Mission & History


The Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology faculty members are committed to maintaining a rigorous Honors Program for our most outstanding undergraduate majors. Consistent with the mission of the Department, we believe that "...an understanding of psychological science contributes to a liberal education and forms the foundation for careers in psychology and for other endeavors." The goal of the Honors Program is to enhance students' educational experiences by providing opportunities to engage in more in-depth learning activities. To accomplish this goal, we actively identify our strongest performing students and invite them into the Honors Program. We provide mentoring as they progress through the program. Our Honors Colloquium courses cover a variety of advanced topics that are offered exclusively to our honors students. The smaller size of these courses provides opportunities for students to engage in in-depth discussions and meaningful learning activities


In 1983, a committee in the Psychology Department, including Dan Duke, Bill Moss, Polly Trnavsky, and Joan Woodworth began working to develop the University's first Honor's Program. In 1984, the first honors course was taught by Dan Duke and Joan Woodworth. The 1984-1985 academic year presented the first class of students to graduate with honors. Polly Trnavsky was the coordinator of the committee for the years 1987-1990 and Joan Woodworth was the coordinator in 1986 and 1990-2008. The honors program in psychology continues to successfully attract many of our best students. Faculty members are very active in mentoring and teaching our honors students and engaging them in a variety of scholarly projects.