1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
Departmental honors program work is coordinated by the departmental honors
advisor, Professor Terence Thayer.
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
Candidates for the departmental honors program are identified by faculty
members teaching 300- or 400-level courses or who are otherwise familiar
academic work of students at this level, and either nominated to the
honors advisor or urged to go in for an interview. Students are welcome
to nominate themselves. Approval for participation in the
Honors program is granted only to students with a GPA in the major of at
3.5 and an overall GPA of at least 3.3; self-nominators must secure the
recommendation of 2 faculty instructors. The level of
work done in G399 and G499 must complete an acceptable honors thesis in
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
A student must participate in either of the G399 options (see #4 below)
and complete an acceptable honors thesis in G499.
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 a
As stated in the Bulletin, honors candidates have two options for
participating in the honors program, both of them listed for credit
course G399. Credit in this course may be earned either by undertaking
extra work in any 300 or 400-level course under the supervision of the
instructor, or by doing a supervised independent study project with a
Either way, 2 or 4 credit hours of G399 are normally considered
sufficient experience in doing independent work to warrant admission to
the final step, the writing of an honors thesis.
5. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the
requirements for completing it?
The honors thesis is written under the individual supervision of a
faculty member, and under normal circumstances earns three credits in
G499. The honors thesis takes the form of an extended paper of somewhere
around 25-35 pages, not necessarily on the same topic in G399.
is usually on a cultural, literary or linguistic topic for which
resources are available in the main library.
6. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly
beneficial in future endeavors?
An honors degree is evidence of achievement in one of the most important
aspects of a university education: successful supervised experience in
independent research, analysis, and writing. It is thus excellent
preparation for any later field of work.
7. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree
compared to a regular degree in your area?
The student has at least twice the experience of working under the
individual supervision of a faculty member and is thereby encouraged to
develop independent thinking.