Psychology Honors Program

Psychology Honors Program

click on above photo to meet the 2013-2014 PHP students or view the 2012-2013 students

CSULB Psychology Honors Program

The Department of Psychology invites highly motivated Psychology undergraduate students who wish to obtain intensive and rigorous training in psychological research to apply to the Psychology Honors Program (PHP).  Through PHP, students will complete an Honors Thesis closely supervised by a Faculty Advisor in the Psychology Department, and participate in a series of four Psychology Honors courses over three consecutive semesters as well as other required advanced Psychology courses.  The Honors Thesis should be based on an empirical study developed and conducted with the guidance and supervision of a faculty advisor, and ideally will be aligned with the faculty advisor’s ongoing research.

The honors program is currently under review and will not accept new students until further notice


Applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility requirements in order to apply.

  • Admission to the Major: Applicants must have all of the pre-requisite courses completed by the end of Fall 2014.
  • Minimum 3.25 overall GPA and minimum 3.50 psychology GPA
  • Expected date of graduation must be Spring 2015 or later
  • Faculty Advisor: Applicants must have identified a Faculty Advisor who is willing to supervise the proposed honors thesis project BEFORE applying to the Psychology Honors Program. Any tenure/tenure-track faculty and full-time lecturers who are available and committed to supervising the applicant’s thesis for the full three-semester term can serve as an Honors Thesis Faculty Advisor.



The Honors curriculum consists of completion of an Honors Thesis project and four Honors courses offered over three semesters that need to be taken sequentially.  The Honors courses are designed to expand students’ exposure to psychological research through participation in department colloquium talks, provide additional guidance and support for their thesis, and prepare them for their next stage of professional development. Below is a brief description of each Honors course and other curricular requirements. A summary table of the curriculum can be found after the list of requirements.

  • Semester 1 (Spring of Junior year)
    • PSY496H (Research Preparation: Development of a Thesis Proposal) will
    • (a) focus on advanced research methods, professional development, and department colloquium attendance and
    • (b) guide students with the development and writing of their research proposal.
  • Semester 2 (Fall of Senior year)
    • PSY490H (Special topics – Honors) will focus on professional development including preparation of graduate school applications and CV, department colloquium attendance, and research paper presentations.
    • PSY498H (Senior Honors Thesis) will focus on the completion of the thesis project with the guidance of students’ faculty advisors.
  • Semester 3 (Spring of Senior year)
    • PSY490HP (Senior Honors Thesis – Presentation) will require students to give scholarly presentations on their honors thesis at the Psi Chi Research Competition on PsychDay. Participation at the CSULB Research Competition will be recommended for those who complete their research by its deadline.
    • Honors Thesis must be approved by thesis advisor, program director, and a member of the Psychology Honors Program Committee.
  • Other curricular requirements
    • Attendance at the biweekly department colloquium series (Wednesday 3:30-5pm)
    • Complete PSY310 Intermediate Statistics (guaranteed registration)
    • PSY411 and 412 recommended.
      • Complete one other 400-level course from a list of approved courses from the honors program (seminar or laboratory courses) – exclusive of 405, 406, or 499.
      • Participants must earn “B” or higher grade in each Honors course to continue participation in the PHP and enroll in the subsequent Honors course(s).
Junior – Fall/Winter Junior – Spring Summer Senior – Fall Senior – Spring

Apply to the program: 11/8 deadline & 11/18 notification

Literature Review

PSY496H – Research Preparation: Development of a Thesis Proposal

PSY310 – Intermediate Statistics 

Work with faculty advisor on honors thesis project or participate in a summer internship.

PSY490H – Special topics – Honors

PSY498H – Senior Honors Thesis

PSY498HP – Senior Honors Thesis – Presentation

Evaluation of Honors Thesis

Benefits of the PHP

The PHP students will enjoy a number of benefits during and as a result of their participation in the program, including the following:

  • Guaranteed registration in PSY310 in Semester 1
  • Separate Q&A time with colloquium speakers after each talk
  • Access to PSY342 equipped with computing resources, mailboxes, and break-out rooms.
  • Psychology Honors Certificate: PHP students who successfully complete their Honors Thesis, maintain a 3.5 upper division GPA during participation in the honors program and minimum 3.5 Psychology GPA at graduation will receive a Psychology Honors Certificate upon completion of the program.

Participation in Other Honors or Research Training Programs

We encourage students to take advantage of all educational opportunities available to them. Below we describe how students can simultaneously participate in the PHP and other honors or research training programs on campus.

  • University Honors Program: Students can participate in the UHP Honors Plan with the prior approval and coordination with the UHP advisor at the time of application to the Psychology Honors Program.
  • CSU Sally Casanova Predoctoral Scholarship: Students may incorporate the curriculum and activities of the Psychology Honors Program into their Sally Casanova Predoctoral Scholarship application.
  • Other research training programs: Students may not use the Psychology Honors thesis towards fulfilling thesis requirement for other research training programs such as the SROP or McNair Scholars Program, and vice versa.


Contact the Director, Dr. Chi-Ah Chun, via e-mail at if you have any questions about the Psychology Honors Program (write “Psychology Honors Program” in the subject line to ensure timely reply).