Honors Program

Students who have completed at least 48 points of graded work in the College of Arts and Science and have at least a 3.65 GPA overall in the major may be awarded degrees with "departmental honors" by successfully completing the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis (SCA) honors sequence.

Honors work consists of successful completion of a two courses (8-credits) with honors designation during the senior year: SCA-UA 92 (fall), SCA-UA 93 (spring). The honors thesis is a year-long research project which begins in the fall semester.  Students enroll in the Senior Honors Thesis Seminar in the fall term during which they will choose a faculty research supervisor.  The spring term consists of independent research under the supervision of this faculty member, who is also the primary reader for the thesis.  Students must also arrange for a second reader for the defense. Honors theses are expected to be works of substantial original research in primary sources, as well as give evidence of familiarity with relevant literature. They will normally range from 40 – 60 pages in length.  

Honors students will present and defend their completed research before the SCA faculty committee (primary and secondary readers) and present their findings at a department-sponsored forum. Students who have received a DURF grant must also be present at the Dean's Undergraduate Research Conference. The committee will award acceptable work a grade of Honors or High Honors. Of course, graduating with honors is not automatic--the thesis needs to be of honors quality in order for a student to be awarded this designation. If the work of any student does not meet departmental standards for honors, they may be able to revise the work as a substitute for Senior Research Seminar. For CAS to award Honors, students must also maintain at least a 3.65 GPA overall and in the major.

Students interested in doing Honors who have GPAs that fall slightly below 3.65 may seek a waiver from the Director of College Honors for admission to the Honors Program. Applications will need the support of the department Director of Undergraduate Studies, a strong letter of support from a faculty member willing to direct the research, and offer compelling evidence of their commitment and research interest, and provide an explanation of why their prior performance merits a waiver.


GPA:  Students must graduate with an average of 3.65 overall and in their SCA major.  

Enrollment: Students with a 3.65 GPA will obtain an access code to enroll in the designated fall Senior Honors Seminar: SCA-UA 92, and the following spring in the Senior Honors Thesis: SCA-UA 93.

Honors Sequence Deadlines

Junior Year:   April:  Enroll in Seminar Honors Seminar for the fall

Senior Year:    

  • Fall:  Complete much of the first half of honors thesis and research for the second half.
  • Spring:  
  • Mid-March:   Submit complete draft of thesis to advisor[s]  
  • Early April:   Full thesis with revisions due; schedule defense
  • Mid-April:   Complete thesis defense