Honors Program

Eligibility and Requirements

The departmental Honors Program is open to all students majoring in French.  The minimum eligibility requirements are an overall grade point average of 3.65 and an average of 3.65 in the major. Students admitted to the Honors Program complete an 8-credit sequence during their senior year: a senior seminar of their choice (generally in the fall) and ‘Honors Thesis’, a four-point workshop that meets every other week throughout the year.  The Honors Program’s centerpiece is a thesis, an original work of scholarship and/or criticism in the field of French literature, culture, or Francophonie.  Students are expected to write the thesis in French (25-40 pages).  Under special circumstances, students may petition the Director of Honors to write the thesis in English (40-60 pages). 

Students work on their thesis throughout the year, with the support of the Director of Honors and a departmental faculty advisor. This advisor is chosen in consultation with the Director of the Honors Program, Eugene Nicole.  In the fall, students define a thesis topic, develop a bibliography, read broadly in their area, and undertake the bulk of their research.  In addition to weekly seminar meetings, Honors students meet as a group with the seminar professor every other week (in the Honors Thesis workshops). These meetings are devoted exclusively to their research.  Students must complete a substantive précis/bibliography/outline of the thesis by the end of the semester.

In the spring, working closely with the Director of Honors and their advisor, students work on successive drafts of their thesis.   They continue to meet in the Honors Thesis workshop to critique and improve these drafts.  Theses are due in early April.  The Director of Honors and the thesis advisor determine on the basis of this work and an oral defense whether to recommend the student for an honors degree. A grade of at least A- is required for the award of Honors in French. Students receiving a lower grade will simply obtain eight credits towards the major.

Exceptions to the above will only be made for students who are abroad during the fall semester of their senior year. These students should apply for admission into the Honors program in their junior year and then conduct research on their thesis while abroad. Prior to leaving, they must meet with the Director of the Honors Program and the upcoming seminar professor. If they plan to spend the fall in France, an advisor from NYU-in-Paris will be assigned to them. In the spring, they will take a senior seminar as well as "Honors Thesis."

Application Procedure

Students apply for admission to the program by contacting the Director of the Honors Program,Eugene Nicole, in the course of their junior year. An application packet will include a statement explaining why the student wishes to graduate with honors in French, and an unmarked copy of a paper submitted in a French course. The paper should demonstrate the student’s language skills, analytical abilities, and application of critical methodology. Accepted students should discuss registration with the Director of the Honors Program. Students who are away during their junior year should apply by email to Prof. Nicole.