Undergraduate Honors Program

History of the Honors Program

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.

Mission Statement

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.

Departmental Graduation Requirements for the Honors Program in Psychology

The Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology offers honors courses at the undergraduate level to students who have distinguished academic records and/or are nominated by a faculty member, and are invited by the departmental honors committee. Credit earned in honors courses may be applied toward the major, the minor, or the electives required for graduation. To graduate with "honors in psychology," a student must be recommended by the departmental honors committee and meet the criteria for such consideration: a minimum overall GPA of 3.45; a minimum GPA of 3.5 in psychology courses; and successful completion of the honors sequence. The honors sequence consists of nine semester hours of honors courses, with at least a grade of "B" in each. Six semester hours may be selected from: PSY 1200 (honors), PSY 3511, and PSY 3512. A student may substitute any course that is numbered PSY 3000 or higher, except for PSY 3000, PSY 3100, PSY 3500, PSY 3511, PSY 3512, PSY 3520, PSY 3530-3549, PSY 4001, PSY 4002, PSY 4511, PSY 4512, and PSY 4900, for a course in the honors sequence by satisfactorily completing an honors contract (made between the student and the professor teaching the course). Three semester hours are senior honors thesis courses (PSY 4511 and PSY 4512) to be taken over two semesters. The honors program requires a minimum of three semesters to complete. Honors courses are not offered during summer sessions.

Psychology Honors Committee

  • Dr. Andrew Smith (Co-Chair)
  • Ms. Lynn Mosteller (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Shawn Bergman
  • Dr. JP Jameson
  • Dr. Mark Zrull

For questions about advising, including honors courses or contracts, contact Ms. Lynn Mosteller at mostellerlh@appstate.edu. For questions about the senior honors thesis, contact Dr. Andrew Smith at smithar3@appstate.edu.

Important Information for Students

Psychology Honors Thesis Handbook

Honors Colloquia [PDF]

FAQs [PDF]