Undergraduate Studies

Honors Program

Upcoming Event

Attend the Honors Research Fair: TBA | RSVP here

About the Honors Program

The Honors Program in CSD is an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students to learn more about communicative sciences and disorders by working closely with a faculty mentor. This opportunity affords students a chance to learn outside of the classroom, learn where the evidence comes from in evidence-based practice, and forge a strong relationship with a faculty mentor and also with master's and doctoral students from the research lab.

Getting involved in research and completing an honors thesis is a great experience. Here is an article about the benefits of getting involved in research. For a list of previous undergraduate honors theses, click here.

To qualify for the Honors Program, students must have a major and cumulative GPA of 3.5 and submit a proposal (see below for more information). Students who successfully complete the Honors Program will graduate with honors in CSD.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for funding through Steinhardt. Students who are interested in applying for this funding should check the application deadline, which is often in March before the deadline for the departmental proposal.

 Timeline/Program of Study

  • Attend a CSD Research Fair & Honors Info Session (TBA | RSVP here).
    • It is great to get involved and informed as soon as possible. We recommend that you attend the events in freshman or sophomore year, although if you attend in your junior year, there is still time to get into the Honors Program.
  • Join a lab and get involved in research.
    • It is recommended that you work in a lab for at least one semester prior to submitting an honors thesis proposal. Students should work with the mentor to develop the proposal well in advance of the April 15 application deadline. The earlier you join a lab, the more time you have to see the types of research that are being conducted. Many students get involved in their freshman and sophomore years. The latest you should join a lab if you would like to complete the Honors Program is in the fall of your junior year. 
  • Identify a research mentor.
    • By the fall of your junior year, you should identify a mentor who will guide you through all aspects of the research honors thesis. The research mentor must be a full-time faculty member in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Looking through descriptions of CSD full-time faculty members' labs will help you narrow your interests and ensure that your interests match those of your potential research mentor.
  • Submit an honors thesis proposal.
    • Due April 15 of your junior year.
    • We recommend that students attend a Proposal Workshop in February before submitting the proposal.
  • Notification of acceptance into the Honors Program
    • Mid-May of your junior year
  • Submit an IRB application
    • Students who are accepted into the honors program may need to submit an IRB application for the proposed project. Students should consult with their faculty mentor to determine if a separate IRB application is needed. This should be submitted during the summer before senior year to ensure ample time for review. IRB applications that are “Expedited” require an additional checklist. You will also need to submit a copy of your thesis proposal. Note: To submit an IRB application, students must also complete the Human Subjects training.
  • Enroll in CSCD-UE 1990: Honors Research Seminar in CSD
    • Fall semester of your senior year
  • Enroll in CSCD-UE 1000: Independent Study (with your research mentor)
    • Spring semester of your senior year
  • Submit your undergraduate honors thesis  
    • April 15 of your senior year*

*You are encouraged to present your thesis/research at a conference, such as the NYU Undergraduate Research Conference.  Applications for that conference are due in March ahead of the April event.

Application process

Applications for the Honors Program are due April 15 of your junior year. Please submit all the materials listed below as an email attachment to the Director of the Undergraduate Program, Prof. Susannah Levi.

  1. Application form
  2. Unofficial transcript demonstrating a minimum major GPA and cumulative GPA of 3.5 as well as the GPA calculator.
  3. Honors Research Proposal, which includes:
    • Title
    • Abstract (250 words maximum)
    • Proposal: No more than 5 pages double spaced, 1-inch margins (excluding the abstract, references, and any appendices). The proposal should include the following sections: Introduction / Background (a brief review of the relevant literature, the research questions to be addressed), Methods (the proposed methodology for answering those questions), and Expected Results. Strong proposals include motivation for why answering these questions will benefit the field of CSD. Please use this template for both the proposal and the final thesis

4.  Mentor contract with the research mentor who will supervise this project

Evaluation of honors applications

Not all students who apply to the Honors Program will be accepted. Each application will be evaluated by two reviewers (faculty members who are not the mentor) who rate the application on the following areas, each on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the best score):

  1. Quality of the proposed project
  2. Feasibility of the proposed project
  3. Relevance to the field of CSD
  4. Student’s academic record
  5. Evidence of a solid relationship with the research mentor
  6. Evidence of the mentor’s commitment to the project

Scores from the three reviewers are averaged to generate the final application score. If the final score ranges from:

  • 4.0-5.0: The student is qualified for acceptance into the Honors Program
  • 3.0-3.9: The student is required to meet with the director of the Undergraduate Program to gain final approval
  • 1.0-2.9: The student is not accepted into the Honors Program.


The scope and length of an honors thesis will vary by sub-field, but will typically be 25 to 40 double-spaced pages in length. The final document must be in APA format. Honors candidates are strongly encouraged to formally present posters/papers at an Undergraduate Research Conference or other national or local conference. Students are encouraged to submit an abstract to the ASHA conference and also to apply for PROGENY, which pairs students with another mentor at the ASHA conference. The top student submissions are eligible for a waiver of the conference registration fee.

Successful completion of the honors program

Graduating with honors in CSD requires not only acceptance into the CSD Honors Program, but also successful completion of the CSD Honors Program.

Departmental honors are conferred upon graduating seniors who meet all four of the following criteria: 

  1. Major GPA and cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at the time of graduation.  Submit unofficial transcript and GPA worksheet.
  2. An A- or better in CSCD-UE 1990: Honors Research Seminar in CSD
  3. An A- or better in CSCD-UE 1000: Independent Study in CSD
  4. Honors thesis (to be reviewed by two faculty members)

For more information about the Honors Program, contact Prof. Susannah Levi, director of the Undergraduate Program.