Graduating with Departmental Honors
Departmental Honors offer the promising student guidance and supervision in the accomplishment of a specific scholarly project, pursued with that intensity and freedom which is seldom possible in the classroom, to the end that independence of thought, intellectual maturity, and distinguished academic achievement may be encouraged and rewarded. Such independent study leading to Departmental Honors is offered by all departments of the College. In psychology, participation in an honors project is by invitation only.
Guidelines for Departmental Honors in Psychology are:
1. To be eligible for honors, you must complete six terms (approximately 24 units) with a minimum of five units in psychology. Also, you must have an overall grade point average of at least 3.6 and a grade point average in psychology of at least 3.7.
2. You should begin planning your senior thesis project near the end of your junior year and arrange for a faculty member in the department to act as your sponsor. During the first term of your senior year, you must enroll in PSYC 380 (Senior Thesis) for 1/2 unit of credit. Near the end of the term, you are expected to submit a proposal for your scholarly project to your sponsor. Your sponsor will approve, revise, or reject your proposed project. Ordinarily, the project should involve a project that includes data collection and analyses, rather than library research alone.
3. If your project is approved, you must enroll in PSYC 380 (for 1/2 unit) in the second term of your senior year. You will conduct your proposed study and report its findings in the form of a thesis. (If your project is not approved, you will still receive 1/2 unit of credit for your work during the first term.)
4. The final thesis, written in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, must be completed two weeks before the end of the student's final term. Two bound copies must be submitted. One copy will be returned to the student and one copy will be retained for departmental files.
5. As a final requirement, you must present the results of your project to a larger community of scholars. The quality of your presentation will partially determine your final grade. You may present your research to the entire college community at Student Symposium Day (in mid-April), to students and faculty from across the country at the Midwestern Psychological Association meetings (in early May), or to Beloit's psychology students and faculty at a PsyColloquium.
6. The faculty sponsor makes the final decision concerning the grade to be awarded. The sponsor will decide whether the thesis is deserving of Departmental Honors. (The student receives a grade for the project, even if he or she does not receive Honors.)
More detailed information about each of these steps is available from any faculty member.