Department of Psychology Title The Ohio State University

Research Distinction in Psychology

To graduate "With Research Distinction in Psychology" a student must:

  1. Be a psychology major
  2. Graduate with at least a 3.0 overall GPA
  3. Take Psychology 4999.01 and 4999.02
  4. 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). Students may begin Psychology 4999.01 in either spring semester of their junior year or autumn semester of their senior year.  Psychology 4999.02 would be taken the following semester.

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 website (, 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 4998 website:, find a project that sparks your  interest, email the contact person, negotiate your hours and responsibilities (this will determine the # 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 ASC Advising Office (Denney Hall).

Q.  How do I enroll in Psychology 4999.01?

A.   To enroll in Psychology 4991.01, students should pick up an application from their Psychology Advisor. 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, applications to graduate with Research Distinction are available from the Arts and Sciences Honors Office (Enarson Hall) and from their website.  You will need to submit a research proposal and your Faculty Thesis Advisor’s signature on the application form. You will need to call 292-5750 to schedule an appointment with your Psychology Advisor to complete the Major Program Form of the application.

Q.  What’s the difference between beginning 4999.01 in my junior year or my senior year?

A.   If you begin 4999.01 in the spring semester, you will have more time to complete your Thesis (15 Months), and therefore, you can begin the course with nothing more than a Thesis Advisor secured and use the first semester to develop your proposal and gain approval for data collection.  If you begin 4999.01 in fall semester of your senior year, you have less time to complete your Thesis (9 months) so you will only be permitted to enroll in 4999.01 if you demonstrate that you already have a developed Thesis and that you have already collected data or you are prepared to begin data collection immediately. 

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.

Knowledge Bank

Undergraduate students submit their research theses to the Knowledge Bank.