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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in History

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Departmental Honors

The honors program in history allows exceptional undergraduates to work closely with faculty members on a research project. To graduate with honors, a student must complete the requirements for the major in history, including HIST 301 but excluding HIST 696 Seminar.

Students in the honors program also must take HIST 498 Undergraduate History Honors Seminar and HIST 490 Honors Course in History, directed research. Usually, HIST 498 is offered in the fall semester and HIST 490 in the spring. Or a prospective honors student may complete HIST 696 and, by invitation, enroll in HIST 490 to develop the seminar paper into an honors thesis.

Prospective honors candidates are encouraged to select a thesis topic and thesis director in the junior year. The honors seminar helps students write their theses and allows them to learn from each other in a small-group setting. The honors coordinator assists students during both semesters.

To enroll in the program requires at least

  1. A 3.5 grade-point average in history and a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average, which must be maintained throughout the student’s final years of enrollment; and
  2. Acceptance by a thesis director, a history faculty member, before entering the program.

Each student who completes an honors thesis must defend it in an oral examination before a thesis committee of 3 faculty members. The student’s thesis director chairs and chooses the committee in consultation with the student and the honors coordinator. In most cases, the committee is composed of history faculty members. A student who wants the committee to include faculty members from outside the department should inform the thesis director by March 1. A copy of the thesis is deposited in the department.

Petitions for exceptions to these regulations should be submitted to the honors coordinator.

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