Third Year Apprenticeship (Psyco 390/399)
The third-year apprenticeship is intended to introduce you to the process of conducting research in a specific area of psychology. In collaboration with the professor who has agreed to supervise you, you will work on one or more projects, learning the methods of research in that area. Over the course of the year you should acquire the expertise to plan, organize, and conduct a research project yourself. Ideally, you will become a member of the professor's laboratory and will learn about the intellectual interests and scientific values of your colleagues. This opportunity for close interaction with professors and advanced students is one of the chief benefits of the honors program.
The apprenticeship culminates in a formal thesis proposal, which is due at the end of the second term. You will also present your proposal at the newly combined Royce-Harder Research Conference toward the end of the Winter term.
Fourth Year Thesis (Psyco 490/499)
The thesis is a written report (similar to a journal article) of the research project you have developed and executed over the third and fourth years. It is an opportunity for an original piece of work that contributes to psychological knowledge, and so it is a chance to leave your mark on the field. Indeed, some honors theses are eventually published in scholarly journals. Regardless of whether it is published, your thesis will be formal evidence of the research skills you have attained.
The thesis should be typed in the format required by the University for graduate theses. A style manual produced by Graduate Studies is available from the Psychology Department's Graduate Program Secretary. The deadline for submitting the unbound version of the thesis is the last day of the final exam period (but your supervisor will need to see a draft of the thesis well before this). Submission beyond this deadline may require a grade of Incomplete in Psyco 490 and may result in a delay in graduation. You will present a summary of your thesis research at the newly combined Royce-Harder Research Conference toward the end of the Winter term.
Royce-Harder Research Conference
Although you will have many opportunities to interact with professors and students in the honors program, there is one special event at the end of the year that helps to bring everything together. Starting in 2018, the former Joseph R. Royce conference is combined with the former Brian Harder Honors Day conference in a 2-day event celebrating psychology research at the University of Alberta. The combined conference is an excellent opportunity to discover the different things happening in the department, to discuss your own views about psychological topics, and to have fun.