Honors in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

Honors Courses and Contracts

The NSCS program offers designated Honors sections in two courses: NROS 307 and NROS 310. Students who enroll in the Honors section of these courses will attend the same lecture but will have a one-hour required discussion section each week and will earn 4 units of Honors credit per course. Other courses are available to do an Honors Contract in for Honors credit. See the Honors Contract guidelines here: http://www.honors.arizona.edu/future-students/honors-credit-across-campus


Students who wish to graduate with honors in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science will be required to fulfill both the Honors College requirements and the NSCS-specific requirements as listed in the attached NSCS Honors Guidelines. A brief outline of these guidelines are listed below.

Students who are not currently active in the Honors College may self-nominate for admission to the Honors College if they meet certain criteria. See the Honors College Website for details. http://www.honors.arizona.edu/students

Students who wish to complete a non-honors thesis may complete a Senior Capstone in NSCS. Expectations for the Senior Capstone are the same as listed for the Honors Thesis with two exceptions: enrollment in Senior Capstone (NSCS 498) and the final thesis will be submitted to the NSCS Program only.


Graduating with honors in NSCS will require the following:

  1. You must meet the Honors College requirements which include:
  • completion of the required number of Honors units,
  • completion of a 6-unit Honors thesis during your final two semesters, and
  • a GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of graduation.

You are responsible for knowing and abiding by all Honors College and NSCS Program requirements.


  1. You must complete an Honors Thesis, the final version of which must be approved by your Faculty Advisor and the Honors College. The Honors Thesis is a research project of at least one-year duration for which there must be a prospectus, a thesis, and a formal presentation in the annual NSCS Honors Thesis Poster Forum.  The thesis project is expected to help you:
  • integrate your knowledge of neuroscience and cognitive science,
  • give you an opportunity to delve deeply into and think critically about a particular area of neuroscience and cognitive science by engaging in a sustained research project, and
  • develop an appreciation for and skill in research in the neuroscience or cognitive science field. 


Your honors thesis should be a well-designed research project, guided by a faculty member, carried out by you, and typically written in the form of a manuscript such as would be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal appropriate for the area of the your research.  Excellent writing is expected. 


If you wish to graduate with honors in two majors, you must write a thesis for each major; the theses may be related.  For example, an extensive literature review on a topic may be approved for one major while completing a manuscript on your laboratory research project on the same topic could be approved for the second major.  The expectation is that each thesis could stand on its own with very little overlap in content.


3.    You are expected to present your work in a short presentation to the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior at the NSCS Honors Thesis Poster Forum, which will be held during the last week of regular classes in the Spring semester.  This presentation will not receive a formal grade, but is required for graduation with Honors in NSCS.

Students graduating with honors in NSCS are highly encouraged to:

Enroll in a graduate level course (500 level or higher) in neuroscience or cognitive Science.  The course or courses selected can be courses listed as 400/500-level, in which you would enroll in the 500-level verson, or any courses listed between 500-599. The student will need to obtain the instructor’s permission.  According to the rules of the Honors College, graduate -level courses taken for a letter grade and successfully completed can receive honors credit.


Thesis Timeline

The following timeline was created by the Honors College. The NSCS-specific requirements have been added at the end of each section. Students are responsible for checking the Honors College website for any updates to this timeline. http://www.honors.arizona.edu/students/honors-thesis

Completion of an Honors thesis requires preparation and planning. You will build up to your thesis throughout your years at UA by completing coursework, participating in research, engaging with faculty, and narrowing down your areas of academic and professional interest. By the end of your junior year, you should have a well-developed thesis plan that you can implement in your senior year.

Follow these basic steps when preparing for the Honors thesis:

  1. Explore Your Thesis Topic.
  2. Identify a Faculty Advisor.
  3. Submit the Honors Thesis Prospectus.
  4. Register for Thesis credit.
  5. Engage in Your Thesis Project.
  6. Submit Your Thesis.

Students should refer to the downloadable NSCS Honors Guidelines document for a detailed description of all NSCS Honors requirements.

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