Professor Dick Olson introduces the honors graduates at graduationThe goal of the Honors Program is to acknowledge highly motivated students who excel both in the classroom and in research and to provide such students with special educational opportunities. This web page describes the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Honors Program. Students interested in General Honors are referred to the University Honors Program.

Faculty Advisory Committee

Requirements for Honors

Maintain a high GPA. Guidelines adopted by the Honors Council are a 3.3 GPA for graduating “cum laude,” 3.5 GPA for “magna cum laude,” and 3.8 GPA for “summa cum laude.” These are guidelines and the Honors Council occasionally awards an honors designation inconsistent with these guidelines depending on the quality of the honors thesis. Students with a GPA of less than 3.3 who are interested should contact the Honors Director. Completing a research thesis is a rewarding experience whether or not one graduates with honors. Conducting research in collaboration with a professor is one of the most important educational opportunities uniquely available at a research institution like the University of Colorado.

Honors Thesis. Honors students must conduct an empirical research project under the supervision of a faculty member, write a thesis based on that research, and defend the thesis before a committee of three faculty members. The examining committee includes (a) the student's thesis advisor, (b) one of the departmental representatives to the Honors Council, and (c) a faculty member outside the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. It is up to the student to form the committee and to schedule the defense date.


Students intending to graduate with departmental honors must complete an application packet, which can be obtained online or in person at the Honors Program office (Norlin Library M400L). The university deadline for completing this application is around the middle of the semester before you intend to graduate. Students intending to take senior thesis credits in the semester that they defend must complete a form available in the Advising Office (D243 Muenzinger). This form needs to be signed by your thesis advisor and by one of the departmental representatives to the Honors Council.

Important Dates

It is important that you inform us about your interest in graduating with honors as soon as possible. The university deadline for completing the application packet for graduation with Honors is around the middle of the semester before you intend to graduate. Note: Exact dates are available from the Honors Graduation Page (look under the Registration and Deadlines heading). The thesis defense may be completed anytime before the deadline.

Honors Courses in Psychology and Neuroscience

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience currently offers two honors courses. These courses are highly recommended but not required for students wishing to graduate with honors.

PSYC 3111, section 801: Psychological Sciences II: Research Methods in Psychology

General Catalog Description: Provides a foundation in research methodology to give students the ability to design, conduct, analyze, and present (both verbally and in writing) an empirical study in psychology. Allows students to be effective producers and consumers of research.

Specific Section Description: This course provides an introduction to the use of experimental procedures in psychology. Students learn about the logic and design of experiments, the meaning of psychological data, how to analyze and interpret data, and the role of theory in psychology.

Note: Only section 801 of PSYC 3111 is an honors section.

PSYC 4001: Senior Honors Seminar

This is a capstone course in psychology and neuroscience that is designed for our best psychology students. The course enrollment is limited to allow a high level of discussion and student interaction. It surveys contemporary issues and current controversies in psychology and neuroscience. In addition to lectures, readings, and class discussion on those topics, help is provided in completing the writing of an honors thesis, or of a literature review if the student is not doing an honors thesis. Course requirements include reaction papers to assigned readings, the oral presentation of the honors thesis or literature review in class, and submission of the thesis or literature review as a final paper. Students should be psychology majors in their senior or second-semester junior years with at least a 3.3 GPA. Senior Honors is a controlled enrollment course. Instructor permission is required for registration. Instructors: Check current schedule.