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Honors Students

We strongly encourage eligible students to participate in the University Honors Program. Admission requirements and information are available on their website.

In order to be an honors student in history, students are asked to complete all requirements for the major and complete two honors experiences in the major. One of the experiences is an honors version of the major paper/thesis. The other experience can be a 5xxx (graduate) level history course, or an honors seminar (HSEM) taught by a History Department faculty, or an individual contract in conjunction with a regular upper division history course. The Undergraduate Studies advisor can assist with arranging and meeting departmental honors requirements.

Please speak with your Honors Program advisor for the other requirements outside of the major you need to fulfill in order to qualify for honors at graduation.

Writing a Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude Thesis in History

If you are pursuing cum laude or magna cum laude for graduation, the requirements for the thesis are the same as they are for all other history majors. However, your paper must be of a higher quality. This might include more emphasis on primary source analysis, deeper or more incisive discussion of the material, or a novel approach to the data. Specifics are worked out with the instructor for your 4010V course. Only one signature is required testifying to the honors level of your work.

Writing a Summa Cum Laude Thesis in History

The summa cum laude thesis is often written in HIST 4010V or a 5xxx-level history course. But, you can also work on it through independent study if that fits your topic best. The length of the summa thesis is generally 40–60 pages. You and your history faculty advisor will establish a committee for guiding and reading of the thesis. The committee consists of two professors from within the Department of History and one from outside the department. The summa thesis should be of an exceptionally high quality and involve substantial original research. All members of the summa committee must agree that the thesis is of summa quality. Acceptance of the summa thesis is not automatic or guaranteed. The committee can choose to hold a final oral defense of the thesis. When the committee approves the summa thesis, you must submit a copy of it to the Undergraduate Studies Office.

If you intend to write a summa thesis, obtain the necessary forms and information from your Honors Program advisor. Contact the University Honors Program if you have any other questions about the summa thesis.

Honors Students Who Double Major

Students pursuing a double major with honors are required to fulfill the honors requirements in only one of their majors. It is the student’s choice in which one the thesis is written. However, all of the honors requirements of that major must be fulfilled. If you are writing your thesis in your non-history major, you are not required to take any honors experiences in history.