This course is designed to enable especially qualified students, usually seniors, to engage in independent laboratory or field research under the direction of a faculty member. Students may take two or three terms of Honors Research, but no more than two terms of 88, 89, or a combination of 88s and 89s may count toward the eight required courses for the major. This course may not be used to fulfill the upper-level (60 or above) major requirement. A student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.30 in the major and 3.0 overall to enroll and must enroll before the end of the Fall term of their Senior year. Honors theses will be evaluated by a two-person Thesis Committee approved by the Undergraduate Committee. Thesis Committee members must be identified prior to the student signing up for Psych 89. The Thesis Committee must include a regular member of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty. The other individual, if not a regular member of PBS, must have an active academic appointment (e.g., Research Associate, Research Assistant Professor, Medical School Faculty, Faculty in other departments of the College, for instance). Either Committee member may serve as the primary advisor. The two members of the Thesis Committee may not be in the same laboratory. The Thesis Committee will read and evaluate the thesis and oral presentation, and make recommendations to the Undergraduate Committee regarding the awarding of Honors or High Honors. In addition, all Honors students will present their work in a departmental symposium at the conclusion of the Spring term. The Thesis Committee will also recommend in writing meritorious students to the Undergraduate Committee for consideration for the various departmental prizes. Two terms of this course are required of those who seek to graduate with Honors in Psychology.
Potential sources of funds for independent research may be found in the description of The Filene and Benner Fellowships for Independent Research and on the Undergraduate Advising & Research web site.
Prerequisite: Psych 1, 10 and 11. A sixty level course is strongly recommended. Students should check well in advance with their faculty advisor for additional prerequisites. Written permission from the advisor, and then written permission from the Chairman of the Undergraduate Committee (for 09-10, Professor Catherine Cramer).
Checklist for enrolling in Honors Independent Research, PSYC 89. Be sure to read the Expectations and Procedures for Honors in Psychology, to help you design and conduct a successful Honors Major.