The History Department offers an honors program to those students who have an overall GPA of 3.20 and a GPA of 3.40 in all major courses. Honors is reserved for juniors and seniors, and the department does not recommend that a student try to do an honors project in the same semester he/she does the capstone. A student may take a minimum of 3 hours of honors credit and a maximum of 6 hours, though history honors is usually 3 credit hours. Upon successful completion of the honors project, the achievement will be reflected on the student’s transcript, the graduation program, and the diploma.
An honors project is begun when a student determines the general area in which the research will take place and asks the department member most closely associated with that time period to assist him/her. After consultation with the faculty member, the student will prepare a prospectus that provides some historical context, articulates a clear research question, and includes a preliminary bibliography of sources likely to assist in answering the question.
The prospectus will be submitted to the department faculty in the first week of classes (before the end of registration), and the student will make a brief presentation of the project, followed by a time of question-and-answer from the faculty. This is designed to help the student sharpen his/her project and address any concerns that the faculty may have. Upon approval, the student may begin research.
An honors project is the only grade a student can earn that is awarded by the department faculty rather than an individual professor. In order to earn that distinction, the student’s honors project will have the following characteristics:
- 10 pages of written text for every credit hour sought, plus notes and bibliography
- A historiographical section which places the student’s research within current historiography
- Where possible, primary sources will be the basis for the answer to the research question
- An oral defense/presentation of the student’s research project
One week prior to the presentation, the student will submit a final copy of the paper to the department faculty for their review.
If an honors project does not meet the expectations of the department faculty, it will be delegated to the supervising faculty member to grade it for directed study credit (HIST 4005).