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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Chrissy Brown
Carolyn Blank
Andy Bloomgarden
Sara Gibson
Serena Ostrander
Academic Advisors
Psychology 229
Dale Sengelaub
Professor, Chair Honors Committee
Psychology 372

1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?

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

2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program? How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend themselves?

Students must have a 3.3 GPA minimum, and a faculty sponsor for research. Faculty recommend students. Students may recommend themselves, and letters are sent to students who are eligible. Informational meetings are set up during the year explaining what students can gain by honors, Psi Chi, the B.S. degree, etc.

3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?

Students must meet all psychology or neuroscience major requirements, complete P499, and conduct thesis research.

4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars and course typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in such courses?

Students need to complete most of the major before honors. P499 is a two semester sequence course, and we recommend students enroll in P499 by the fall of their senior year. We strongly recommend that students work with a faculty member during their sophomore and junior year through P493-P494 or P495, reading and research, to help them choose their sponsors and project areas.

5. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the requirements for completing it?

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

6. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or research projects related to the senior project?

Most projects are supported through the sponsoring laboratory. We have no departmental resources to sponsor the projects. Some students get Honors College awards, some are eligible for funds through the capstone research opportunity program, or some may be supported by individual faculty grants. We award small monetary awards at the end of the projects for excellence in research.

7. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

This particular project gives students an idea of the area they might want to pursue in graduate studies. Plus, the individual research project is an added benefit for admission to graduate programs.

8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree compared to a regular degree in your area?

Students are better known by the faculty since courses have small enrollments and more discussion. Honors will appear on their transcript and degree. Competition is very stiff for entering graduate school, so any edge is very worthwhile. This project shows the student is committed to the field and has some experience in the research, which is a plus for getting into graduate school. The individual research project gives the student a good background in research methodology (important for graduate admission), better time management, and possibly publication or presentation at a conference.

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