Declared Psychology major students who are on track to earn 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 or Highest Honors is contingent upon several factors including:

  • Submission of a high quality thesis, based upon independent study under the supervision of a Psychology Department faculty
  • Satisfactory completion of the required courses with letter grades
  • Attaining the requisite GPAs at the time of graduation (3.5 in the Psychology major and 3.3 overall)

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. The Spring 2023 honors panel can be viewed here


  • Required Courses

    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.

    UGIS 192 or Psych 199
    As a prerequisite to the Honors program, students are required to have already been a research apprentice in a lab prior to their application. A minimum of 2 units of UGIS 192 or Psych 199 are required before applications are approved. It is not required for students to earn Psych 199 or UGIS 192 in the laboratory of their intended Honors faculty sponsor.

    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.

    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 letter 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

    Prior to your senior year:
    Attend a Psychology Honors info session.
    Set a thesis topic, conduct literary review.
    Participate in URAP (UGIS 192) or Psych 199 for a minimum of 2 units.
    Take Psych 101 (if not already completed).
    CPHS paperwork (if applicable more information below).
    Work on the design of the project.

    Senior Year:

    Fall: Spring:
    Psychology 195A

    - Research: Independent study and preparation of an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

    - Application due two days before add deadline

    - 1-3 units, letter grade

    - This is earning units for your project. There is no set schedule or location.

    Psychology 195B

    - Research: Independent study and preparation of an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

    - Application due two days before add deadline

    - 1-3 units, letter grade

    - This is earning units for your project. There is no set schedule or location.

    Psychology 194A

    - Honors Seminar: Fall course concentrates on issues of research design, ethics, and data analysis using statistical packages.

    - 2 units, letter grade

    Psychology 194B

    - Honors Seminar: Spring course will focus on oral and written presentations of the thesis projects and feedback on thesis drafts.

    - 2 units, letter grade

    Psychology 102

    - Research data and methods

    - 3 units, letter grade

    Write thesis paper and submit to the faculty sponsor for feedback
    Running your experiment Submit abstract (first Friday of April) & thesis (last Friday of April)
      Participate in the Academic Poster Session
  • Application Process Overview

    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 least two days prior to the add deadline for the semester. Applications can be submitted by email to psychsso@berkeley.eduUpon approval, a class number will be given to the student to enroll via CalCentral. If you are not officially enrolled in the classes prior to the first week of instruction, you are encouraged to attend class as if you are.

    Fall 2024 Cohort Application Deadlines

    A completed honors application packet is due to psychsso@berkeley.edu two days before the add/drop deadline.

    - Wednesday, September 11, 2024 (two days before the add w/out a fee deadline)

    - Monday, September 16, 2024 (two days before the final add/drop deadline with a fee)

    Faculty Sponsor and/or Mentor
    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.

    A student's faculty sponsor, must be a psych faculty or affiliated faculty. Students have the option of having a sponsor and a mentor which can be two people. The faculty will be the sponsor and the mentor can be either a grad student, post doc or lab manager

    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, they should confer with the Undergraduate Major Advisor.

  • Thesis Format

    The honors thesis must 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 that is within one page double spaced.  The title page should take the following format: Sample Title Page.

  • 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.

  • Student Spotlight Archive


  • FAQ

    Why do you require Psych 199/URAP before beginning the Honors program?
    In the Psychology department, the Honors project is a year-long independent empirical research project.  We want students to have worked as a research assistant so that they know whether or not this kind of project is suitable for them.  The best way to know whether or not you are ready to undertake your own empirical research is to have participated in research already.

    Do I have to attend an information session in order to be accepted into the program? 
    We strongly urge you to attend the information session so  you can gain the necessary information to successfully join and complete the program. We'll talk about how to find a lab to sponsor you, what types of projects are suitable for the program, who is eligible for Psych honors, how to enroll in Honors classes and much more. Moreover, all students who attend the information session will be granted priority enrollment for Psychology 102 for the upcoming Fall semester. That being said, it is not mandatory for students to be accepted into the program. 

    Do the classes I take for Honors also satisfy Psychology major requirements?
    Tier II and Tier III Psychology major requirement classes are all numbered between 104 and 182.   So, the classes you take for the Honors program will not satisfy any of the Tier II or Tier III Psychology major requirements.

    If I’m graduating in December, can I start my Honors project in the Spring?
    It is not specifically required that students start Honors in a Fall semester and complete it in the Spring, but that is the most common timeframe. If you are graduating in a Fall semester, you would be able to complete the two semester Honors project by beginning the previous Spring.  Keep in mind that you must take the Honors seminar and that is oriented towards a Fall start.  So your seminar class will be taken H194B then H194A, which is a bit out of sync.  The instructor will do their best to accommodate your needs, but doing Honors with a Spring start will require that you be a bit more independent and seek help as needed.

    How and when do I enroll in Honors courses?
    If you have not completed Psych 102 before beginning your Honors project, you should enroll in it during Phase 1 to assure you get a seat. If you attend the information session, you will have priority enrollment in this course. Once you submit the Honors application, the student services office will email you with the class number and permission code to enroll in Psych H194A/B and Psych H195A/B.  You will then use these numbers to enroll in the classes directly on CalCentral. Enrollment in H194A/B and H195A/B is guaranteed upon successful review of your application, so you do not need to prioritize enrolling in those during Phase 1.