History Honors Program
The History Department's honors program provides our most accomplished majors the opportunity to do the work of professional scholars. Our honors students work closely with leading historians in their chosen field to conduct primary source research and write original scholarship that contributes to the understanding of the past. The program is fully in accordance with the guidelines, procedures and responsibilities of the College honors program, but provides unique opportunities for students. In particular, the History Department offers undergraduate research funding to rising seniors through our competitive Cuttino Scholarship and Fellowships to assist them in achieving their goals.
History majors and joint majors with a 3.50 cumulative average and a 3.50 major average in their junior year are eligible to apply to participate in the History honors program. Eligible students will be expected to complete a short application for admission into the History honors program in the first semester of their junior year. Exceptions to the 3.50 cumulative-average requirement require a formal petition, in conjunction with the Department Honors Coordinator, to the College Honors Committee.
Through normally beginning in the junior year for majors, the honors program is a senior-year (two semester) program within the College; therefore, students will not be officially admitted to the honors program until the fall of their senior year (with the exception of second-semester juniors who expect to graduate the following fall). The Department, however, will expect its honors students to begin their honors studies in the spring of their junior year, barring extraordinary circumstances. Requests for late admission (in the spring semester of the junior year) require a petition to the Department Honors Coordinator explaining the special circumstances for the late admission (study abroad, late declaration of major, etc.). The History Department is flexible on sequencing but we wish to stress the importance of beginning the program in the student's junior year.
1. Forty (40) hours of history courses
- Including at least 28 hours at or above the 300 level and at least 8 hours outside the student's major concentration field (European, World or U.S. history).
- No history courses may be taken S/U to be credited to the honors requirements.
2. Twelve (12) hours of required honors-program courses (included in the 40 hours of history courses)
- History 495, "Introduction to Historical Interpretation" is a required course of the History honors program. Although offered in both Fall and Spring semesters, History 495 is normally taken in the Spring semester of the junior year and must be taken by the end of Fall semester of the senior year. The course addresses historigraphical and methodological issues and offers practical guidance in thesis design and research.
- A 500-level Graduate Seminar is normally taken in the Spring semester of the junior year or the Fall semester of the senior year. Students who wish to take their graduate seminar in another semester due to its greater suitability to their thesis topic may petition the Department Honors Coordinator for an exception. If no appropriate graduate seminar is being offered at any time in the year, candidates may petition to substitute an undergradaute colloquium to be taken as History 596R "Special Studies."
- History 495WR is the thesis-writing section of History 495. Normally, this course is taken in the spring semester of the senior year (i.e., in the student's last undergradaute semester) and is organized around the writing of the honors thesis.
3. Project Proposal
- Students will submit an honors project proposal (normally completed in the honors seminar, HIST 495) to the Department and their thesis advisor, on or before the last Monday in April of the junior year (or the last Monday of November of the senior year for late admissions to the Department honors program).
4. Honors Thesis
- An honors thesis, usually between 40 and 60 pages, based on original research, typed and presented on approved thesis paper (as per the College honors program specifications) must be completed in conjunction with the College honors program deadlines.
Note on Joint Major Requirements
Please note that joint majors (History/Art History, Classics/History, Economics/History, English/History, Religion/History) must choose to follow the honors program requirements of one of the joint majors and adhere to the joint-major honors examination procedures (below).
Thesis Examination Committees
For History Majors
The thesis examining committee will be composed of three faculty members, one of whom must be from a department other than history. The examinaton will be oral and will cover the thesis.
For Joint Majors
The thesis examining committee will be composed of three faculty members: one from the history department, one from the joint-major department, and one from outside both of the joint-major departments. The examination will be oral and will cover the thesis.
Becky E. Herring
Professor Matthew J. Payne
119 Bowden Hall