Guidelines for Honors in Neuroscience


Exceptional students are eligible for admittance to the neuroscience honors program. Admittance to and continuation in the neuroscience honors program is a step-by-step process.


How can I be admitted to the honors program?


Students typically apply for entry to the honors program by March 1 of their sophomore year. To be admitted to honors, a student must have a 3.5 or better in 3 or more courses within the neuroscience curriculum, AND must be nominated by the neuroscience program coordinators. If they have not taken 3 courses, admittance to honors should be postponed for the following semester.


If a student does not meet the requirements at this time, but in their junior year excel and attain the entry criteria, they may then apply for admittance to the honors program by consulting the a neuroscience coordinator. Students who have studied abroad may also apply for admittance at this time. The all campus honors colloquium must be completed by the fall of the senior year.


How many semesters of honors should I take?


            In the fall of the junior or senior year, students take the honors colloquium (Hon 301). In addition, in the spring of their junior year and the fall of their senior year students register for 4 credits of honors research each semester [Psy 662, 672 and NS 662, 672] instead of Psychology Capstone: Senior Studies I & II and Neuroscience Research I & II). A minimum of 8 credits of honors is needed to complete the all college honors course requirements. To meet the requirements of the neuroscience honors program, students must continue to attend all Psychology Capstone classes and meetings with their honors advisor.


            In the spring of their senior year, students take 1-4 credits of honors (depending on the amount of work remaining on their thesis and/or number of credits previously taken), and defend their project before their honors board, appropriate members of the psychology and biology department or other departments represented in the neuroscience program, and the campus community.




What is the timetable for honors in neuroscience?


First semester of honors, fall, junior year:


  1. All honors students must attend a meeting the first week of the semester, where the neuruoscience honors process will be explained.
  2. Students must ask a psychology or biology department faculty member to be their honors advisor. If there is not an appropriate “match”, another faculty member will be suggested. Faculty members generally do not advise more than two honors projects.


Second semester of honors, spring, junior year:


  1. Advisor must approve all materials before sending an honors proposal to their respective honors board.
  2. The neuroscience coordinators and other members of the psychology and biology departments will review all honors proposals. They should be received by the third week of April.
  3. All honors proposals must be approved by the neuroscience coordinators in the spring semester for a student to continue in honors.
  4. Students with outstanding proposals who now have a 3.5 or better grade point in neueroscience program may be nominated by the department for honors at this time. They will take the colloquium in the fall of their senior year.


Third semester of honors, fall, senior year


  1. During this semester, honors students complete their research projects and meet the requirements for the psychology capstone, similar to all other psychology/neuroscience students.
  2. At the end of the semester, after receiving the approval of their advisor, honors students send their completed senior capstone paper (paper copies) to the members of their honors board for comments.
  3. Honors students defending their project during this semester must complete their defense before the third week in November.


Final semester of honors, spring, senior year:


  1. Neuroscience students should schedule their honors defense date by March 20, even if the defense is several weeks away.
  2. The defense must be scheduled before the third week in April.
  3. Students should attempt to schedule the defense during the day where possible.
  4. Students must inform all appropriate faculty (generally several members of the psychology and biology departments) of the date, time and location of the defense.
  5. Paper copies of the completed honors project (no electronic copies) should be given to the faculty attending the defense, as well as the honors board, a week prior to the defense.
  6. An honors presentation should be approximately 30 minutes, and questions will follow.
  7. Final versions of the honors paper should be given to the faculty advisor and departmental secretary by May 1.



Becoming a Member of Psi Chi

Membership in Psi Chi is open to excellent students who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests and who are students at Westminster College. Both undergraduate and graduate students who have registered for major or minor standing in psychology or for a program psychological in nature (i.e. neuroscience, human relations) may be eligible for membership if other requirements are fulfilled.

Eligibility for undergraduates includes:

Students and faculty are elected to membership by the chapter at the institution, according to the provisions in the national Psi Chi Constitution. Any chapter, at its discretion, may establish higher academic standards for eligibility, but may not require service standards for eligibility. Membership in Psi Chi is open to qualified candidates of any age, sex, sexual orientation, race, handicap or disability, color, religion, and national and ethnic origin.


For further information, consult the web page for the National Honor Society in Psychology: