Honors in Psychology
The psychology honors program is a program for outstanding students in which each student spends a minimum of two semesters working on a research project with a psychology professor. The end result of that collaboration is an honors thesis, an activity in which the student completes an individual research project under the guidance of his/her professor.
In the first semester, the student registers for PSYC 369. Honors Readings. In this semester, the student does background reading in his/her subject of interest, meets periodically with his/her professor, and by the end of the semester has collaboratively designed an original research project with the professor and obtained IRB approval for the project.
In the second semester, the student registers for PSYC 370. Honors Research. In this semester, the student carries out the research project, collecting and analyzing data, writing up the results, submitting an honors thesis, and presenting the results of their project at a poster session at the end of the semester. On occasion, an honors theses has been presented at a professional meeting and/or published in a professional journal. All of these activities are completed with close guidance from and in collaboration with the student's thesis director.
Graduate schools and potential employers look very favorably at research experience, particularly if that research experience is of such merit that it leads to a professional presentation or publication. In addition, students who complete the honors thesis are presented at the annual department awards ceremony. Further, it is indicated on the students' transcripts that they have been awarded psychology honors. Perhaps most importantly, students get to pull together much of what they have learned as a psychology major in an integrative, capstone experience. In this experience, the student moves into a research colleague relationship with an experienced researcher and gets a real taste of what it is to be a research psychologist. This course sequence also satisfies the university's engaged learning requirement.
To receive the psychology honors award, students must fulfill three requirements. Honors students must:
Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA
Receive grades of "B" or better in PSYC 369/370
Complete 13 psychology courses, including PSYC 369/370
Submit an Honors Thesis
Interdisciplinary Honors Program
You do not have to be in the University's Interdisciplinary Honors Program to participate in the psychology honors program, and if you are in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program, you are not required to participate in the psychology honors program.
To be eligible for the psychology honors program, you must:
Be a declared Psychology major (or co-major)
Have an overall GPA of 3.5 or better
Have taken the following psychology courses (or their equivalents if you are a transfer student):Identify a faculty member in the department who agrees to supervise your honors work (the honors director can help you identify such a person)
- PSYC 101. General Psychology
- PSYC 304. Statistics
- PSYC 306. Research Methods
- One psychology laboratory course (recommended, but not mandatory)
Formally apply for acceptance in the psychology honors program
Have at least two more semesters of course work to complete at Loyola before graduation
The application process is simple. Just submit a letter indicating your interest in applying along with a copy of your transcript to:
Dr. Anne Sutter
In the letter, indicate which faculty member has agreed to direct your honors thesis. If you don't know who to approach to be your thesis director, please consult the faculty research profiles or description of research labs.
Application during your junior year is strongly preferred. This way, students will start the honors thesis during Spring Semester of their junior year, and complete the honors thesis by the end of of their senior year. This gives the student more time to get their research reviewed by the Loyola Institutional Review Board (which must approve research with human participants.)
For more information about the psychology honors program, please contact Dr. Anne Sutter, Honors Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.