Honors Degree

The Departmental Honors Degree in Psychology or Neuroscience

High achieving students may be recognized for Academic Excellence by the College of Arts and Sciences by making the Dean’s List or earning a Degree with Distinction. Very high achieving students may be invited to apply for admission to the Hutton Honors College

To earn the Departmental Honors Degree in Psychology or Neuroscience Honors, a student must complete Honors Thesis Research (P499), which includes an independent laboratory research project and thesis.

Preparation. We strongly recommend students interested in earning an Honors Degree begin working in a PBS faculty member's research lab, enrolling in a Supervised Research course during their sophomore and junior year to choose a research sponsor and project area. Application for admission to the honors program may be made during the sophomore or junior year. The requirement for admission into the program is that students must have a 3.3 GPA minimum and a faculty sponsor for research. 

Commitment. The nature of the honors project consists of twelve to eighteen months of laboratory research, sponsored by a faculty member. Students must write up research projects in a format similar to a master's thesis, give a poster presentation on their work, and successfully defend the thesis before a committee of three faculty members.


  • The advantages for students who pursue the honors degree, as compared to the regular degree, is that honors degree students are better known by the faculty since courses have small enrollments and more discussion.
  • Honors will appear on their transcript and degree. Competition for entry to many competitive graduate and professional programs is very stiff - so any edge is very worthwhile.
  • The individual research project gives the student a good background in research methodology (important for graduate admission), better time management, and, possibly, an opportunity to publish their results or present them at a conference.
  • For students interested in attending a doctoral program in psychology or neuroscience, this project shows the student is committed to the field, which is a plus for getting into graduate school. Completing an honors project gives such students an idea of the area they might want to pursue in graduate studies. 

Funding. Most projects are financially supported by the sponsoring laboratory. All Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate students are eligible for Hutton Honors College Research Grants - you do not need to be a member of Hutton to receive a grant. The department of Psychological and Brain Sciences makes a number of small monetary awards at the end of the projects to those seniors who have achieved distinction in research such as the Excellence in Research Award and the Cheryl Burnham Buehler Award.

The department honors committee, chaired by Dr. Dale Sengelaub, oversees the program. Dr. Sengelaub also teaches the P499 course, with individual research sponsors chosen by the student.

For more information, contact Academic Advising or Dr. Sengelaub: 

Dale R. Sengelaub
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Phone: 812-855-9149
E-mail: Professor Sengelaub