Honors in Psychology

The B.A. degree with honors provides recognition for outstanding achievement in formal course work and research. Students considering applying for honors should begin discussing possible research topics with a faculty sponsor (and research mentor, if different from the sponsor) in the fall semester of their junior year. The requirements for a degree with honors include those for the regular B.A. degree, plus the following:

  • A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in psychology (200.XXX) courses through the semester before the student graduates.
  • Completion of two 300- or 600-level psychology courses, in addition to those required for the Psychology major. These courses cannot be an independent study, research or internship credits, or a readings course. These additional courses can count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Completion of six credits of research beyond research credits counting toward the major.
  • The support of a sponsor for honors research. The sponsor must have a full-time faculty appointment at Johns Hopkins and either a primary or a joint appointment in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Sponsors can sponsor research conducted under the direct supervision of another principal investigator (e.g., a faculty member in the School of Medicine).
  • A public presentation (poster or talk) at a recognized student research or professional conference either on campus (e.g., DREAMS, Woodrow Wilson, ASPIRE, PURA) or off campus (e.g., APA, APS, VSS, SPSP). The presentation must be on the research conducted specifically for honors (e.g., research for 200.200 or 200.201 does not count).


To apply for Honors, students must complete the formal honors application process by submitting the following to the Psychology Academic Program Administrator:

By the end of the Add Period of the student’s final semester:

  • A copy of the student’s transcript
  • The Honors GPA Calculation Worksheet
  • The Honors in Psychology Application Form, which includes a brief description of the honors research, including the lab where the work is being conducted/has been conducted, the sponsor of honors research, the direct research supervisor, and the student’s research activities.

By the last day of class of the student’s final semester:

  • The Honors Presentation Evaluation Form, completed by the student and their mentor. This form documents that the student completed a public presentation of the research completed for honors and includes the students’ self-reflection on their research activities, the mentor’s description of the student’s research activities, and the mentor’s endorsement of the student’s research. Note that the mentor must be able to provide an evaluation of the student’s research presentation by observing either the actual public presentation or a practice session in a lab meeting.

Departmental Awards

Graduating students who excel in coursework and/or research in the department will be considered for the annual awards made each spring at Commencement. These awards are:

  • Stanley Hall Prize (research excellence) for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate student in psychology. Past recipients have demonstrated excellence in their research endeavors in addition to being ranked within the top 35% of their graduating class.
  • Julian C. Stanley Award (academic excellence) for the undergraduate psychology major who most closely approximates Dr. Stanley’s personal and professional standards of excellence. Past recipients have ranked in the top 35% of their graduating class in addition to being outstanding students of psychology.
  • “COPE” Award from the Perez Family