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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Alejandro Mejijas-Lopez
856-1059 or 855-8612

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

The Spanish and Portuguese Honors Programs are designed for students who wish to take advantage of an academic challenge beyond the requirements of the departmental major. It provides highly motivated students with the opportunity for tutorial instruction and independent research during the junior and senior years of their undergraduate study. The Honors Committee of the Department solicits from the Spanish and Porguguese faculty nominations for the Honors Program and then screens and interviews the nominees in order to admit into the program those who are most likely to succeed. Students may, in addition, apply directly to the program by contacting the Director of Undergraduate Studies, listed above.

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

To be eligible, a student must ordinarily have an overall 3.35 grade-point average with a 3.5 average in Spanish or Portuguese courses, depending on which language you plan to do your Thesis, and also have completed S280, S324, S326, and S328 for Spanish or P200, P250, P311 and P317 for Portuguese.

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

As preparation for the senior-year project, each Honors student normally takes the S498 Readings for Honors or P498 Portuguese Honors Seminar, ideally in the junior year. It is strongly recommended that the student write at least one 10-page paper in a 400-level course. S498/P498 affords an intensive study of literature and other areas of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian culture, through readings, discussion, and, especially, the writing of a 10-page paper.

Important Note

On the basis of the student's performance in S498/P498, continued high GPA, the thesis, and a possible oral defense of the thesis, the Honors Committee decides whether or not the student is to graduate with Honors in Spanish or Portuguese. If the Honors candidate plans to study abroad, arrangements can be made for meeting the requirements of the program. In this case, the student should select a faculty advisor and the thesis project before departure.

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?

Prior to being accepted into the honors program in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, the student must have completed S280, S324, S326 and S328 in Spanish and P200, P250, P311, P317 for Portuguese. Each honors student also takes S498, Readings for Honors which is attached to a 400-level Spanish or Portuguese class. The requirements for S498 depend upon those set by each faculty member each semester.

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

The department has no resources to support internships or research projects.

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

The heart of the Spanish and Portuguese Honors Program is the senior year thesis, an independent project that a student undertakes with the help of a faculty director and two faculty readers, selected by the student in consultation with the Honors Advisor. The topic of the thesis can focus on any area of Hispanic or Luso-Brazilian literature, language, or culture. The student may earn up to three hours of credit for S499/P499. These credits do not count toward the required hours of the major. The honors thesis is conceived as a special project to be completed in addition to the usual requirements. The credits count towards completion of the Honors degree. The thesis may also be designed to include interests of the student's minor field of study, a second major or the student's special interest, in which case one reader should be a member of the minor field or second major department. The thesis will vary in length according to the nature of the project-30 pages is a reasonable minimum-and must follow the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.The student will normally meet weekly or every two weeks with a faculty director and hand in early drafts of the project to the director. Copies of the final draft of the project will be delivered to the two faculty readers no later than three weeks before the end of the semester. Once the thesis has been approved by the student's committee, the student will deliver two copies of the final, approved project to the faculty director; one copy will remain in the permanent files of the department.The grade for S499/P499 is determined by the thesis director, in consulatation with the two faculty readers.

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

The program will give the students an unusual opportunity to develop their ability to pursue a project under the personalized supervision of a faculty member especially interested in the project. With its emphasis on creativity, individual expression through writing and other language skills, the program will provide strong training for anyone interested in such disciplies as Law, Business, Journalism, and Communications, as well as students who plan to enter a graduate program in the humanities. It can also be valuable for students as yet undecided about their career future. The ability to carry through to completion a research and writing project of such length and sophistication illustrates to future employers, graduate, and professional schools, etc. that our honors students represent the best of the best: they are self-motivated, intellectually curious, talented as writers, and goal-oriented.

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