Research Focused Honors Program


The purpose of the Research-Focused Honors Program (RFHP) is to provide instruction and guidance to exceptional undergraduate psychology students on how to conduct an independent empirical project. Each project will be designed and carried out under the close supervision of a faculty member. Students will write a senior honors thesis and will showcase their research in a departmental poster session. Students who complete the RFHP and who continue to satisfy the GPA requirement will receive a notation on their transcript that they have earned Departmental Honors – Psychological Sciences Research Focused Honors Program.


The program consists of 13 credit hours of coursework across three semesters:

Spring semester Junior year:

  • PSY 40400 (3 credits), Honors Research Seminar I
  • PSY 39100H (1 credit), Readings in Psychology (with faculty mentor)

Fall semester Senior year:

  • PSY 40500 (3 credits), Honors Research Seminar II
  • PSY 49800H (3 credits), Honors Thesis Research (with faculty mentor)

Spring semester Senior year:

  • PSY 49800H (3 credits), Honors Thesis Research (with faculty mentor)

For students in the Honors College, the Research-Focused Honors Program fulfills the Scholarly Project requirement. 


All psychology majors (PSYS or BBS) who meet the eligibility criteria below are encouraged to apply. You do not need to be a participant in the Honors College or any HHS Honors Program to participate in the Research-Focused Honors Program.

To be eligible, students must meet these prerequisites by the end of the Fall 2019 semester:

  1. Junior standing
  2. Credit for PSY 12000, PSY 20100, and PSY 20300 (grades of B- or higher are preferred)
  3. Credit for two other 3-credit PSY courses (excluding PSY 39000 or PSY 39100)
  4. Psychology index of at least 3.5
  5. Graduation index of at least 3.0
  6. PSY 39000 experience is highly recommended.

Application and Due Date

The application deadline is noon on Friday, November 15, 2019. Instructions about how to complete and submit the application are included within the Application Packet. Links to the Application Packet are below:

Application Packet (Word)

Application Packet (PDF)

Faculty Mentors

The faculty members listed below have indicated availability in their labs for students in the Spring 2020 RFHP cohort:

Ximena Arriaga - Professor, Social Psychology
Julia Chester - Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Behavior
Yu-Chin Chiu - Assistant Professor, Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience and Behavior
Sebastien Helie - Associate Professor, Mathematical and Computational Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Neuroscience and Behavior
Erin Hennes - Assistant Professor, Social Psychology
Jeff Karpicke - Professor, Cognitive Psychology
Franki Kung - Assistant Professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Tom Redick - Associate Professor, Cognitive Psychology
Doug Samuel - Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology
Chelsea Song - Assistant Professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Kip Williams - Distinguished Professor, Social Psychology

This list will be updated periodically.

2018 RFHP Students

The 2018 RFHP students at the 2017 Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago.

L-R: Emmy Denison, Laura Long, Alison Yardley, Mackenzie McDonald, Madison Fansher, Vydhehi Shanker

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