Honors Program

The Psychology Department invites students majoring in Human Development or Psychology to apply to our Honors Program. In this program, our top students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a Psychology faculty sponsor. The Honors Program is a 3-quarter sequence of courses, beginning with HD/PSYC-597 (Honors Seminar) and culminating with HD/PSYC-598A and 598B (Honors Project). Students planning to pursue graduate training in Human Development or Psychology are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission to the Honors Program:

  1. at least a 3.5 GPA in the major;
  2. an overall GPA of 3.5 or better;

    *Students with an overall GPA of 3.25-3.49 in their last 90 units will be considered on a case by case basis with a mentor letter of reference;

  3. completion of SSCI 306 (Expository Writing) or equivalent with a “B” or better prior to enrollment in the Honors Program (preference given for SSCI 306);
  4. completion of PSYC 311 (Introduction to Experimental Psychology) with a "B" or better prior to enrollment in the Honors Program; and
  5. completion of the Application for Honors Program in Psychology, which includes a statement of purpose and a writing sample.

To receive departmental honors in Human Development or Psychology at graduation, a student must complete the year-long honors project. Each student entering the Honors Program must have a faculty sponsor--someone who is willing to advise, work with, and supervise the student on his or her honors project.

Students in the Honors Program must enroll in a 3-quarter sequence of courses, consisting of the following:

- HD/PSYC-597 (Honors Seminar): In the first quarter, students meet weekly in a classroom setting to discuss and formalize their projects. At the end of the first quarter, students will submit a detailed proposal of their honors project completed in consultation with their faculty honors mentor. The seminar also provides an opportunity to discuss other matters of interest to honors students, especially issues related to applying to graduate school (4 units).

WINTER QUARTER - (HD/PSYC-598A) and SPRING QUARTER - (HD/PSYC-598B): In the final two quarters, students enroll in individual study directly with their faculty mentor. While no formal classes are held during these two quarters, students conduct and complete their honors project during this time (2 units each quarter).

By the end of the program, students will receive a total of 8 units for the year-long Honors Program. Only 4 units can be counted towards the 16 units in upper-division psychology electives.

A student successfully completes the Honors Program with the completion of his or her honors project and a written Honors Thesis on the project. You present your findings at the Annual CSUSB Research Symposium. Upon completion of the program and meeting all other requirements noted above, the student will graduate with departmental honors.

Prospective honor students are strongly encouraged to begin planning for the honors program no later than the spring quarter prior to their Senior year. Prospective applicants should contact Dr. Kelly Campbell at kelly@csusb.edu.

Please click here to download the Honors application.

How to Find a Faculty Mentor

  1. Read through the faculty profile pages on the Psychology Department’s website to see whose research interests are a good fit with your own interests and future grad school and/or career goals.
  2. Email the professor(s) you are most interested in working with to set up a meeting in which you discuss their interest in working with you as an honors student. In this meeting, discuss the potential topic of your thesis so you can get a sense for whether you would be interested in pursuing this topic. The decision on the topic is collaborative with faculty mentor. (Realize that professors are busy people and it may take a week or two before you can arrange a meeting. Do not let this discourage you!).
  3. After you have met with one or more faculty to learn about their interest in working with you, ask one to serve as your mentor and have them sign the honors application to indicate their consent. If you have approached more than one faculty member, be courteous to the other faculty members by letting them know that you have selected another mentor.
  4. Before the summer session, you should have an idea about your honors thesis topic so that you can begin collecting literature on your topic over the summer. The topic of your thesis should be mentioned in your honors application statement.