Honors Thesis

Students with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in Psychology and 3.4 overall, and who will have completed at least 60 semester hours in residence at Hofstra before graduation, will be notified by the Psychology Department that they are eligible to complete a Psychology Department honors thesis in their senior year. An honors thesis provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct their own scientific research. Students planning a career in psychology are especially encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Students work on their senior honors thesis under the guidance of a faculty sponsor and a thesis committee consisting of two faculty members in addition to the faculty sponsor. A faculty sponsor must be chosen prior to beginning the thesis project, and the thesis committee should be chosen no later than the start of semester in which the thesis is to be completed. A list of faculty research interests is available on the Psychology Department webpage.

The end product of an honors thesis project is an APA format scientific report of the research conducted for the project. Honors theses must test a specific theory or hypothesis. If the project consists of an original experiment, a hypothesis derived from theoretical considerations must be formulated and tested; if the project is a literature review or meta-analysis, the paper must support a clearly stated thesis derived from a synthesis of the literature reviewed. Students are encouraged to consult the members of their thesis committee as they work on their thesis.

Students who successfully complete the written thesis and an oral defense of their work will graduate with Departmental Honors or High Honors. Students are also encouraged to present their honors thesis projects at the HCLAS spring student research symposium and other local student conferences. (A list of local student conferences is available on the Psychology Club website.)

An electronic archive of completed honors theses is maintained on the Psychology Department webpage.

Timeline for Psychology Honors Theses

Students are strongly encouraged to begin their thesis project by the fall semester of their senior year. Honors theses typically take two semesters to complete.

The completed thesis must be submitted to the committee no later than one week prior to the defense.

The thesis must be defended no later than the last day of classes. Students are encouraged to defend earlier in order to leave plenty of time for revisions.

Revisions of the written thesis are expected after the defense. The deadline for submitting the final draft is the last day of final exams.