Students with a 3.5 GPA in their major and 3.3 GPA overall by graduation may apply for admission to the Honors program. Students interested in the honors program should participate in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP) or departmental research during their junior year. This will prepare them for experimental research and design necessary for completing their own project.


The award of departmental Honors is contingent upon submission of a thesis of high quality, based upon independent study with a member of the Psychology Department's faculty and marked by satisfactory completion of Psychology H195A-B. Evaluation of the thesis is the primary responsibility of the faculty sponsor, as well as second reader as assigned by the Chair or Vice Chair. The sponsor and second reader will decide whether the thesis is of Honors quality and if so, which level of Honors is to be assigned: Honors or Highest Honors. Departmental Honors designations will be included in the student's permanent UC Berkeley record. The Student Services Office maintains a file of completed Honors theses, which are available for review.




Students are required to enroll in all of the courses listed below. Please keep in mind that NONE of these courses counts toward the major requirements.


Psychology 102


Statistics for Psychological Research is a 3 unit upper-division course that is designed to introduce students to the data analysis techniques researchers using the field of psychology. This course is only offered in Fall and may be taken as early as the junior year.


UGIS 192 or Psych 199


Students applying to the Honors Program are required to be a research apprentice in the laboratory of their intended faculty sponsor. Students must begin their research project in the spring of their junior year. The URAP office will provide the students enrollment information for UGIS 192 (course control number and class entry code) to register via TeleBEARS and the Psychology Student Services Office will provide enrollment information for Psych 199. A minimum of 2 units of UGIS 192 or Psych 199 is required.


Psychology H195A-B


Psychology H195A-B is offered for 1-3 units per semester and is mandatory in order to receive Honors in the major. The course is sequential with a grade of In Progress or “IP” for the "A" portion and the final grade assigned for both semesters at the end of the "B" portion.


Psychology H194A-B


Honors students are also required to concurrently enroll in Psychology H194A-B (2 units per semester), the Honors Seminar, in their senior year. This course provides excellent supplemental background for preparing the thesis. During the fall semester, the seminar will concentrate on issues of research design, ethics, and data analysis using statistical packages. In the spring semester, the seminar will focus on oral and written presentations of the thesis projects and feedback on thesis drafts.


Suggested Timeline


Junior Year (Spring):
Set a thesis topic, conduct literary review
Participate in URAP or deptartment research
Take Psych 101 (if not already completed)


Summer between Junior and Senior Year:
CPHS paperwork (if applicable)
Work on the design of the project


Senior Year (Fall):
Enroll in Psych H195A (application due 5th week)
Take Psych 102 AND Psych H194A
Submit application for RPP (if applicable)
Begin running your experiment/analyze data


Senior Year (Spring):
Enroll in Psych H195B (application due 5th week)
Take Psych H194B
Finish data collection/analysis
Write thesis paper and submit to the faculty sponsor for feedback
Submit abstract (first Friday of April)
Submit thesis (usually the last Friday of April)




Students must complete the application to enroll in Psych H195A-B units and Psych H194A-B. Students must submit the application and an outline of the research proposal for approval to their Psychology faculty sponsor. The application should outline a specific plan for the research and the writing of the thesis and give a tentative timeline for its completion. Signed applications are due in the Psychology Student Services Office at 3305 Tolman by the 3rd week of the semester. Upon approval, a class number will be given to the student to enroll via CalCentral. Applications should be submitted by the University deadline to add courses in both semesters of enrollment.


Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects Approval


Students who are planning to use human subjects for the Honors thesis must apply for approval from the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects at the end of the junior year. This process can take up to six months. Faculty should be consulted for help in making the request.


Faculty Sponsor


Students should maintain close contact with their faculty sponsor to ensure clear communication on direction of the thesis project and expectations of the professor. Students are encouraged to submit a draft of the honors thesis to the instructor mid-semester of enrollment in H195B for comments before the final copy is produced.




The honors thesis may be an original or empirical study of a topic in psychology.




The thesis should be organized and written according to APA style, found in the APA Publication Manual. The thesis must include an abstract of approximately 200 words or less. The title page should take the following format: Sample Title Page.




Completed theses are due on the last Friday of November for Fall review and on the last Friday of April for Spring review. Deadlines are subject to change. Instructions on how to submit your thesis electronically will be emailed to you by the major advisor. If the student is not able to meet the above noted deadline date for submission of the thesis, s/he should confer with the Undergraduate Major Advisor.