To pursue History Departmental Honors, students must have a History major GPA of 3.5. Students pursuing departmental honors will enroll in a two-semester, two-course sequence: HIST 690 (Fall) and HIST 691 (Spring). Permission from Honors Coordinator is required to enroll in both HIST 690 and 691. This sequence provides a group setting for writing the Senior Honors Thesis, which is a substantial work of historical research, 32-40 pages long (8,000-10,000 words), based above all on the analysis of primary sources.
During the Fall, HIST 690 will require students to produce a serious working draft of their thesis. Assignments and discussions will help students to prepare this draft, which will establish a solid foundation for the Honors Thesis. In addition, HIST 690 will provide a close experience of advanced, professional, historical work. Presentations, weekly comments on the work of others, and active participation in seminar discussions with constructive observations and questions will complete that professional experience. A History faculty advisor will provide essential guidance throughout the process of writing the thesis.
In the Spring, HIST 691 will prepare students to finish the drafting of their honors thesis. At the conclusion of the year–usually during the last weeks of April–each student will defend the thesis before an oral defense committee of three faculty members. Successful defense of the thesis, in combination with completion of the other requirements for the history degree (except HIST 696) and a History GPA of 3.5 will entitle students to graduate with departmental honors. Be sure to have your Honors Intent form submitted to 109 Strong Hall prior to your final semester.