The department encourages majors to consider the department's Honors Program, which centers around an honors thesis done in the senior year (3 credits each semester). Arrangements are made in the spring of one's junior year. The program should be seriously considered by any student thinking of doing graduate work in history. But it also has a broader appeal: to any history major who desires a challenging opportunity, that is the culmination of a liberal arts education.
The honors thesis involves researching a topic of some historical significance and interest both to you and to a professor who agrees to work with you. Normally, you and the professor would settle on a topic in the spring of your junior year, when a proposal is submitted to the Department Honors Committee (by April 1) for its approval. Once approved, you should begin some preliminary reading over the summer, so that you are ready to start in the fall. The finished thesis, after being approved by your advisor, must be delivered in a correct and neatly typed form, with appropriate documentation, by April 1 of your senior year. The members of the Honors Committee will be pleased to discuss the program further. For information about the Honors Program, you should contact Prof. Gelfand.
Interested students should consult the university catalog for information about the Scholar of the College Program, which offers our most outstanding seniors the opportunity to write a 12-credit thesis (counting as four upper-division electives).
All students doing a thesis enroll in HIST-4961: Honors Seminar, a three-credit course, during the fall term of senior year. Students doing the honors thesis enroll in HIST-4962, Honors Thesis (also a three-credit course) during the spring. Students doing the 12-credit thesis for the Scholar of the College Program enroll in both HIST-4961 and HIST-4921: Advanced Independent Research, which is also a three-credit course, in the fall. In the spring, these students enroll in HIST-4922: Advanced Independent Research, a six-credit course.