Students are invited to submit an Honors Proposal based on the following criteria:
- Psychology and cumulative GPAs typically of at least 3.7
- Breadth of Willamette Psychology classes (including completion of PSYC 253 by the end of the junior year)
- Contributions to the classroom and the Department.
Typically, 2-4 junior majors are invited to submit an Honors Proposal each year.
Students who are invited to submit a proposal for Psychology Honors can either accept or decline this invitation. For those who wish to accept the invitation, the Honors proposal will be available in the Resources link on WISE for PSYC 300, a required class for all majors in Psychology that is taken during the spring semester of the students’ junior year.
Students who are invited to submit an Honors Proposal, and who accept this invitation, will need to submit their Honors Proposal as part of their final internship application due to WISE on the last day of PSYC 300. Proposals must be for empirical research (either original research or as part of research with a Psychology faculty member). The Honors Proposal requires students to provide a narrative description of their proposed Honors Project, including the following required components of the proposal:
- Proposed research question(s) and why students wish to study the topic they do
- Summary of supporting literature (at least two sources) that serve as justification for the proposed study
- Brief summary of the methods by which students would study their topic (e.g., Will they collect new data, and if so, what are the proposed methods, population of study, how will students obtain their sample, etc.? Will students use an already-existing data set and, if so, what are their contributions to the data collection or analyses?)
- What hypotheses will the students test?
- Broadly, what types of analyses do the students anticipate conducting to test their hypotheses?
The Psychology Department will select students to stand for Honors based on the quality of their Honors Proposals (not all students who submit proposals may be approved to stand for Honors). If students decide to do a research internship as part of their senior internship experience in Psychology, their internship research can count as their Honors project. However, students do not need to complete a research internship to stand for Honors.
Each selected Honors student will have an Honors committee comprised of two faculty members. The chair of the committee will typically be the faculty member who directly supervises the student’s research. A second faculty member will be assigned by the Department to serve as a second reader for the Honors paper. All students who are selected to stand for Honors will need to give two presentations in April of their senior year: one at SSRD and an Honors presentation and defense.
To receive Psychology Honors:
- The student’s Honors paper must be deemed of “honors quality” by both members of the student’s Honors committee (in the case of disagreement, a third faculty member will be asked to read the paper)
- The student’s Honors presentation and defense must be deemed of “honors quality” by members of the Psychology faculty
- The overall quality of the student's academic work, as reflected in the student's Psychology and cumulative GPAs, must remain at a level worthy of Honors
- The student's demeanor throughout the Honors process, both inside and outside the classroom, should serve as a role model for fellow Psychology students