Honors Thesis & Graduation with Distinction

Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible to apply to the Honors Thesis Track, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.5 GPA for core course work in the Global Culture and Theory major. Applicants should ideally have completed two or more classes with faculty holding appointments in the Program in Literature. In order to assess the applicant's readiness for the work, it is also strongly recommended that the applicant have completed at least one seminar course with and have written at least one term paper for his/her/their Prospective Thesis Advisor. This advisor must hold an appointment in the Program in Literature.

Students apply via an application form (updated annually by the department) and a one-page written proposal with a one-page bibliography submitted to the Prospective Thesis Advisor no later than the Monday after Spring Recess of their junior year. The Spring 2025 deadline is March 25, 2025. The application form will be emailed to the Global Culture and Theory Major listserv.

Following the Prospective Thesis Advisor's review, the complete application is advanced for a committee's review and assessment. The decision to extend or decline admission to LIT 495 Honors Thesis I is made by the committee before fall term registration begins.

Expected Product

A 60-page thesis is required by the deadline stated on the annual application form. The page count may include its bibliography.

Evaluative Body

A committee comprised of the thesis advisor, the DUS, and a third reader chosen from among the members of the Literature faculty and affiliated faculty.

Evaluation Procedure

The student’s committee evaluates the thesis. In addition, the student meets with the committee for a one-hour defense.

Levels of Distinction

Three levels: Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction. To graduate with distinction, the student must receive an honors thesis grade of B+ or above.

Special Courses, Other Activities Required, Comments

Candidate must take the two-semester honors seminar sequence 495 and 496 with their thesis advisor.

  • Fall course - LIT 495 Honors Thesis I
  • Spring course - LIT 496 Honors Thesis II