The honors program is designed for exceptional students who wish to pursue intensive and independent psychological research. The honors program offers students the closest contact and consultation with faculty they will likely experience while at Cornell. Successful participation serves as evidence of the two most important skills required of an academic psychologist: the capacity to integrate theoretical and factual material, and to devise and execute a creative empirical research project. Students who successfully complete the Honors Program graduate with honors noted on their diplomas. Qualified majors who are planning postgraduate work in any field (academic or otherwise) should consider applying.
The research project is conducted under the close mentorship of a faculty member. Honors students will conduct an empirical study, analyze the data, and interpret the results. Students will produce a professional research report and present their project at an Honors Poster session and an oral defense. Conducting honors research and completing a thesis requires both time and effort. Students in the program must register for research credits in both Fall and Spring semesters. If the student’s Faculty Mentor is in the Psychology Department, they should register for 3 or 4 credits of Psychology 4710: Independent Study. Students with a Faculty Mentor in Human Development should register for HD research credits. Students with a Faculty Mentor outside Psychology and HD should contact the Director(s) for more information.
Admission to the program is based on the applicant’s GPA (3.5 or greater in Psychology courses is typical), previous research experience (at least one semester of independent study), and synopsis of proposed project. A letter of support (i.e., letter of commitment and recommendation) from a proposed mentor is also required. Subject to approval, the mentor need not be in the Psychology department. Previous independent study with the proposed mentor is common and strongly recommended. The student should enroll in Independent Study (PSYCH 4710) with the faculty mentor when applying to the program. The Honors Program Director(s) will evaluate application packages.
Documents and Forms
The Application for the Psychology honors program (2020-2021)
The Department of Psychology offers awards to Cornell undergraduate students engaged in research to facilitate conducting empirical research and/ or the dissemination of that research. To learn more about these opportunities visit the Undergraduate Psychology Awards webpage