Honors Program in Psychology and Neuroscience
The Senior Honors Program in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience has two components:
- Students conduct an independent research project in the laboratory of a faculty member who is affiliated either with the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience or with the Neuroscience major, and
- Students enroll in and complete PSYC/NSCI 693H (Fall) and PSYC/NSCI 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 and Neuroscience majors who have been in the UNC Honors Program do not necessarily complete Senior Honors.
In order to graduate with Honors in Psychology or Neuroscience, you must apply by April 15 of your Junior Year.
Apply for Honors Program
Eligibility for the Honors Program requires:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
- In-process or completion of PSYC 395, NSCI 395, or equivalent research experience
- Confirmation of a Psychology and Neuroscience faculty member or a faculty member affiliated with the Neuroscience major to serve as your Honors Advisor
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/NSCI 395.
How Do I Prepare for the Honors Program as a Junior?
Students apply for the Honors Program by April 15 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 PSYC 210, PSYC 270, and PSYC/NSCI 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 (i.e., you must be on-campus and enrolled both fall and spring semesters). Thus, study abroad during senior year, December graduation, and other educational opportunities may preclude participation in the Honors Program. If you have questions about your eligibility, please 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/NSCI 395. If you have difficulty identifying a sponsor, contact the Honors Program Director.
- Apply on time. Applications should be submitted by April 15 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. 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 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. All students must participate in the Honors Poster Session as a requirement of program completion.
Past Honors Theses are listed below in PDF format.
- 2019-20 Honors Theses
- 2018-19 Honors Theses
- 2017-18 Honors Theses
- 2016-17 Honors Theses
- 2015-16 Honors Theses
- 2014-15 Honors Theses
- 2013-14 Honors Theses
- 2012-13 Honors Theses
- 2011-12 Honors Theses
- 2010-11 Honors Theses
- 2009-10 Honors Theses
- 2008-09 Honors Theses
- 2007-08 Honors Theses
Dr. Keely Muscatell
Honors Program Co-Director – Fall
328 Davie Hall
Dr. Beth Kurtz-Costes
Honors Program Co-Director – Spring
221 Davie Hall
Assistant Department Manager
203 Davie Hall