Honors Program

Honors Program

Honors Program Overview

  • Students with a 3.3 grade point average overall and in the upper division major courses may apply for admission to the honors program in their senior year.
  • The awarding of honors is contingent upon submission of a thesis of high quality, based upon independent study with a member of the Cognitive Science faculty and marked by satisfactory completion of at least 3 and at most 6 units of course H195A, H195B or 199.
  • Students must work independently to secure the consent of two faculty members to serve as their thesis mentors and readers, and to secure all required signatures. 
  • Evaluation of the thesis is the responsibility of, first, the faculty supervisor and then of the second reader, both secured by the student.
  • It is the responsibility of the supervisor and the second reader to decide (1) whether the thesis is of honors quality and (2) if of honors quality, which level of honors is to be assigned: Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors.

Honors Units

  • To complete the honors thesis, students have the option of enrolling in Cognitive Science H195A, H195B or 199. These are units of independent study; there is no Honor's course to attend. The project is conducted as an independent research project, and so attendance and assignment requirements are set by the faculty supervisor and the second reader.  
  • Cognitive Science H195A and B are offered for 1-3 units per semester on either a letter grade or P/NP basis.
  • Cognitive Science 199 is offered on a P/NP basis only, 1-3 units.

Application Procedure

  •  To submit a request for acceptance into the Honors program and enrollment in the required H195A or H195B, or 199 units, the student should download an application form here.  For questions, students can make an appointment with one of the Cognitive Science advisors. On the application the student will outline the thesis proposal and submit it to the faculty supervisor and the second reader for signatures. 
  • After the document has been signed, the student will visit to fill out an online google form and upload a copy of the form at the end and submit the form.
  • An advisor will then review it and follow up with next steps including process for adding the course once it has been approved.
  • Students should maintain close contact with the sponsoring professor to ensure clear communication on direction of the thesis project and expectations of the instructor. It would be wise for the student to submit a draft of the honors thesis to the instructor mid-semester of enrollment in H195B or 199 for criticism and comments before the final copy is produced.


  • The honors thesis must be an original study of a topic in cognitive science, whch contributes to existing knowledge in the field. The study can take an empirical or a conceptual approach. 
  • Students electing to do an empirical study using human subjects must submit a research protocol to the Campus Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects for approval. Please allow plenty of time for this process as approval may delay the start of your project for a number of weeks.

Glushko Prizes

Peer Resources

  • Based on student experiences, the Cognitive Science Student Association has collected information/tips from students in the program. 
  • To view their information on research and writing a thesis, please visit their website.