History Honors

The History Honors degree requires that students write a thesis in addition to completing all requirements for the History major. The Director of Undergraduate Studies administers the honors program, and candidates for honors should discuss the program with either the Director of Undergraduate Studies or with the Undergraduate Assistant (LT-712).

The requirements listed below are for students who matriculated after fall 2013. All other students should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies regarding their eligibility for the honors degree.

To be eligible to earn honors, a history major must:

  • Have a GPA of 3.60 in History

  • Have taken at least one 400-level seminar course, in which the student must have earned a grade or A or A-

Both of the above conditions must be satisfied by the end of the student's next-to-last semester.

Applying for Honors

Students must submit an application for the honors degree in History. Students who wish to commence their honors work in the fall should submit their application by the end of the second week of classes. The deadline for applications for honors in the spring will be 31 January. Students should consult with a potential faculty advisor as they complete their application form, and they should have already agreed with their advisor and a second reader on their thesis topic. Please note that meeting eligibility criteria does not guarantee the right to do honors work: applications will be reviewed by potential faculty supervisors, who will then decide which applicants will proceed to conduct honors work.


The student must arrange with a faculty member in the History Department to supervise the research and writing of a thesis, and with a second member of the department to read the thesis. Students writing an honors thesis may (but are not required to) register for HIST 498 and 499. These courses may not be used to satisfy the history major requirement. For more information, the student should refer to the "Rules Governing the Preparation of Undergraduate Honors Theses," available from the undergraduate director.

As an assessment, the thesis will be judged worthy (of honors, high honors or highest honors) by the faculty supervisor and one other member of the department (or a faculty member outside the department approved by the undergraduate director). In case of disagreement between the two readers, a third is designated by the undergraduate director. This work may be completed during the student's last semester.