Psychology/Honors Track, BA

A professor teaches psychology students about the brain. NEUROSCIENCE AND MORE: Professor William Meil, whose areas of interest include psychopharmacology, neuroscience, substance abuse, and neuropsychology, shares his knowledge of the brain with his students.

The Psychology Honors Program prepares top students for graduate school and beyond

The honors program has been developed to enrich the education of qualified psychology majors.

To the student who is considering graduate school, the honors program can be of value in several ways. The small seminar courses provide experience with the type of class the student will encounter in graduate school.

The independent study will sharpen research skills and provide evidence to the graduate school that the applicant possesses the requisite research ability to complete graduate training.

However, even if you do not plan to enter graduate school, the honors program can add new dimensions to your college education by providing the opportunity to work closely with faculty members and other students in areas of high mutual interest. Honors students will be formally recognized at the departmental graduation ceremony and their participation in the honors program will be noted on their official transcript.

The honors program consists of two honors seminars and two semesters of independent research. The honors seminars are ordinarily taken the first semester of the junior year and the second semester of the senior year. Independent study is pursued the second semester of the junior year and the first semester of the senior year.

Though no specific course structure is mandated in honors seminars, instructors will probably follow the graduate seminar model; i.e., presentations by students followed by group discussion. Whenever possible, the instructor and students will engage in research related to the topics under discussion.

The two semesters of independent research will be devoted to an honors thesis. The thesis topic may emerge from one of the seminars, but this will not necessarily be the case, and students are free to choose any thesis topic. Students and faculty advisors will be matched on the basis of common research interests. Each student will be required, at a minimum, to write a summary of each semester's research activity, to write an experimental research report, and to present his work at a departmental colloquium during his final semester. You can see some of the works that have been completed and some of the works that are in process by checking out the department's research page.

Selection procedure

Psychology majors who have at least a 3.20 Overall GPA at the end of their third semester are eligible to apply for the honors program during their fourth semester. Approximately 10 students will be accepted each year. If more students apply than can be admitted, selection will be made by the faculty members on the undergraduate committee based on the student's GPA, recommendation from psychology faculty members, and a two-page self-statement describing the student's academic and career goals. Under special circumstances, a student may be permitted to enroll in the honors program following his or her junior year and complete the seminar and independent research components concurrently.

To continue as a participant in the honors program in their senior year, students must have at least a B average in the honors coursework they take during their junior year. To graduate with honors, a student must have a 3.20 GPA in all psychology courses.

More honors options for top students

You can also study psychology as a student in the Cook Honors College at IUP.

Psychology Majors Checklists

Psychology Honors Program Advising Sheet