Departmental Honors

 Allen McConnell with a student
Class lecture
 Students in the CPI
 Students using VR goggles
 Hinkel Poster Session 2018
 Faculty with student
 Students in lecture

Coordinator: Dr. Heather Claypool

The Department of Psychology encourages eligible students to engage first-hand in the research process by conducting an honors thesis in psychology. In the Departmental Honors Program, advanced students work closely with a faculty advisor to develop and conduct an original research project.

In classes, you might hear about ongoing research at Miami University, or if you participate in a lab, you might help with various aspects of the research process. The honors thesis provides an opportunity for you to take your engagement in research to the next level. Now, you will be joining the research community by contributing your own ideas and findings about psychological processes and phenomena.

Conducting an honors thesis is excellent preparation for graduate study, even in areas outside of psychology. Postgraduate programs value independent scholarship, ability to solve problems, cooperative work with other people, experience in statistical analyses, and original writing, all of which are frequently core aspects of an honors thesis experience.

Eligibility for Honors in Psychology

To be eligible for departmental honors in Psychology, you should apply in the fall semester of your junior year. Please email Heather Claypool ( for the brief application, which will ask you about the following requirements

  • GPA of at least 3.25 in psychology and overall
  • Endorsement of faculty advisor
  • Brief description of thesis topic

Components of the Honors Sequence In Psychology

The honors sequence in psychology consists of these components, to be completed during the junior and senior years.

  • Close work with faculty advisor on designing project, collecting and analyzing data, and writing APA-style paper
  • Thesis evaluated by faculty advisor and two other readers; or evaluation by faculty advisor and submission to COMPASS (with thesis advisor permission)
  • Presentation of project results in a public forum (e.g., Hinkle Poster Session, Undergraduate Research Forum); or successful publication in COMPASS
  • Enrollment in PSY 400 in Spring of junior year is encouraged (not required)


Psychology student Cynthia Wang presented her Honors project "Fine Print and the Law: Assessing the Comprehensibility of Online Legal Documents" at the Society for Computation in Psychology conference.