Cognitive and Behavioral Science Honors Program Revised and Adopted February 2018
Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science
Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science is awarded by vote of the department faculty and is intended to recognize majors who demonstrate exceptional ability, dedication to, and promise in basic and/or applied psychological science.
Students who seek the distinction of Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science must apply for admission to the Honors Program and complete the requirements for Honors as outlined below. The Cognitive and Behavioral Science Honors Program comprises rigorous curricular and independent research experiences leading to a thesis that is presented and defended in public forum open to the University community.
Application for Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science
To be eligible for Honors the student must meet the following requirements, ordinarily in the fall term of junior year:
- Completion of at least 54 credits with an earned grade point average of 3.7 or better.
- Completion of at least 12 credits in cognitive and behavioral science including significant research work.
- Submission of written application for admission to the Honors Program as part of the Capstone Proposal assignment in CBSC 299 Applications of Psychological Science. The application process is described in detail below.
Students interested in Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science are strongly encouraged to announce their intention to apply to the Honors Program during fall term of the junior year. The honors nominee has two major responsibilities in the application process:
- Personal Statement. The Honors nominee should detail how the Honors Program will further the student's personal and educational goals. This should also include a list of research skills already acquired as well as skills the applicant hopes to build during the Honors program. Additionally, the student should describe their post-graduation plans.
- Brief Proposal. The Honors nominee should develop and outline of the proposed Honors project, including central research questions, theoretical framework, and target participants.
A committee comprised of the 299 course instructor, an instructor from the statistics series, and one other faculty member will review applications at the end of each Fall term. Students with outstanding performances in classes, substantial research experience and excellent project proposals will be invited to the Honors Program and will be assigned a Thesis Advisor.
Once accepted to the Honors Program students must:
Assemble a Thesis Committee
The Honors nominee and the Thesis Adviser should assemble a Thesis Committee to be certified by the Head of the Department.
The Thesis Committee
The Thesis Committee will minimally comprise three full-time faculty, including at least two Cognitive and Behavioral Science Department faculty. The Thesis Committee may not exceed five faculty. In addition to W&L Cognitive and Behavioral Science Faculty, appropriate faculty from cognate departments and programs (e.g., Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, Computer Science, etc.) at W&L and other institutions may be asked to serve as non-Departmental committee members (subject to approval by the Head of the Cognitive and Behavioral Science Department). The Thesis Committee will fulfill two major charges in the Honors Program:
- Evaluate and affirm (or deny) by vote the Honors Thesis Proposal and advancement of the student to Honors Candidacy. Provisional approval of the proposal may be granted when the Thesis Committee requires the student to make substantive changes or revisions to the proposal. Final approval will be granted when the Thesis Committee finds the revised proposal satisfactory.
- Evaluate and affirm (or deny) by vote the Honors Thesis and Thesis Defense and confer Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science upon the Candidate.
After the creation of the Thesis Committee the nominee should enroll in CBSC 443 Honors Thesis Proposal. CBSC 443 must be completed no later than winter term of the junior year.
Cognitive and Behavioral Science Honors Program Requirements
Honors Thesis (9 credits)
The Honors candidate must complete the following courses:
- CBSC 443- Honors Thesis Proposal; and
- CBSC 493- Honors Thesis (taken twice).
Honors Thesis Proposal
Following admission to the Cognitive and Behavioral Science Honors Program the student will be given permission to enroll in CBSC 443 (Honors Thesis Proposal). The final draft of the thesis proposal must be distributed to all members of the Thesis Committee no later than March 20th, and the thesis proposal must be presented and defended by the last week of winter term classes. The completed thesis proposal will be evaluated by the Thesis Committee. Once the thesis proposal is approved by the Thesis Committee, the student will advance to Honors Candidacy.
Provisional approval of the proposal may be granted when the Thesis Committee requires the student to make substantive changes or revisions to the proposal. Final approval will be granted when the Thesis Committee finds the revised proposal satisfactory.
Failure to advance to Candidacy will result in CBSC 443 reverting to CBSC 413 on the nominee's transcript. STUDENTS MAY NOT BE ADMITTED TO CANDIDACY LATER THAN SPRING TERM OF THE JUNIOR YEAR.
Honors Thesis and Thesis Presentation and Defense
Honors Candidates will complete a thesis under the supervision of the thesis adviser, normally while enrolled in CBSC 493 (Honors Thesis) during fall and winter terms of the senior year. While the thesis advisor is responsible for assigning grades in CBSC 493, the distinction of "Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science" is awarded exclusively by the Thesis Committee rather than by the thesis adviser. The Honors Candidate must orally present and defend her/his thesis to the Thesis Committee in an advertised forum open to the University community.
The final draft of the Honors Thesis must be distributed to all members of the Thesis Committee no later than March 20th, and the Honors Thesis must be presented and defended by the last week of winter term classes. Likewise, advertisement of the Honors Thesis defense by flyer and Campus Announcement should be made March 25th. The thesis committee will determine at the end of the defense if the candidate has achieved Honors and will convey their decision to the Registrar. The designation of Honors in Cognitive and Behavioral Science will be noted on the program for graduation and in the student's transcript. If honors are not bestowed then CBSC 493 credits will be substituted for CBSC 473 and other coursework in order to meet the requirements for the B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Science.