The honors thesis engages students in every step of the research process. Students select and refine a research question, design an empirical study to address the research question, collect (or select) and analyze data, communicating findings in a formal written thesis, and present an oral defense before a thesis committee.

The Honors Thesis in Psychology provides the student with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a program of research designed by the student that culminates in an empirical research paper. A student will be rewarded by the department and college with “Honors in Psychology,” designated on the graduation diploma, upon successful completion of the Honors thesis and with a GPA of at least 3.00 overall and 3.50 in the major.

Students who hope to become candidates for departmental honors in Psychology must register for courses PSYC 495/496 during the senior year (or, in some cases, during spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year). It is recommended that candidates have completed at least one 300-level psychology lab course prior to conducting Honors Thesis research. Like all courses at Lafayette, the Honors Thesis requires 180 hours of work per semester. Honors Thesis students should reserve at least 12 hours per week in their schedule to devote to their work.