Thesis Rules, Expectations and Timelines:
Please note that the Psychology Department has additional requirements and deadlines for Distinguished Thesis beyond those published by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholars (OURS) for Distinguished Thesis. Read the Psychology guidelines carefully if you are considering a Distinguished Thesis.
Should I Do a Distinguished Thesis or a Senior Thesis?
Be sure to discuss this issue with your faculty moderator as soon as you start developing your ideas for a thesis. Knowing whether you will be completing a Distinguished Thesis or Senior Thesis will help you work toward the correct deadlines.
Similarities between a Distinguished Thesis and a Senior Thesis:
- Both require a thorough proposal
- Both require that the final proposal be submitted to the Psychology Department.
- Both projects count as a psychology capstone.
- Both projects involve a year-long independent research project supervised by a faculty moderator.
- Both projects are excellent preparation for students interested in attending graduate school in psychology.
Differences between a Distinguished Thesis and a Senior Thesis:
- Students completing a Distinguished Thesis must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher; there are no GPA requirements for a Senior Thesis.
- Final proposals are due for the Distinguished Thesis by September 15 and for the Senior Thesis by October 1.
- Distinguished Thesis projects require a faculty moderator and two additional thesis readers (faculty members); Senior Thesis projects require a faculty moderator only.
- Distinguished Thesis projects include a thesis defense in front of the thesis committee (faculty moderator and two readers) as well as an oral presentation at Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day; Senior Thesis projects include a poster presentation or an oral presentation at Celebrating Scholarship and Creativity Day.
- There are more deadlines for students completing a Distinguished Thesis than for students completing a Senior Thesis.
Students completing a Distinguished Thesis must register for COLG 396 (“Thesis Proposal”) in the spring of their junior year (or fall if studying abroad in the spring) and register for COLG 398 ("Distinguished Thesis") for three credits in the fall of their senior year and 1 credit in the spring. Students completing a Senior Thesis register for PSYC 396 for three credits in the fall and 1 credit in the spring.