One of the most significant educational experiences that students can have at Lafayette is to conduct honors research. From conception, to design, to data collection, to the seemingly endless drafts, and ultimately to the oral defense before the entire department, the students are the ones primarily responsible for this yearlong project. While under the mentorship of a faculty member within the department, this extensive research project is first and foremost the student’s experience.
Within recent years, the number of students selecting this option has increased dramatically (along with the time given by the faculty who supervise these students, and students in Advanced Research and in Independent Study, in addition to their regular teaching responsibilities). So has the breadth of topics selected by students to investigate. The quality of most of these projects is such that many become published in professional journals or are presented at national or regional conferences.
Students who hope to become candidates for departmental honors in Psychology must register for courses Psychology 495/496 during the senior year (or, in rare cases, during spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year). Discussions about pursuing honors should be held with faculty well in advance of the senior year. Work in these courses will be supervised by a faculty member and will be graded in the usual way.
Candidates for honors must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and GPA of 3.50 in Psychology. It is recommended that candidates have completed at least one 300-level psychology lab course prior to conducting Thesis research. Students planning to do an Honors Thesis in Psychology should submit the following information to the faculty member with whom they would like to do Honors work. This faculty member, in consultation with the Department Head, needs to approve the application before a student can enroll in Honors.
The transcripts of students who receive honors bear the legend Honors in (department or program name) with Thesis.