Undergraduate Program


Applied Psychology students with a record of exceptional achievement are welcome to apply to our Honors Program.  Seniors accepted to the program are required to conduct an independent research project on a topic of their choice under the close mentorship of an Applied Psychology faculty member.

In many cases, the Honors project will be part of a larger project being worked on by a research mentor and his/her team. Conversely, a student might also develop an original small-scale research project to conduct under the supervision of their research mentor. Students who are accepted into the Honors program will have the opportunity to submit their project for review and presentation to the annual Undergraduate Research Conference held late in Spring semester.

Please note: Once a student has been accepted into the Honors Program, and they have confirmed their intention to join the program, the student must continue with the program until the end of that semester.

Application Procedure

Attend an Honors Information Session

(Freshman Year - Fall semester Junior Year)

During the Fall and Spring Semesters, students interested in applying to the Honors Program are encouraged to attend an information session with the Director of the Program, Dr. Gigliana Melzi.

Identify a Potential Mentor

(Freshman Year - Fall semester Junior Year)

Students interested in applying to the Honors program should first identify an area of psychology in which they are interested, and then find a research mentor who has expertise in that area. The research mentor needs to be a full-time faculty member in the Department of Applied Psychology. Thus, looking through descriptions of Applied Psychology full-time faculty members' research will help you narrow down your interests and ensure that your interests match those of potential research mentors.

Please click here to review faculty members' research

Keep in mind that faculty members limit the number of students they mentor, so it is important to think ahead and contact potential research mentors as soon as possible. Before asking a faculty member to serve as your research mentor, it is critical that you start to build a relationship with him/her. Most students begin by volunteering on the faculty member's research team. This familiarizes the student with the research process, and acquaints the faculty member with the student. Remember that in exchange for mentoring you through your Honors project, your research mentor will likely expect you to dedicate a set number of hours each week to assisting with his/her research projects.

Meet Honors Program Requirements

(Spring Semester Junior Year)

To be eligible to apply for Honors, students must satisfy two requirements:

  • Completion of key Applied Psychology courses (i.e., Developmental Psychology, Seminar in Applied Psychology I), and demonstration of exceptional performance in those course.
  • a minimum GPA (cumulative and major) of 3.65
Submit Application
  • An online application (access here), including:
    • A research proposal (not to exceed 5 pages double-spaced, excluding the abstract, references and appendix). Your research proposal should include an abstract, a brief review of the literature, your research questions (and/or hypotheses), your proposed methodology (i.e., participants, procedure, measures, coding, data analytic plan), and a brief description of potential implications of your proposed project.
    • A current unofficial copy of your transcript
  • An online recommendation (access here) submitted by your primary research mentor. (It is your responsibility to inform your research mentor of this requirement and to share the link with him/her.)
  • An online assessment of your writing skills (access here) submitted by your current Seminar in Applied Psychology instructor. (It is your responsibility to inform your current instructor that you are applying for Honors and to share the link with him/her).

Criteria for Acceptance

Each student's application will be evaluated by three blind reviewers, faculty members, who rate the application on the following areas, from a scale of one to five (5 being the best score):

  • Quality of proposed project
  • Feasibility of proposed project
  • Relevance to the field of Applied Psychology
  • Student's academic record
  • Evidence of a solid relationship with the research mentor
  • Evidence of mentor's commitment to the project

The average of the three scores is calculated to compute the applicant's overall score. If the overall score is from a:

4.0 to 5: Student is accepted into the Honors Program
3.0 to 3.9: Student is invited to revise and resubmit
1 to 2.9: Student is not accepted the Honor Program

Special Concerns

Transfer Students

All transfer applicants are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Gigliana Melzi, to discuss the Honors Program application.

Students who transfer into the Applied Psychology Program during Fall Semester of their Junior year are eligible to apply the Honors Program. It is highly recommended that interested students enroll in Research Methods in their first semester. It also necessary to join a research team during the Fall semester to establish a relationship with a potential mentor.

Students who transfer into the department Spring Semester of their Junior, unfortunately, will be unlikely to have a successful application given that they will not have developed a working relationship with a potential mentor.

Study Abroad

Students who plan to study abroad during Fall or Spring semester Junior Year may apply, although it will take some extra work and the mentor must agree to work with the student through e-mail. Students interested in the Honors Program who plan to study abroad, should contact potential research mentors, latest, during the Spring semester of their Sophomore year to start getting research experience and building a relationship with a mentor. Students will be expected to work on developing a research proposal with their mentor during their Junior year. They may submit an application to the Honors program from abroad, electronically. However, all students enrolled in the Honors Program need to be on campus during the Fall and Spring semesters of their Senior year.

Graduating Early

Students who are graduating a semester early are eligible to apply for the Honors Program as long as they have Junior status at the time of application, meet all requirements, and are able to take both Honors seminars.

Graduating with Honors

All students in the Honors Program are required to take a two-semester Honors seminar. This seminar must be taken in the Fall and Spring semesters of the Senior year.

To graduate with Honors, students must have a cumulative and major GPA of at least a 3.65 at the time of graduation, as well as an A in both Honors seminars and at least an A- in Seminar in Applied Psychology I and II.