Honors Program

Ambitious and motivated undergraduates are encouraged to pursue departmental honors. Graduating with Honors in Psychology requires a specific set of requirements which differ from graduating with UI Honors (through the UI Honors Program). Some students pursue both options while others pursue one or the other. Students do not have to be part of UI Honors in order to graduate with Honors in Psychology. Students who are interested in UI Honors should review their website for UI Honors membership requirements and UI Honors curriculum.

To be eligible to graduate with Honors in Psychology, students must:

  • Have a 3.33 UI cumulative GPA
  • Complete a Psychology Seminar* (PSY:4090)
  • Complete an Honors Thesis

Psychology Seminar (PSY:4090) is a topic based course in which students read and discuss scientific articles related to the topic.  Topics change depending on instructor.  Different topics will require different lower level Psychology electives as prerequisites.  Psychology Seminar is offered every fall and spring but never in the summer.   For students in the B.A. program, completion of the Psychology Seminar is an additional requirement; this class does not count as an upper-level elective.

The Honors Thesis is a written report of an original research project conducted by the student with the guidance and approval of a faculty member. The scope and content of the project varies from lab to lab and is determined by the student and mentor.  While there is no set timeline for completing a thesis, many students spend at least two semesters completing their individual project.  Students are encouraged to participate in a research lab with a faculty member prior to beginning their thesis. This allows students to become familiar with research methodology, develop their personal interests in the field of psychology, and begin to consider ideas for their own research project.  Students can receive academic credit for their thesis research by enrolling in PSY:4990 Honors Thesis Research.

Upon completion of the agreed upon project, the student prepares a scientific paper describing the project.  This paper should follow typical scientific format and include the following sections: Abstract, Introduction and Background, Methods, Analysis, Discussion.   The thesis must be “defended” in the presence of the mentor and one other person (typically another faculty member, post-doctoral fellow or other professional)

Students submit the completed and defended manuscript along with the signed Honors Program approved cover page (available for download on Honors Program website) to Honors Program by Wednesday of finals week in the semester the student graduates. 

In addition to applying to graduate on MyUI, students must apply to graduate with Honors in the Major.  The form can be downloaded from the Honors Program website and filed with Honors Program by the published degree application deadline. 

For more information on the Department of Psychology Honors Program, see the Honors Bulletin Board next to the main Psychology office and/or contact the departmental Honors Adviser, Professor Toby Mordkoff.

For more information about the University of Iowa Honors Program contact the University Honors Program, 420 Blank Honors Center (319-335-1681).

DEADLINES:   

The completed and defended manuscript along with the signed Honors Program approved cover page must be submitted to the Honors Program by Wednesday of finals week in the semester the student graduates. 

Application to graduate with Honors in the Major must be filed in 420 Blank Honors Center by the published degree application deadline.  Form is available on Honors website