Department of Psychology Title The Ohio State University


Honors in Arts and Sciences With a Major in Psychology
The Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University is one of the largest departments in the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences.  First established in 1907, its faculty has grown to encompass some of the most eminent academics in its seven different specialty areas.  These include the areas of clinical, cognitive/experimental, developmental, intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavioral neuroscience, quantitative, and social psychology.

The Psychology department has the largest enrollment of Honors Program students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and one of the largest enrollments in the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences.  Honors students have the opportunity to participate in challenging courses and research experiences at multiple levels.  Students may take advantage of unique opportunities to work side-by-side with some of the field’s leading researchers and scholars.

Students may participate in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program by completing a program of study either leading to the designation “With Honors in the Arts and Sciences” or “With Honors Research Distinction in Psychology”.  Some students may choose to satisfy the requirements for both Honors tracks.

To graduate "With Honors in the Arts and Sciences", students must have an overall GPA of 3.4 and complete an Honors Curriculum Contract.  An Honors Contract includes more rigorous and challenging courses (i.e., upper-level and Honors courses rather than introductory-level courses), usually a minor, and often times a second major.  The contract is developed with an Honors advisor from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the Psychology Honors Advisor.  This contract can be tailored to reflect individual interests and career plans.  It is submitted during spring semester of a student's sophomore academic year.

To graduate "With Honors Research Distinction in Psychology" a student must maintain at least a 3.4 overall GPA, complete the Psychology Honors Contract requirements, take Psychology 4999.01H and 4999.02H, and write and defend an Honors Thesis.  The Honors Thesis is independent research conducted by the student and supervised by a tenure-track faculty member.  The Psychology Department requires completion of a two-course sequence (Psychology 4999.01H and 4999.02H).  The first course in this sequence covers theoretical development and helps students write a research proposal and gain approval for data collection. Students review the literature relevant to their specific area of research, present their proposal to the seminar class, and submit their project for approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The second course supports data collection and analysis, and focuses on writing and presenting the Honors Thesis. Experimental design and analysis are reviewed. Students present their Honors Thesis to the seminar class and participate in the annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium.

Students interested in completing an Honors Thesis will want to become involved in Psychology 4998 research early in their career (during their freshman or sophomore year).  Information on becoming involved in Psychology 4998 is available on our website at  Students should begin discussions with a faculty member about completing an Honors Thesis by the beginning of their junior year to set up a program of research that will culminate in an Honors Thesis.

The Honors Program offers many advantages for students.  It provides courses that challenge the intellectual capacity of students, as well as giving students the opportunity to interact with faculty in a more intimate classroom setting.  Honors students may be eligible to take graduate-level courses and have scheduling priority for course registration.  Honors students also are eligible for research scholarships offered through the Honors Office of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences and the Department of Psychology.

Honors Courses
The Department of Psychology is committed to offering Honors students both Honors sections of regular courses and specific Honors courses.  Psychology Honors courses include:
Psychology 1100H: General Psychology
Psychology 2220H: Introduction to Data Analysis in Psychology
Psychology 3321H: Quantitative and Statistical Methods in Psychology
Psychology 3325H: Introduction to Social Psychology
Psychology 3331H: Abnormal Psychology
Psychology 3340H: Introduction to Life Span Developmental Psychology
Psychology 3371H: Language and the Mind
Psychology 4508H: Psychology of Judgment and Decision-Making
Psychology 3550H: Psychology of Childhood
Psychology 5613H: Biological Bases of Psychopathology.

To enroll in an Honors course, students should be in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program or have permission of the instructor as needed.  Students enrolled in Honors sections should expect more challenging and rigorous assignments, as well as stimulating class discussions.  Sections are small and thus encourage greater interaction between faculty and students.

Research Opportunities

Honors students in the Department of Psychology have many opportunities to participate in research at multiple levels.  Students will be exposed to the research process across the various content areas within their psychology courses.  All students are required to take Psychology 2300: Research in Psychology.  In addition, psychology students may elect to engage in Psychology 4998: Undergraduate Research in Psychology, under the supervision of a faculty member, (see for information and links to over 35 research opportunities) and even design and implement their own research project via the Honors Thesis track.  Independent study research enables students to test their interest in research and get to know faculty members who share those interests and is strongly recommended for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in psychology.  Students may apply for up to $150 to attend a psychological conference related to their research experiences.

The Psychology Department also encourages students to present their research findings.  Every year, the Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium gives students the chance to observe and present research in a poster presentation session within the department.   Many students also compete in the annual university-wide Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.   Students may apply for up to $300 to present their research at professional conferences such as the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference.


The Department of Psychology offers two undergraduate scholarships to support research:

The Alkire Research Scholarship was given by Edward M. Alkire to help an outstanding junior or senior student majoring in psychology to conduct research in psychology or the mental health field.

The Billingslea Research Scholarship was given by Dr. Fredrick Y. Billingslea to help an outstanding junior or senior majoring in psychology conduct research in clinical psychology or in a clinically related area.

These scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement and to encourage students conducting research under the supervision of a faculty member.  These scholarships ($3000) are paid toward University fees spread evenly thoughout the academic year.  Applications are available in the spring for the following academic year.

Psychology Honors Research Mentorship Program
The Psychology Honors Research Mentorship Program provides an opportunity for honors psychology students to work closely with a faculty member to develop and hone their research skills.

Freshman Year
During spring term of the freshman year, honors psychology students may apply to participate in the 3-year program.   

Sophomore Year
Students attend a series of workshops in which they learn about research within the sub disciplines of psychology, as well as topics such as research funding opportunities, completing an honors thesis, and submitting to the IRB.  Students select a lab to begin their research experience.  In spring quarter, students begin work on their Honors Thesis.  In May, students travel to the Midwestern Psychological Association’s annual conference in Chicago, Illinois, to see firsthand how research knowledge is disseminated through symposia and posters.  

Junior Year
Students complete an Honors Thesis with their Research Mentor.  In the spring term, students present their research at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Colloquium, the Denman Research Forum and other forums such as the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference.  

Senior Year
Students focus on dissemination of their research findings.  This may include working with their Research Mentor to prepare a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed or undergraduate research journal, presenting their work at a discipline-specific conference, or other opportunities supported by the Research Mentor.

Further Information
We hope you will consider the majoring in Psychology within the Arts and Sciences Honors Program at The Ohio State University.  For further information, please see the Arts and Sciences Honors Program website at