Students enrolled in Senior Honors Thesis must complete both components (PSY 396 and PSY 496) to have this count toward their Senior Experience and to graduate with honors in Psychology. Similar to PSY 393/493, these students have the opportunity for an in-depth investigation of a current topic or research question under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. The difference is the scope of the project which spans a minimum of two semesters, the increased level of independent work with the student having clear ownership of the project, and the addition of a Senior Honors Committee (each Senior Honors student will have their own committee comprised of a faculty sponsor and two additional faculty members) that will serve in an advising capacity.
For PSY 396 (Senior Honors Thesis I), a formal proposal is developed that includes reference to relevant literature, proposed area of research, and a specific timeline for developing the full research proposal (see Senior Honors Thesis I and II Proposal Form). After review by the faculty sponsor and the student’s Senior Honors Committee, the proposal is then submitted for review by the Independent Study Committee.
Upon successful completion of Senior Honors Thesis I and the formal research proposal, a proposal for PSY 496 (Senior Honors Thesis II) is developed that includes original research questions, specifics of data collection, approval by the appropriate ethics boards (the Research Planning and Ethics Committee in the Psychology Department—required for human subjects research; the TCNJ IACUC—required for animal research; and the TCNJ IRB—required for dissemination of human subjects data outside the TCNJ community), and a specific timeline for accomplishing research objectives (see Senior Honors Thesis I and II Proposal Form). NOTE: If data collection is planned for the semester in which the student is enrolled in PSY 396, ethics approval must be described in the proposal for PSY 396. After review by the faculty sponsor and the student’s Senior Honors Committee, the proposal is then submitted for review by the Experiential Learning Opportunities in Psychology Committee. PSY 496 culminates in a formal research report detailing all aspects of the student’s research project. The student should submit a copy of the completed thesis report to the Psychology Department Office when the final report is submitted to the faculty sponsor. PSY496 can count as an Honors course for students in the honors program. The thesis does not count against his/her “honors by contract” quota; contact Tiffany Youngblood at email@example.com explaining what he/she is doing to get a note added to their Honors record in PAWS.
Requirements & Restrictions:
- Minimum GPA in Psychology of 3.3
- PSY 299 (minimum grade of B)
- Minimum of Junior Standing for PSY 396; Senior Standing for PSY 496
- Sponsorship by faculty member and approval of Senior Honors Thesis Proposal by the Independent Study Committee.
- PSY 396 counts as a Specialized Course or Psychology Option in the Psychology major. A maximum of one Experiential Learning Opportunity in Psychology course can be counted as a Specialized Course in the Psychology major or minor, one ELOPsy course can count as a Psychology Option, and one 400-level ELOPsy course can count as a Senior Experience course.
- PSY 496 counts as a Senior Experience Course in the Psychology major (but student must have completed PSY 396 before taking PSY 496).
When you are ready to apply for Senior Honors Thesis, submit the above attachment with the online application.