Graduation with Distinction

The Graduation with Distinction Program (GwD) in Psychology & Neuroscience is intended for students who demonstrate academic excellence through the successful completion of a significant research project during their undergraduate career. This is especially important for students planning to pursue a graduate degree, but is highly recommended for any student with a strong interest in research.

Who is eligible to enroll in GwD?

Students majoring or minoring in Psychology or Neuroscience; students enrolled in Program II.

For Psychology, students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a Psychology GPA of at least 3.5 (GPA points are not rounded; psychology GPA does not include grades for Independent Study or GwD Course). Psychology students may register for the Graduation with Distinction program without meeting these GPA requirements but will not receive Distinction if these GPA requirements are not eventually met. 

For Neuroscience, students must have a GPA of 3.5 or above in neuroscience courses. They must also maintain at least this level of performance in their neuroscience coursework (Gateway, Core, Statistics, and Electives) throughout the remainder of their studies at Duke.

Summary of GwD Requirements

  • Submit the GwD application forms by the appropriate deadline.
  • Take two semesters of independent study related to the project.
  • Complete your thesis defense in front of a three-person committee.
  • For Psychology, enroll in the Honors class during spring of their senior year (PSY 496); for Neuroscience, enroll in Current Research in Neuroscience (NEUROSCI 499). These courses carries a full credit and counts towards the major. 

Additional information

To learn more about specific deadlines, enrollment forms, and criteria for GwD, Psychology majors should refer to the 2018-2019 Graduation with Distinction Handbook, while Neuroscience majors can refer to our Frequently Asked Questions document.

If after reviewing this information you have additional questions, please contact the Undergraduate Studies Office in 017 Soc Psy or at 919-660-5719. For general information on the University-wide Graduation with Distinction Program, please click here.