MaryLou Kennedy Hosek
Professor, Chair Honors Committee
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
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
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
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
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.