Although the specific activities and schedule of an honors project depend on the topic, the advisor, and the interests and resources of the student, some common steps are taken by all honors students.
The execution of honors projects involves close collaboration between each student and his or her advisor, supplemented by regular events designed to share the project with the full department as it develops. Students typically meet every week with their advisor throughout the year.
During the Junior Year
Contact professors with whom you are considering conducting honors research. Consult our page on honors guidelines (https://www.bowdoin.edu/psychology/requirements/honors-guidelines/index.html) regarding steps to take in considering honors projects and factors that professors may consider when deciding whether to supervise your project.
During the Fall Term (Senior Year)
- All honors candidates and psychology faculty meet together in September and again in October to discuss each student's emerging interests.
- Each student forms his or her ideas into a formal written research prospectus (proposal), by the end of the fall term. This prospectus takes the form of the "Introduction" and "Method" sections of a psychological research article, and is distributed to all department faculty and made available to the honors students.
- Then, all honors candidates present their research prospectus to the other honors candidates and the psychology faculty in the form of a formal oral presentation. The projects are discussed and possible improvements are suggested.
- Occasionally, the student, the advisor, or the department as a whole decide that it is not advisable for the student to continue to pursue honors. In such cases, the project becomes a regular, one-term independent study course that is not considered for departmental honors.
During the Spring Term (Senior Year)
- Students arrange facilities, develop materials, recruit participants, collect data, and perform statistical analyses. They then prepare a complete written project report in the form of an APA-style research article.
- Then, at the end of the spring term, all honors candidates present their research (especially its findings and implications) to the other honors candidates and the psychology faculty in the form of a formal oral presentation.
- Projects receive a normal (letter) course grade at the end of the year, which becomes the course grade for both the Psychology 4050 and Psychology 4051 independent study courses.
- Projects are evaluated for departmental honors that are awarded at Commencement.