At the end of the academic year, outstanding seniors are recognized with the departmental Howell and Brelsford Awards and with the university Distinction in Research and Creative Works.
To be eligible for the Distinction in Research and Creative Works designation on the diploma and transcript, students must be in good academic standing, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 in courses completed at Rice, and provide a letter of support from a faculty member. The award will be granted to graduating seniors whose research efforts and/or creative works relevant to psychology demonstrate the very highest levels of achievement and commitment. A variety of research, design and other creative projects will be considered for the award. An honors thesis is not required to achieve distinction, nor does it guarantee the distinction.
Students must apply for Distinction in Research and Creative Works designation by submitting a cover letter, a supporting letter from a psychology professor, and the product that resulted from their work. Examples of such products would be a thesis, a journal article on which the student is an author, a video project documenting their work, etc. There must be a product produced by the student to qualify for this distinction. It is not sufficient to submit only a cover letter and a supporting letter from a psychology professor.
The Howell Award and the Brelsford Award are given each year to students who exhibit excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership and service achievements as they relate to the field of psychology or to the department at Rice. Recipients of these awards are recognized at the annual School of Social Sciences reception on the Friday before Commencement, where they are awarded a cash prize, a plaque, and a certificate. Names of the recipients are included in the Commencement program and are inscribed on a large plaque displayed proudly in the Department of Psychology. Although only seniors are considered for these awards, both graduating and non-graduating seniors are eligible.