The Honors Program
Seniors who give evidence of outstanding ability and who wish to do serious research on an independent project are invited to apply for honors work. Students must satisfy the minimum College requirements and must also meet two departmental requirements. First, they must have a grade average of 3.3 for all courses taken within the major. Second they must have received at least an A- in an advanced course that emphasizes research and analysis, such as Russian 48 or 71.
Area Studies majors may satisfy this second requirement with one of these courses, or, if the topic of the thesis is outside the area of language and literature, with a course from the academic area in which they intend to do research. Application is normally made by the third week of the fall term, with Russian 85 taken in the fall and Russian 87 in the winter. The thesis must be submitted no later than the third week of spring term. More information is contained in an announcement sent to current majors each year. It is available from the administrator of the Department.
Each of the various forms of major makes available an Honors Program that is required of candidates for Honors or High Honors in the major, the awarding of these to be decided upon when the student's department/program or other appropriate supervisory body is about to certify to the Registrar the completion of the major.
The program requires work that is clearly greater in depth and scope than that expected in the normal major program. As soon as a student declares a major, the student should receive a description of the Honors Program including requirements for eligibility, the procedure for admission, and the name of the faculty member in charge of the program.
This additional undertaking shall take the form of supervised independent work on an individual or small-group basis to enable students to progress toward an understanding of their major field at an accelerated pace. It includes a thesis — or its equivalent, such as an experimental investigation — as well as the writing of papers or other creative activity suitable to the major subject. Beyond these stipulations a department/program (or other supervisory body) may at its discretion impose such additional requirements as a start upon the Honors Program in the junior year, a more demanding reading program than it requires of regular major students, and the use of honors courses or honors seminars. Examinations in the Honors Program will be regulated by the department or program. Students may receive a maximum of two course credits for participation in the program.
Admission to an Honors Program is by application to and with the consent of the department/program or other supervisory body. Each department or program publishes in this Catalog the criteria and procedure for admission to its Honors Program. The minimum requirement for admission is a grade point average of 3.0 in the major and a 3.0 general College average at the beginning of the senior year or at any other time that an application for admission is made. The Committee on Instruction is empowered to make small downward adjustments of these requirements when a department or program strongly supports the application of a candidate who does not quite qualify.
As indicated above, Honors Programs will vary, but all will include independent, sustained work. Those students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program with a 'B+' average or better will earn Honors recognition in their major or, in appropriate cases, High Honors. High Honors will be granted only by vote of the department or program on the basis of outstanding independent work. Departments and programs are urged to make an interim evaluation of honors students after one term and to recommend the continuation of those students only whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program will have entered on their permanent record, e.g., High Honors in Chemistry, or Honors in History.
No record will be kept for completion of an Honors Program in the absence of the awarding of Honors or High Honors, since the department or program has thereby indicated that the performance was not 'satisfactory' (in the applied sense of the word).
Honors work in the Special Major requires a recommendation from the student's two advisers with full description of the planned approach to the Council on Interdisciplinary Studies; this recommendation must be submitted in time for the Committee to make its decision by October 1 of the senior year.
Students not meeting the usual requirements for the Honors Program may seek special admission to an Honors Program with department or program support and approval of the Committee on Instruction.