GRADUATING WITH HIGH/HIGHEST HONORS
Information provided by Professor Dean Keith Simonton, Undergraduate Honors Advisor: This document provides information on the Department's College Honor Program beyond what's already given in the University Catalog. See also below for the Psychology Department Application for 194HA-194HB for further explanation of GPA requirements.
Two points are extremely important:
1) As noted in the Catalog, you must take 6 units of course work specifically dedicated to the honors research project. These units must be spread across at least two different quarters. If you already satisfy the GPA requirements, these units will most often be taken through the 194H Honors course. Yet other upper-division courses can often be offered to achieve the same goal, especially 180 and 199. Please note that all courses submitted to fulfill this requirement must be within the Psychology Department. And in the case of non-194H courses, the Instructor must be aware that the units are dedicated toward completion of the Honors requirements. Regular coursework, such as upper-division breadth courses or electives, cannot contribute to meeting the 6-unit requirement.
2) Also as noted in the Catalog, you must complete an Honors Thesis. This will entail an original empirical investigation designed and executed by you. A review of the literature on some subject does not count. You should write up the thesis in the style of a scientific journal article (preferably using style of the American Psychological Association). You may collaborate with a professor or even another student, but you must be the first author and primary investigator. By implication, only one person can gain credit for a single Honors Thesis. In any case, whether you receive High (Magna Cum Laude) or Highest (Summa Cum Laude) Honors depends on the quality of that thesis. If a thesis is unacceptable, and you still meet the grade stipulation, you will earn Honors (Cum Laude) by default. The professor who supervised your research will submit a recommendation on your behalf. This recommendation is not binding on the final decision, which must apply uniform criteria across all theses submitted.
You should note that your paper will be evaluated by both your sponsor and other departmental faculty. That requires at least a week lead time, and often longer. For this reason, the theses are due no later than the last day of instruction for the quarter you petitioned to graduate. Please submit the electronic version of your thesis to firstname.lastname@example.org - preferably as a pdf. Also attached to that email message should be a completed "Honors Thesis Cover Sheet" (see link below). Your supervisor's comments and recommendation may be included on that sheet or else sent to me separately at the same email address. All attachments should include your surname in the file name (e.g., SurnameHonorsThesis.pdf and SurnameCoverSheet.pdf). This helps avoid potential confusion, especially if your supervisor submits a separate evaluation and recommendation.
If you have any other questions, please ask. We will help you all that we can! Also, two helpful tips:
- Sample Theses in manuscript form are available in the Advising Office room 141 Young Hall
- Sample Theses that received highest honors are available online here: 2006; 2011.