Applying for Honors

Students wishing to undertake honors work must apply during the spring semester of their junior year.  Students studying overseas during the junior year should take special note of this requirement.


To be eligible for honors in History, a candidate must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in courses applied to the major and must complete six (6) of the nine (9) required units of coursework, including, ordinarily, a 300-level seminar, before the end of their junior year.  Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

Procedure for Application

1. Finding an adviser: If you are eligible and wish to apply for admission to the Honors program in History, you must first identify a faculty adviser willing to supervise your work. This should be someone who knows your work and with whom you have taken at least one course in a subject area related to your proposed thesis. Most faculty members decline to accept students whom they have not taught in the classroom. Because professors can only supervise one student each year (or two, in exceptional cases), you are encouraged to approach potential advisers, to whom you must submit a preliminary proposal and who must approve your formal application to the department for honors work, before the beginning of spring semester. It is your reponsibility to identify advisers from the History Department faculty who will be in residence during your senior year. This requires planning and early consultation. In addition, please be aware that faculty members on academic or personal leave cannot supervise honors work.

2. Preparing a formal thesis proposal: If a faculty adviser agrees to supervise your work, the next step is to prepare a formal proposal of the work you wish to undertake. The proposal should be no longer than 3 pp. in length and must clearly define the problem you plan to research, explain the significance of that problem in terms understandable to the non-specialist, and describe the sources and methods you plan to use in solving it. You should also include a brief bibliography of primary and secondary sources critical to your project. This proposal should be prepared in close consultation with your adviser and must be approved by the department.

3. Submitting your application: You must submit the following materials to the History Department: 

  • a cover sheet, signed by your faculty adviser
  • your research proposal and bibliography
  • an unofficial copy of your transcript
  • and an application for the Schwarz Fellowship, if you will need funding to support your work.

The deadline will be a date to be determined in early April, 2020. 

Click here to access the Honors Application Coversheet.


Applying from Overseas

Students who are studying overseas during their junior year must still submit the honors application prior to the deadline.  In such cases, application materials should be sent directly to your thesis adviser, who will pass them along to the History Department. Please note that it remains the student's responsibility both to identify a faculty adviser and to consult with that adviser (usually via e-mail) while developing the research proposal. Students studying overseas are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisers before going abroad.