Honors Program for Psychology Majors

Honors Thesis in Psychology I
Honors Thesis in Psychology II


The senior honors thesis is conceived of as either: a) a piece of original work, or b) some unique aspect of the mentor's ongoing research. Theses are composed in the format of a scholarly article in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.


To be eligible for the Honors Program, Psychology majors must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.7 or higher and have completed both Statistics (PSYC 2000) and Research Methods (PSYC 2010) by the end of their junior year. Students who meet all requirements but have grade point indices slightly below the cut-off might be eligible with a written letter of endorsement from the thesis mentor to the Associate Chair. 

Procedure for Invitation

During the spring semester of students’ junior year, all eligible students will be contacted via email. Interested students will be invited to attend an informational meeting to learn more about the thesis program and to hear from current seniors who are making progress towards their theses. All interested juniors should attend the informational meeting or make contact with the associate chair if they are interested in a thesis but have a conflict with the meeting time.

Mentor and Reader

In order to be accepted into the program, you need to have a letter/email from your mentor. Mentors must be full-time members of the Fordham psychology faculty. The mentor and student will work closely to identify another faculty member to serve as the reader, who will evaluate the final paper. The student, mentor, and reader should all participate in the end-of-year honors presentation event (i.e., Honors Tea at FCRH; Honors Symposium at FCLC).

Timetable and Courses

Students should identify a thesis mentor by the spring of their junior year. Once the faculty has agreed to serve as the thesis mentor, the student and mentor should continue discussions to compose realistic plans for implementing the senior thesis. The plans may involve a timeline for bibliographic and/or other work during the summer and appropriate goals for work during the fall and spring semesters of the student’s senior year. The Honors Program is a year-long sequence, typically fall-spring (senior), that accounts for eight academic credits. Four of the eight credits may be applied toward the psychology major requirements as either a 4000-level capstone or an elective requirement.

You should work closely with your mentor on a project timeline throughout the year. There are a few fixed deadlines (that will only be adjusted in extreme circumstances):

  • Reader Assigned: March 15th
  • Submission of full draft to mentor: April 1st
  • Submission to reader: April 15th
  • Presentation at the Honors Tea/Symposium: Reading days

Note: In cases where students are graduating a semester early, the thesis can be completed in a spring (junior)-fall (senior) sequence. If you need to work out an alternate timeline you are encouraged to contact the Associate Chair as soon as possible to assess feasibility.

Honors Program Seminar and Department Colloquia

In addition to regular meetings with your thesis mentor throughout the year-long project, the Honors Program will also convene as a cohort for regular seminar meetings with the Associate Chair at each campus. The seminars focus on three broad areas: scientific method, writing, and professional development. Focus on each of these areas follows a natural progression as students complete their thesis. 

Additionally, honors thesis students will attend at least two colloquia and submit a response form. The Psychology Department has an active and vibrant external speaker series where experts from all over the United States are invited to speak on cutting-edge research related to various disciplines within Psychology. Approximately five Departmental Colloquia are scheduled per year and are attended by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. As students in the Psychology Honors Program, we expect that students will attend at least two colloquia, one in each of the two semesters, as an opportunity to learn about current research, observe a scientific presentation, develop professional development skills, and learn about the breadth of psychology.


At the end of the fall semester, students will receive a grade of IP for “in progress”. In consultation with your reader, your mentor will determine your final thesis grade upon
completion of Honors Thesis in Psychology II, and that will be entered for both semesters.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact your associate chair:
FCRH: Dr. Lindsay Hoyt
FCLC: Dr. Mark Mattson