Eligibility & Requirements

GPA Requirements

Students need to have at least a 3.45 cumulative GPA and a 3.50 Psychology GPA. The Psychology GPA comes from any class with the PSY prefix. Dropping below the required GPA for a semester will not prevent students from graduating with honors. However, students must meet the GPA requirement at the time of graduation.

Honors Course Sequence

The honors sequence of courses includes nine semester hours of honors courses. Six semester hours may be selected from PSY 1200 (Honors), PSY 3511, and PSY 3512. Students may substitute one honors course by completing an honors contract with any course that is numbered PSY 3000 or higher, except for PSY 3000, PSY 3100, PSY 3500, PSY 3520, PSY 3530-3549, PSY 4001, PSY 4002, and PSY 4900). The honors contract is a contract made between the student and the professor prior to the start of the course. The remaining three semesters hours are senior honors thesis courses (PSY 4511 and PSY 4512) that are taken over two semesters. You must get a "B" or higher in each honors course for it to count for the honors program requirements.

The honors program typically requires a minimum of three semesters to complete. Honors courses are not offered during summer sessions.

If a student is also completing University Honors, the University Honors requirements will satisfy the Department of Psychology honors requirements.

Honors Thesis

Completing an honors thesis is a requirement of the Psychology Department Honors program. The thesis project usually takes the form of an empirical research study. Another option is to conduct an in-depth review of a specific topic area. Honors students work closely with a faculty thesis advisor so they can get guidance in selecting a topic, designing the study, analyzing the data, writing the thesis, and so on. The honors thesis takes two semesters to complete and is typically done during the student's senior year. You should find a thesis advisor before the start of your senior year.

Finding a Thesis Advisor

Any full-time tenure track faculty member can chair an honors thesis. To find a thesis advisor, we recommend looking through the list of faculty on the departmental webpage to get an idea of faculty research interests. Once you have identified possible advisors, you should contact them to discuss their willingness to be your advisor. Keep in mind that faculty members limit the number of students they are supervising in order to give students enough individual attention. Therefore, you should be thinking about and talking with potential mentors well before your senior year. If you have trouble finding a thesis advisor, feel free to contact Dr. Smith (smithar3@appstate.ed) and he will help you with this process.

Honors Thesis Handbook

The Honors Thesis Handbook is an excellent resource that gives guidelines and suggestions for successfully completing your honors thesis. Among other things, the handbook describes how to register for the thesis courses (PSY 4511 and PSY 4512), how to format your thesis, and how to submit your thesis once it is completed.

Presenting your Thesis at Honors Day

At the end of each semester the Psychology Departments hosts Honors Day. Honors students are expected to present their research in the form of a poster at Honors Day. If you are also completing University Honors, you will also be required to defend your thesis.

Example Theses

To see examples of recent theses, you can go to NCDocks. You will see theses from all departments, including Psychology. You can also look at a list of some recent psychology honors theses.