Honors

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.

 

Additional Information

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.

 

  • 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
    Students applying to the Honors Program are required to be a research apprentice in a lab prior to applying to the honors program. It is not required for students to participate in the laboratory of their intended faculty sponsor prior to applying. 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 CalCentral 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 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:
    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

    Application
    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 2210 Berkeley Way West two days prior to the add deadline for 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.

    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.

    Deadline
    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

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

    Style
    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.

  • 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.

    Can I do a literature review for my Honors project?
    In the Psychology department the Honors program requires students to undertake their own empirical study. If a student wishes to do a literature review, they are welcome to do so as an Independent Study project, but it will not qualify for the Honors program and will not lead to Honors distinction at the departmental level.

    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.  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.