. In addition to lectures, readings, and class discussion on those topics, help is provided in completing the writing of an honors thesis, or of a literature review if the student is not doing an honors thesis. Course requirements include reaction papers to assigned readings, the oral presentation of the honors thesis or literature review in class, and submission of the thesis or literature review as a final paper. Students should be psychology majors in their senior or second-semester junior years with at least a 3.3 GPA. The Junior Honors Seminar (PSYC 3001) is not a prerequisite, but we encourage students to take both courses. Senior Honors is a controlled enrollment course. Instructor permission is required for registration. Instructors: Check current schedule.