Honors Program

Honors Program


Minimum CogSci Major and UC GPA

CogSci majors must be on track to realistically achieve a 3.5 CogSci major GPA, which is calculated by averaging all courses used to fulfill the Distribution Group and Upper Division Elective requirements. Additionally, honors students must be on track to realistically achieve an overall UC GPA or 3.3 before graduation.

Pre-Honors Research


Students applying to the Honors Program are required to have experience as a research assistant or apprentice in a laboratory run by their Honors Program first reader, or in a laboratory engaged in research that is relevant to the proposed honors project. The most important consideration when selecting your Pre-Honors Research Experience is whether the experience has provided the skills and knowledge needed to do advanced research in pursuit of an Honors project in CogSci.


Students will ideally complete their Pre-Honors Research Experience during their junior year.


The Pre-Honors research experience may come via enrollment in UGIS 192 (URAP uses this course number), CogSci 199, or possibly even a 199 from another department. Enrollment information: The URAP office will provide the student's enrollment information for UGIS 192 (course control number and class entry code) to register via CalCentral and the Cognitive Science advising office will provide enrollment information for CogSci 199 (directions for applying here). Units earned in another department should be facilitated by the advisers in that department.

Methods Course


Students who wish to participate in the honors program must complete a Research Methods Course relevant to their intended focus of research during their junior or senior year. Students should consult with their anticipated Honors Program First Reader to determine which methods course is appropriate for them. The First Reader will review and approve the Methods course on the Honor's Application Form.

Possible Methods Courses

Some examples of acceptable methods courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Anthro 169A-C: Research Theory and Methods in Computational Methods, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, or Linguistic Anthropology
  • Cognitive Science C140/Linguistics C160: Quantitative Methods in Linguistics
  • Computer Science/Statistics C100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science
  • Data 144: Data Mining and Analytics
  • Education 150: Advanced Studies in Education
  • Education 153: Research in Education: Studying Educational Inequality and Possibility
  • Linguistics 140: Field Methods
  • Linguistics 158: Computational Methods
  • MCB 160L: Neurobiology Laboratory
  • Philosophy 100: Philosophical Methods
  • Psych 101: Research & Data Analysis in Psychology
  • Psych 102: Statistics for Psych Research
  • Psych 115: Introduction to Brain Imaging Analysis Methods
  • Psych 147: Methods in Cognitive Development
  • Stat 102: Data, Inference, and Decisions

Cognitive Science H195

Cognitive Science H195 is offered for 1-3 units per semester and students must complete at least 3 and no more than 6 units of these independent study units in order to receive Honors in the major. To enroll in H195 for a second semester, students should submit a second signed application form. Student must submit a separate application form for every term they wish to enroll in CogSci H195 units.   Students will not be enrolled in H195 until after their pre-honors research and Methods requirements have been completed and/or approved and their application is complete and their form is signed and approved 


Application Procedure

Before submitting an application, students should meet the GPA requirements, have completed their Pre-Honors Research, and have completed or planned their methods requirement as outlined above. Students should reach out to their First and Second Readers and complete the Honors Program Faculty Verification Form before they submit the form below for acceptance into the Honors program and for  enrollment in the required H195. For questions, students and faculty can contact Catherine Byrne at clbyrne@berkeley.edu. An advisor will then review it and email you the next steps or enroll you in H195 units.

Assessment of the Completed Thesis

Honors theses need to be turned in to the readers early enough for the thesis committee to review, consult amongst themselves, and send the Cognitive Science advisors an appropriate honors designation (Honors or Highest Honors) no later than the last day of finals of the student's graduation term. Students and committee members should fashion a completion timeline that can meet this deadline. 

Honors Level Designations

  • Honors: The thesis meets the minimum requirements of the honor's thesis and contributed something novel, or a novel approach, to the research question. Well-written. Excellent advanced undergraduate work.
  • Highest Honors: Unequivocally excellent. With little work, would be ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. This is a rare thesis.  

Awarding of the Glushko Prize

Glushko Prizes will be awarded to all students who are designated as Highest Honors by their thesis committees (all Highest Honors theses will receive a Glushko Prize).

California Cognitive Science Conference

We strongly encourage all Honors students to submit their research to the poster session held each year at the California Cognitive Science Conference, hosted by the Cognitive Science Student Association.

First and Second Readers

All Honor's students must secure two faculty members to serve as readers.

The first reader must be selected from the list of eligible Cognitive Science affiliates. The first reader will serve as the instructor and grader for the CogSci H195 honor's-specific independent study units.

The second reader must be a faculty member (NOT a post-doctoral researcher or graduate student) from a four-year college or university with expertise in the field. The second reader should not be a member of the same laboratory team as the first reader.

 Upon final submission of the thesis, both readers will confer together to determine the honors level designation.

It is the student's responsibility to maintain open communication with both their first and second reader regarding logistics, deadlines, and expectations for the thesis itself. 

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