Honors in the Major Program

The Department of Psychology and Counseling is proud to recognize qualifying undergraduate Psychology majors with the distinction of Honors in the Major. This program allows students to complete an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor in the department.


The Honors Program in Psychology is designed to give outstanding Psychology majors a unique opportunity to engage in original research. Through hands-on experience, students are encouraged to think critically, to address questions systematically, and to communicate their findings. The goal of this program is to offer students an enriched research experience while giving them valuable tools for pursuing graduate school and preparing for a career in Psychology. Participating students will be involved in all levels of the research process, resulting in an undergraduate thesis and distinction at graduation of Honors in the Major.


Required Credentials:

  1. Applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA in the psychology major.
  3. Applicant must have completed a minimum of 72 hours of total coursework.
  4. Applicant must have completed a minimum of 12 hours of psychology coursework.


Additional Requirements:

  1. Student will complete and defend the project before graduation.
  2. Student must give an oral presentation of both a proposal and a defense of his/her project to a committee of faculty (3-5 members) selected by the student and their proposal advisor.
  3. Deadlines related to writing the paper, obtaining ethical approval, collecting data, proposing, and defending the project will be determined by the faculty advisor. Students should anticipate no less than one academic year (or 2 semesters) from development to completion. The typical sequence is as follows:
  • student develops one (or a few) ideas for a research project
  • student finds a faculty member who will serve as an advisor for the project
  • student notifies Dr. Brinegar or Dr. Nail of intent to enter the program
  • student enrolls in PSYC 4380 Independent Readings (optional) and develops a research proposal
  • student presents research proposal document and PowerPoint presentation to 3-5 selected faculty committee
  • student obtains ethical approval for the research project
  • student enrolls in PSYC 4382 Independent Research (optional) and conducts the study
  • student presents final research paper to their committee before the last week of classes the semester the student intends to graduate


Contact Dr. Jennifer Brinegar or Dr. Paul Nail for more information.