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Honors Program

2019-2020 Group Photo

The Psychology Department invites students majoring in Psychology or Child Development to apply to our Honors Program. In this program, our top students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a Psychology faculty sponsor. This is a year long program, which begins in the fall. Students will be working independently with a faculty mentor (see below) and in the fall, they also participate in a seminar course. Students planning to pursue graduate training in Psychology or Child Development are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission to the Honors Program:

The following are guidelines for ideal candidates for the Honors Program. If your application meets most but not all of the outlined criteria, it is recommended that you make an appointment with the Program Director (Dr. Kelly Campbell; to discuss your application. Our selection guidelines are kept flexible to accommodate differing applicant pools from year-to-year.

  1. at least a 3.5 GPA in the major;
  2. an overall GPA of 3.5 or better;
  3. completion of SSCI 306 (Expository Writing) or equivalent with a “B” or better prior to enrollment in the Honors Program (preference given for SSCI 306);
  4. completion of PSYC 311 (Introduction to Experimental Psychology) with a 'B+' or better prior to enrollment in the Honors Program; and
  5. completion of the Application for Honors Program in Psychology, which includes a statement of purpose.

The deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 program is July 1, 2020. You will be notified about the application outcome by the beginning of August. If you are taking a summer course such as PSYC 311 or SSCI 306, your acceptance will be dependent on those course grades, therefore notices will be sent once grades are posted.

To receive departmental honors in Psychology or Child Development at graduation, a student must complete the year-long honors project. Each student entering the Honors Program must have a faculty sponsor--someone who is willing to advise, work with, and supervise the student on his or her honors project.

Students in the Honors Program must enroll in a sequence of courses, consisting of the following:

FALL QUARTER - CD/PSYC-5597 (Honors Seminar): In the fall semester, students meet weekly in a classroom setting to discuss and formalize their projects. At the end of that semester, students will submit a detailed proposal of their honors project completed in consultation with their faculty honors mentor. The seminar also provides an opportunity to discuss other matters of interest to honors students, especially issues related to applying to graduate school (3 units).

SPRING QUARTER - (CD/PSYC-5598): In the final semester, students enroll in individual study directly with their faculty mentor. While no formal classes are held during this semester, students conduct and complete their honors project during this time (3 units).

By the end of the program, students will receive a total of 6 units for the year-long Honors Program. Only 3 units can be counted towards their upper-division child development or psychology electives.

A student successfully completes the Honors Program with the completion of his or her honors project and a written Honors Thesis on the project. They present their findings at the Annual CSUSB Meeting of the Minds Research Symposium. Upon completion of the program and meeting all other requirements noted above, the student will graduate with departmental honors.

Prospective honors students are strongly encouraged to begin planning for the honors program no later than the spring semester prior to their Senior year. Prospective applicants should contact Dr. Kelly Campbell at with their questions. Please fill out our Honors Application here.

How to Find a Faculty Mentor

  1. Read through the faculty profile pages on the Psychology Department’s website to see whose research interests align with your own interests and future grad school and/or career goals.
  2. Email a professor you are most interested in working with to set up a meeting in which you discuss their interest in working with you as an honors student. In this meeting, discuss the potential topic of your thesis so you can get a sense for whether you would be interested in pursuing this topic. The decision on the topic is collaborative with faculty mentor. (Realize that professors are busy people and it may take a week or two before you can arrange a meeting. Do not let this discourage you!).
  3. After you have met with prospective mentors to learn about their interest in working with you, you may ask him or her to serve as your mentor. They will need to approve the honors application to indicate their consent. If you decide not to work with this faculty member, you must let them know of your decision before asking another faculty member to serve as your mentor. Please approach only one faculty member at a time and be very clear about your decision. Faculty members typically only accept a small number of students into their labs and they need to know if they should be holding a spot for you.
  4. Before the summer session, you should have an idea about your honors thesis topic so that you can begin collecting literature on your topic over the summer. The topic of your thesis should be mentioned in your honors application statement.