Research Distinction in Psychology
To graduate "With Research Distinction in Psychology" a student must:
- Be a psychology major
- Graduate with at least a 3.0 overall GPA
- Take Psychology 4999.01 and 4999.02 (Both of these courses are only offered in Spring semester)
- Write and successfully defend a Psychology Thesis
The Thesis is independent research conducted by the student and supervised by a psychology faculty member. The Psychology Department requires completion of a two-course sequence (Psychology 4999.01 and 4999.02). Each course is taught in subsequent spring semesters. For example, a student on a traditional four-year plan would take Psychology 4999.01 in spring semester of her junior year and Psychology 4999.02 in spring semester of her senior year. However, with support of the Faculty Thesis Advisor, a student may begin an Thesis and Psychology 4999.01 in spring of her sophomore year.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How can I learn more about becoming involved in research in the Psychology Department?
A. Talk to your psychology advisor, attend our annual Psychology Enrichment Program “Getting Involved in Research in the Psychology Department”, attend the annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium, explore the Psychology 4998 opportunities, or talk to your fellow students who are in research labs.
Q. What do I have to do in order to prepare for a Thesis?
A. Students interested in pursuing a Thesis should begin participating in research (Psychology 4998) no later than their sophomore year. Students should secure a Faculty Thesis Advisor by fall semester of the junior year (typically this will be a faculty member you have done 4998 research with).
Q. How do I get involved in Psychology 4998 (Undergraduate Research in Psychology)?
A. Go to the Psychology 4998 website and find a project that sparks your interest. Email the contact person for the project to apply. Once accepted, you can negotiate your hours and responsibilities (this will determine the number of credit hours), have the faculty member sign a course enrollment form (s/he will have the class number), take the course enrollment form to the Psychology Advising Office (PS 15).
Q. How do I enroll in Psychology 4999.01?
A. To enroll in Psychology 4991.01, students should pick up an application from the Psychology Advising Office. The application requires the signature of the Faculty Thesis Advisor. Once this is turned in to the Psychology Advising Office, students will be enrolled in Psychology 4999.01.
Q. Is there any paperwork I need to complete to get this Honor?
A. Yes, you must submit a Thesis Application with the College of Arts and Sciences (under Research Distinction) at least one term before your graduating term. You will need to submit a research proposal and your Faculty Thesis Advisor’s signature on the application form. You will need to schedule an appointment with your Psychology Advisor to complete the Major Program Form of the application.
Q. What does it mean to “defend” a Thesis?
A. After you have successfully completed your written Thesis document, you will have an hour-long meeting with your Faculty Thesis Advisor, and one other faculty member. You will describe your Thesis project to them and they will ask you questions about your work. You must defend your Thesis at least two weeks before the end of the term you graduate.