Scholarships and Awards

Senior Honors in Psychology

Academic Year 15-16 Senior Honors Application, due May 8, 2015!

The Psychology Department offers a year long Honors Program to seniors with excellent academic records.  The program is designed to give students the opportunity to carry out a research study and complete a thesis in an area of interest, under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Why Honors?  Honors is an excellent opportunity for students to receive training and experience in conducting original research.  It is especially recommended for students who plan to attend graduate school in programs that will require a Masters thesis or Doctoral dissertation.

What is Honors?  Students typically enroll in the Honors program during their senior year.  The Honors program is a 12 credit program which consists of two semesters of Honors Research (3 credits each semester) and two semesters of the Honors Seminar (3 credits each semester).  Because it is a demanding program that entails a major time commitment, it is strongly recommended that students do not take more than two additional courses in each semester of the senior year.

Who is Eligible?  Students must be Psychology or Psych/Soc. majors entering their senior year.  They must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and a GPA in their Psychology major of 3.5.  Psychology 370 (Statistics) must be completed before entering the Honors program.  Any exceptions to these qualifications must be petitioned to the Curriculum Committee for approval and admission to the program.

How does one Apply?  The first step is to find a faculty mentor who is willing to sponsor the Honors application.  Students should identify an advisor from among the full-time members of the Psychology Department.  We recommend that students approach faculty with whom they have already taken at least one course; many faculty will not agree to sponsor a student whom they do not know.  The faculty member’s research interests should correspond generally to the type of work the student would like to do.   It is not necessary to have a research idea planned out - a faculty mentor will work with a student to develop a project that is within his or her own program of research.

Once a mentor has been identified and a project has been selected, students apply for the Honors program by writing a letter of application to the Psychology Department Curriculum Committee.  The letter should include a brief description of the project.  The letter should also be accompanied by the form attached to this summary and a copy of the student's most recent transcript, including a list of courses in which the student is currently enrolled.  Applications are reviewed in early May of each year.

For more information please contact Dr. Laurel Wainwright  in the psychology department (

Undergraduate Prizes and Awards

Outstanding students in Psychology are recognized with prizes and awards as part of the CLA Honors Convocation each year. Immediately before the Convocation, the Department holds its own festivities for honored graduates and their families and friends. The cording ceremony for graduating Psi Chi members is a high point of this annual event.

Writing Prizes:

The Department awards two named prizes to students who do the best work in scholarly writing competitions that are judged by a committee of the faculty. Both prizes consist of a cash award, inscription of the winner’s name on a plaque that is displayed permanently in the Psychology Department, and special mention at the honors convocation and graduation ceremonies.  Papers are judged based on their  thoroughness, clarity and originality as well as the over all quality of writing.  Winning papers are typically between 10 and 30 pages in length.  Deadlines for these competitions are in March of each year. Interested students should inquire in the department or speak with faculty members who might sponsor their work. 

The Adrian Jill Barnett Memorial Prize is awarded for an outstanding theoretical paper or literature review on a topic of relevance for psychology. This writing prize is given in memory of Adrian Jill Barnett, a psychology major and honor student who was tragically killed in a traffic accident shortly after her graduation. 

The Ina Samuels Memorial Prize is awarded for an outstanding research proposal or an already completed research project in psychology reported in a standard journal format. This prize is giving in memory of a former faculty member. 

Departmental Book Award:

Each year the faculty of the Department of Psychology selects one or more graduating majors to receive the Departmental Book Award, on the basis of an outstanding academic record and service to the department. The award is announced during Convocation.