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Honors Program

2022-23 Thesis Students

Laying the groundwork for thesis eligbility:

In most cases, faculty are reluctant to take on thesis supervision unless someone has been working in their lab for at least a semester or two.  Thus you should ideally be in a lab, learning the skills, and laying the groundwork for your project by your junior year, if not before.  Unfortunately, finding a research position can be challenging right now, as many labs are still not running at full capacity as we come back from the pandemic.  If you are not able to find a position in Psychology, you may wish to try Psychiatry, the MADRC, or other units where faculty do not have as much exposure to undergraduates and the field may be less crowded.  If you still aren't able to find a position now, you might talk to the labs you are interested in to see if you can attend their lab meetings, or if there are skills you can work on to make you a good candidate when a position does open up.  The STAR Scholars YouTube presentation on finding a research position - and what to do if you can't this year - may also be helpful. 

Good luck with your search!

-Dr. Cindy Lustig, Thesis Program Director

The Honors Program allows advanced students to collaborate directly with a faculty mentor to complete an original research project. Results from honors projects have been reported in scientific journals and presented at professional conferences. The honors research program includes two terms of independent study courses with the mentor, culminating in a written thesis report and a poster presentation. Successful program participants are awarded an honors designation at graduation (B.A. or B.S. degree “with honors”). 

For students with strong academic records and an interest in research, the honors program can serve as a capstone for their undergraduate studies, and as important preparation for graduate studies.

Visit the Prospective Honors Students page for information about the program, expectations, application, and more.

Thesis Info Session (PDF)

For a comprehensive overview of the thesis program, including the timeline, application, requirements, curriculum and more, please review our VIRTUAL INFO SESSION.

What Do Psych Honors Graduates Say?

Class of 2014

"I learned a lot about research and my own enjoyment and competence for different parts of the research process. I developed more knowledge and skills about my topic and how to conduct an independent research project. I would definitely recommend an honors thesis to others, especially if they plan to do research after graduation."

"This was a wonderful experience. I formed a great relationship with my mentor and this experience will definitely help me as I continue research during medical school next year."

"I learned a great deal about research and feel better prepared to apply for graduate school in the Fall!"

Class of 2013

"The professors within the Psychology Department are absolutely amazing. Not only are they world renowned leaders in their field, but they are willing to be more than just professors. They are willing to mentor students and help them to achieve their future oals by providing individual attention and advice to those that seek it out. If you are seriously interested in having a future career in psychology, the University of Michigan Psychology Department is one of the best in the world to help you do that."

"Provides you with a novel learning experience that goes far beyond the classroom environment." 

Class of 2012

"The best part about the Honors experience was becoming a member of a research team, and experiencing the camaraderie and teamwork that make the University of Michigan Department of Psychology great. I would highly recommend this experience to others!"

"I would definitely recommend this process. It was amazing to start a research project from the beginning and see it all the way through."

"You will never have quite the same experience of autonomous and simultaneously well-guided learning that is challenging like you do with the Psych Honors Program."

LSA Honors Program

Once admitted to the Psychology Department's honors program, you are admitted to the LSA Honors Program, located in 1330 Mason Hall. They maintain official student files, provide individual general advising*, and offer special opportunities and programs available only to honors students.

(*RC Honors students still receive general advising from RC Advisors)

Honors Graduation

Steps to Graduate

In order to graduate, you must do the following:

  1. Meet with the Honors Academic Advisor the term before you plan to graduate to have your major release completed (Sept/Oct for Winter term grads and Mar/Apr for Summer and Fall term grads). Be aware appointments fill up to 3 weeks in advance. 
  2. Apply for Graduation through Wolverine Access.

Psychology Commencement

The Psychology Department hosts a Commencement Ceremony for all Psychology Department majors before the main University Commencement Ceremony in April/May. We strongly encourage our graduating Honors Students to attend this event to be recognized for all their hard work. Students are individually named and walk across the stage. Graduates wear their cap, gown and honors cords for this event.

LSA Honors Commencement

Honors students are also invited to participate in the LSA Honors Commencement Ceremony. LSA Honors Graduation Information

Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Honors

The Program in Neuroscience manages and advises all projects for Neuroscience majors (even those with a Psych Dept. faculty mentor).

Likewise, the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science manages and advises all projects for Cognitive Science Honors students (event those with a Psych Dept. faculty mentor).