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Department of Psychology
Harvard University

Undergraduate Program

Requirements & Electives
Advising & Mentoring
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Step One: TopicStep Two: Committee and ApplicationStep Three: ProspectusStep Four: Research ApprovalStep Five: Research and Data Analysis
Step Six: WritingStep Seven: SubmissionStep Eight: Poster and DefenseGradingCalendars of Thesis-Related Dates
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Step Eight: Poster and Defense


The Department requires thesis writers to prepare and present a poster on their thesis research. This is a requirement of the thesis program and you will not be recommended for honors without participating. This year's poster session will take place on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 between 1 and 3pm on the William James Hall 14th floor. You will be assigned a numbered station on the 13th or 14th floor and we will e-mail details shortly before April 14th. You should contact your committee to make sure it will be able to hold a defense for a specific time on April 14th; if not, you can schedule a private defense with your entire committee any time between April 13th and 17th. If for any reason you and your committee cannot hold your defense during this period, you should schedule it earlier rather than later than these dates, in order to give the department time to recommend you for your degree so you can graduate this May.

Your Committee's comments on your written thesis will be sent to you before the poster session - no separate written grade will be determined or accompany the Committee's comments - and you may use them in preparation. After your poster defense, your thesis committee will grade your performance and combine it with their evaluation of your written thesis to arrive at a final overall grade for your thesis. They will report this on a thesis grade form, which will be available at the poster session, and return the form to the Psychology Undergraduate Office by the next day. If you are holding your defense at another time, you should print the form and bring it to your defense; afterwards, you or your supervisor should bring the completed form to the Psychology Undergraduate Office that day. Finally, all participants will gather at WJH 1550 at 3:00 for remarks by Head Tutor Mahzarin Banaji and a champagne reception.

Further information (including information on how to prepare a poster) will be provided in the group honors meeting on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 from 9-10am, WJH 1550.

Presentation of a poster at the thesis poster session is mandatory. Only certified medical or family emergencies can exempt a thesis writer from this requirement, although even in these instances a poster will still be required. An unexcused absence from the poster session will lower the composite thesis grade one step from the written grade (e.g., summa to magna plus, magna plus to magna).

Websites that provide useful information about preparing posters are:

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