Honors Program in Psychology

Honors StudentsThe Senior Honors Program in Psychology has two components:

  1. Students conduct an independent research project in the laboratory of a Psychology and Neuroscience faculty member, and
  2. Students enroll in and complete PSYC 693H (Fall) and PSYC 694H (Spring), which meet once per week.

Enrollment in the Honors Program is not restricted to students who have participated in UNC Honors Carolina and Psychology majors do not necessarily complete a Senior Honors in Psychology.

In order to graduate with Honors in Psychology, you must apply by April 1 of your Junior Year.

Apply for Honors Program

Eligibility for the Honors Program requires:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 in the Psychology major
  • In-process or completion of PSYC 395
  • Confirmation of a Psychology and Neuroscience faculty member to serve as your Honors Advisor

To apply, submit the Honors Program Application and Faculty Mentor Recommendation to Rachael Hall.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Prepare for the Honors Program as an Underclassman?

Although students do not apply to the Honors Program until they are juniors, you can prepare for Honors early in your career at UNC.

  • Apply yourself in your courses to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 and a minimum major GPA of 3.5, which are requirements for admission into the program.
  • Read about research and talk to professors, graduate students, and other undergraduates about your research interests. Think about the types of research you’d like to do. Keep a notebook of research ideas.
  • Achieve a mastery of research skills. Take PSYC 210 and 270 as soon as this is feasible as these courses teach basic skills that are important for research. You may also be able to obtain research experience by volunteering to work in a faculty lab or by taking PSYC 395.

How Do I Prepare for the Honors Program as a Junior?

Students apply for the Honors Program by April 1 of their junior year, but a lot of advance planning needs to be completed before application submission.

  • Learn about the program by talking to faculty and students. Make an appointment or email questions to the Honors Program Director.
  • Seek out research opportunities via research intensive courses, independent research experiences, paid research assistant positions, and volunteer positions. It is strongly advised that students take PSYCH 210 or 215, 270, and 395 before applying to develop necessary skills and research interests.
  • Plan ahead. The Honors Program is designed to be completed during two semesters of the senior year. Study abroad, December graduation, and other educational opportunities may interfere with the Honors Program. We can sometimes accommodate these situations; make an appointment with the Honors Program Director.
  • Identify a faculty member to serve as your Honors Advisor. Explore our faculty’s research interests and read research articles to see if a faculty member’s research reflects your interests. A potential Honors Advisor may be identified during PSYC 395. If you have difficulty identifying a sponsor, contact the Honors Program Director.
  • Apply on time. Applications should be submitted by April 1 of your junior year.

How Will I Pay for Research Supplies and Equipment?

Some equipment and supplies may already be in your Honors Advisor’s laboratory and may be available for your use, free-of-charge. Other materials may be covered under the Honors Advisor’s grant or professorship. However, there may be other materials you will need to purchase on your own. Students are encouraged to apply for research awards to cover necessary expenses. Consult with the Honors Program Director for more information.

Is the Poster Session Mandatory?

Participation in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Honors Poster Session is mandatory.

How Do I Prepare for My Honors Defense?

In the Spring before graduation, you should constitute a committee of three, including your Honors Advisor. Only one committee member may be a graduate student in Psychology and Neuroscience. Faculty from other departments may serve on your Honors Committee, but must be approved by your Honors Advisor. At least one member of the committee must be a Psychology and Neuroscience faculty member who is not a member of your research lab.

The Honors Thesis should be written in accordance with APA Style. The completed thesis must be distributed to all committee members at least one week prior to the oral defense meeting. The Oral Defense Form must be completed and provided to your Honors Advisor prior to the meeting.

Students present their research in about 15 minutes during the oral defense meeting. The committee will ask questions and the meeting typically takes an hour. Any revisions recommended by the Honors Committee must be made before the deadline for thesis submission. The final copy of the thesis, after approval, should be submitted to the Carolina Digital Repository.

Honors Theses

Past Honors Theses are listed below in PDF format.

Contact Us

Dr. Beth Kurtz-Costes
Fall Honors Program Director
221 Davie Hall
(919) 962-4137

Dr. Donald Baucom
Spring Honors Program Director
264 Davie Hall
(919) 962-5035

Rachael Hall
Instructional Programs Coordinator
213C Davie Hall
(919) 962-4977