Honors Program in Psychology


The Department of Psychology is in the late stages of merging the Honors Program for both Psychology and Human Development majors and the websites will be updated accordingly. Consult the Handbook (link below) for most up-to-date information about the program.

The Honors Program is designed for exceptional senior psychology 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. Conducting honors research and completing a thesis requires a significant investment of time and effort. 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.

Admission to the program is in part based on the applicant’s GPA (3.5 or greater in Psychology courses is typical), the extent of the student’s prior research experience (i.e., previous semesters of independent study), and the feasibility of the proposed project, as described in a 350-word preliminary “synopsis of the proposed project”. This information should be provided by the student on the Application Form.     

The research project is conducted under the close mentorship of a Faculty Mentor. Students typically have at least 2 semesters of previous independent study with the proposed mentor, at least one semester is required. The Faculty Mentor must support the student’s application to the program, complete the Faculty Commitment and Recommendation Form, and email it to the Honors Program Director. The Faculty Mentor should approve the student’s Application Form. The Program Director will evaluate application packages.

Students admitted to the program must be registered for 3 or 4 credits of Psychology 4710: Independent Study with their (Psychology) Faculty Mentor in both Fall and Spring semesters of their senior year. Students with Faculty Mentors in Human Development (and other relevant fields on approval), should take the equivalent courses.

Students who successfully complete the program will propose and conduct an empirical study, analyze the data, and interpret the results. They will produce a professional research report and present their project at an Honors Poster session and an oral defense which is assessed by their faculty committee (see details in the Handbook). Find important deadlines listed here: Important Deadlines

Documents and Forms

More Information

For additional information on the program, please contact the Director of the Honors Program, Prof. Nora Prior.