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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Contact:
Professor Barbara Vance
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of French & Italian
Ballantine 642
855-2702
bvance@indiana.edu

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

Qualified and interested students should enroll in honors versions of regular courses and complete the normal requirements for a French major.

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

Students eligible for honors work normally have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and an average of 3.5 in French courses. Faculty recommendations and student motivation are also important. Students can find additional information about honors course work in the Arts and Sciences Bulletin and the Schedule of Classes for each semester. Unless they already have a faculty advisor for their honors project, they should contact the honors advisor who will facilitate faculty contacts. The department encourages faculty to discuss the honors program with students capable of honors work.

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

To complete an honors degree in French, a student normally selects a thesis advisor and a topic by the end of his/her junior year. A student may enroll in F399 during the junior year in order to do this preliminary research, or the exploration can be done informally. Faculty advisors may be from one or more departments, depending on the nature of the project. Students complete their honors project by taking F499 during their senior year. Each of these courses F399 and F499) may be taken for variable credits, depending on the faculty member's calculation of the time and effort required to complete the work satisfactorily. Faculty advisors determine the way to conduct these courses, the nature of the project and the requirements for completing it. The deparment has not established detailed requirements for the programas a whole. If a student decides at the beginning of his/her senior year to select and pursue an honors topic in French, he/she should recognize that this allows less time and requires substantial dedication on the part of a student who intends to earn an honors degree. Nonetheless, some students have successfully begun and completed their honors degree during the senior year.

If a student decides in his/her senior year to pursue an honors degree in French, the department allows students to enroll in F499 without having taken F399 first. This arrangement requires the approval of the faculty members directing the project. It also allows less time and requires substantial dedication on the part of a student who intends to earn an honors degree. Nonetheless, some students have successfully completed their honors degree during the senior year.

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

At this time no departmental funds are available for this kind of support, but students should discuss support with the departmental Honors advisor. Funds are available through the Hutton Honors College for qualified students, including Hutton International Experiences Program Awards as well as Research Awards and Teaching Internship Awards.

5. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

The independent study required to earn an honors degree provides valuable training in formulating a topic, engaging in research, analysis and synthesis, and organizing the results in a long, sustained writing project. In addition, the mentoring given by faculty to honors students provides experience that will enable them to perform at a higher level in graduate or professional schools or in any position where an individual employee must conduct research on problems or questions and must provide reasoned arguments along with balanced and defensible judgments.

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

This issue is touched upon in the previous question. Advantages include working closely with faculty mentors; learning how to conduct thorough, independent research; developing more sophisticated skills of reasoning and communication; and gaining a deeper knowledge of the topic chosen. More prestige is doubtlessly attached to honors courses and honors degrees by graduate and professional schools as well as by some employers.

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