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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Massimo Scalabrini
Director of Undergraduate Studies - Italian
Department of French & Italian
Ballantine 634

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

Students who wish to do honors work in Italian should contact the departmental honors advisor. Feel free to contact the departmental honors advisor through email. The departmental honors advisor coordinates the program and handles administrative details. Students work on an honors thesis or project with the faculty member of their choice. Currently, there is no honors committee. Interested students should speak with a faculty member and contact the Honors Advisor for additional information.

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 Italian. Faculty recommendations and student motivation are also important. Students should contact the honors advisor, who will facilitate faculty contacts, unless the student already has a faculty advisor. 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?

Students wishing to earn an honors degree in Italian may wish to begin their language study by enrolling in the accelerated elementary and intermediate course sequence M115-M215. Upon completion of the basic language sequence, or as the result of a placement examination, honors students will complete the normal requirements for an Italian major. They may choose to enroll in M495 to explore possible topics for a thesis. Students planning to earn an honors degree in Italian are expected to enroll in M499 Reading for Honors and to prepare an honors thesis during the senior year. Faculty advisors help the student determine the nature of the project and the requirements for completing it. It is conceivable a student might undertake a project that would require an advisor from more than one department. The department has not established detailed requirements for the program as a whole.
Foreign study and travel are strongly encouraged for honors students, and credit may be earned for intensive study or research projects done abroad. Interested students should explore the options with the honors advisor and with the Office of Overseas Studies.

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

At this time the department has no resources for undergraduate research. Nonetheless, Honors College students and students with outstanding records may apply for grants to defray costs of studying or doing research abroad through the International Experiences Program (IEP). Students who may require funding to complete the research for their honors project are encouraged to apply for Honors College research grants. Both of these programs are competitive. Funding for teaching internships is also available. For additional information, see the department honors advisor.

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

Writing an honors thesis helps students to develop confidence in their own research, learning and analytical skills. The skills learned in researching and writing a thesis are valuable for graduate and professional study as well as for a broad range of careers, especially for those where processing and handling information of different kinds in an analytical fashion is crucial.

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

The Honors Program in Italian offers talented majors the opportunity to take an active role in their own learning and to pursue their interests in depth. Advantages include working closely with faculty mentors; learning how to conduct independent research; gaining a deeper knowledge of the topic; and developing more sophisticated skills of analysis and communication. 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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