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Another way in which many students become involved in research is the senior honors program. Students eligible for honors should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the early spring of their junior year. A strong academic record with a 3.5 GPA in the major is expected.  Those wishing to pursue honors will prepare a thesis proposal in consultation with the faculty member who will oversee the project, and present this proposal, including the identification of a second reader, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for review. Proposals are due one week after the completion of the spring quarter before senior year.

Deadline: June 17th, 2024

Proposals that are approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies will be pursued during senior year. 

Students are required to complete two quarters of supervised independent study (normally taken as Cog Sci 398) during fall and winter of their senior year, which will allow them sufficient time in their schedules for completion of a substantial project of sufficiently high quality.  With the permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, one quarter of 399 may substitute for one quarter of 398. A completed thesis is due by April 30 of senior year, to be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. It will be read by the student's thesis advisor and a second reader who has been identified during the proposal stage. They will then make a recommendation to the College about the awarding of departmental honors. 

Students whose projects, theses, and grades meet program criteria will present their work at the annual Cog Sci Fest talk symposium and are recommended to the college for graduation with honors.

For more information, please contact the Cognitive Science Undergraduate Advisor.


Completion of the Honors Program is necessary to be eligible for departmental honors, but it does not assure such an award. The committee on Undergraduate Honors and Awards makes final recommendations on departmental honors, and its recommendations are subject to final approval by the Weinberg College Committee on Undergraduate Academic Excellence. The departmental committee considers the following criteria in its deliberations:

  1. Two faculty readers should find the candidate's thesis to be of very high quality. Members of the Committee may serve as readers. At least one reader must be a faculty member who did not serve as the student's immediate supervisor.

Each reader must submit a written evaluation to the department committee based on careful examination of the thesis and a recommendation regarding the award of honors. The evaluation must describe the original contribution of the work and comment on its strengths and weaknesses.

The decision of the readers is final. In case of a division of opinion, a third faculty reader will be recruited and the majority decision will be accepted.

  1. The candidate should have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses taken for the cognitive science major.
  2. The minimum GPA requirements may be relaxed if the thesis is judged to be of extraordinarily high quality.

A majority vote of the Committee is required to recommend honors. The Committee's vote on each candidate accompanies its recommendations to the Weinberg College Committee on Undergraduate Academic Excellence.