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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Heather Elkins
Undergraduate Advisor
Comparative Literature
Ballantine Hall 749

1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?

The Director of Undergraduate Studies has primary responsibility for overseeing the departmental honors program. The Undergraduate Advisor helps identify qualified students and encourages such students to apply. The DUGS meets with students to discuss the 3 optios for earning a degree with honors, proposed topics and projects, and the formation of a faculty committee. The Undergraduate Affairs committee initiates any changes to policies, which must be approved by the faculty as a whole. Each student works with a faculty committee that consists of a director and one reader.

2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program? How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend themselves?

Students need a 3.3 overall GPA, a 3.5 average within the program, and must have taken at least one 300-level comparative literature course. During the spring of their junior year, all students who have fulfilled these requirements are invited by the Undergraduate Advisor to meet with the DUGS to discuss the honors program. Students may request such a meeting on their own initiative.

3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?

Students may complete three honors tutorials (which supplement 300- or 400- level courses with additional readings, writing assignments and individual meetings), write an honors thesis, or complete an honors project (e.g. a creative writing or translation project that includes critical commentary on the process).

4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in such courses?

There are no specific courses that honors students are required to take prior to beginning work on the senior honors thesis or project. They must enroll in C499 - Studies for Honors for both semesters of their senior year. The department offers a 200-level honors seminar and additional seminsars on special topics at the 100, 300, and 400 levels; these are not required for admission to the honors program or for graduation with honors.

5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or research projects related to the senior project?

There are regrettably only very limited departmental resources.

6. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the requirements for completing it?

Senior projects usually take the form of a 30-50 page thesis. Generally, students conduct the research for their projects during the first semester of their senior year, producing an extensive bibliography and at least a detailed outline of the entire paper. The actual writing and revising of the paper generally takes place during the second semester.

7. How might the work required for earning a honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

The work required trains the student for graduate school and various critical and literary endeavors. It teaches research skills, self-discipline and the ability to realize self-imposed goals and ambitions.

8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree compared to a regular degree in your area?

Students get individual attention and advice and learn how to conduct scholarly research.

9. Please list suggestions for other departments based on activities that have worked well for your students?

The university should encourage the student's interest in doing independent research at an early stage. The honors thesis offers that possibility to our students. It also allows the students to become more inquisitive and less passive about education. Students who do the thesis go to professors who can help them with specific needs rather than the other way around.

10. Explain the background of honors course offerings in your discipline. When were honors courses or sections first offered?

Honors course offerings stretch back to the early days of the program. We think the first courses were offered in the mid-1960's.

Other Programs Comparative Literature Web Site