Honors Program

Outstanding history majors who want to take their work to the next level should consider the Honors program.


To pursue Honors as a History Major, a student must maintain an excellent academic record and maintain an overall GPA of 3.3 and a History Major GPA of 3.5.

Students pursuing Honors must complete HST 391, “Making History.” This seminar explores methodological questions of historical synthesis and interpretation. We recommend students enroll in this course after completion to HST 390.

Central to the Honors program is a student’s own Research Project. Students pursuing Honors almost always choose to revise their HST 390 or 392 research paper as their Research Project, though in unusual circumstances students can develop their honors paper in other ways. Students considering honors should be aware that the standards for honors quality research papers are high, and many students need to devote a semester or more to revising and reworking a 390 paper. Students pursuing honors should identify a faculty member in the history department who is willing to serve as their primary adviser for the Research Project. Students should also identify a second faculty member willing to serve as a second reader on the project.

When their advisor sees that a student’s Research Project meets the expectations and standards for honors quality work, the student submits their paper to their primary and secondary readers. These papers must be submitted to the faculty committee no later than April 1 (or November 1 for December graduation). This final version should be complete and defensible, including substantial primary evidence, meaningful engagement with scholarly literature, and proper footnotes and bibliographical citations.  

Students then complete an Oral Defense of their Research Project.  All defenses must be completed no later than April 15 (or November 15 for December graduation).

After their Oral Defense, students submit the signed Honors Defense form to the history department, together with a final copy of the honors thesis that incorporates any and all changes. Students also submit a 250 word abstract of their project for posting on the department website.  

For past honors abstracts, follow this link.