History Honors Thesis Courses

1. HI 494: Honors Directed Readings in History (3 credit hours)

This course is taken with the advice and consent of a member of the History faculty chosen by the student. HI 494 is a directed readings course covering the literature of a broad historiographical field, from which the student should ultimately draw a more specialized topic for an Honors Thesis. Both written and oral assignments based on the assigned reading may be made at the instructor's discretion. Additional training in bibliographic and research techniques may be included in HI 494 should the student and/or the instructor believe this advisable.

HI 494 should culminate in the selection of a topic for the Honors Thesis that is acceptable to both the student and the instructor. Under ordinary circumstances, the instructor directing the student's HI 494 readings course will also direct that student's Honors Thesis. Students may take this and all other Honors courses with scholars outside the regular faculty of the Department of History only with the concurrent approval of the Director of the Honors Program and the Director of Undergraduate Programs in History. (If a student should decide upon completing the assigned work in HI 494 not to write an Honors Thesis, or if the student is unable to formulate a suitable topic, the instructor should assign a grade based on the quality of the work done for the course. The student is not obligated to write a thesis by virtue of having taken HI 494.)

Alternatively, a student may  substitute for HI 494 a 400-level History course, completed by the end of the student’s junior year, and in which the student has earned a grade of at least A-, provided that the instructor of this course has agreed, in consultation with the Director of the Honors Program, to serve as mentor for the Honors Thesis.

Upon completion of either HI 494 or the approved 400-level course, the student shall have identified a clear topic for research leading to the writing of an Honors Thesis.

2.  HI 495: Honors Research in History I (3 credit hours)

In this course (usually in first semester of the Senior year), the student conducts intensive research in preparation for the writing of the Honors Thesis — the final and most rigorous requirement in the History Honors Program. The student works closely with their Honors Thesis advisor to plan and implement the research project.

3. HI 496: Honors Research in History II (3 credit hours)

The Honors Thesis is completed and the final revisions are made. The completed thesis (usually 50-60 double-spaced pages in length, although shorter theses may be considered) should be submitted at least a month before the end of classes in the semester for which the grade for HI 496 is to be given. The work will be read by the Thesis Director, a second faculty reader in a related field of expertise, and the Director of the Honors Program. The student will then take part in an oral discussion of approximately one hour, during which they will have the opportunity to discuss the work and its implications with all three of the readers, and to receive suggestions for improving the final, polished version of the Honors Thesis. One copy of this finished version shall be retained in the permanent collection of the History Department. (The grade for HI 496 will be determined by the Thesis Director.)

Note: Completion of a thesis does not necessarily guarantee graduating with Honors in History. The Honors Director, after consultation with the readers of the thesis, will  make the final judgment on that distinction based on the quality of the thesis, the maintenance of the required Grade Point Averages, and the completion of all other requirements for graduation with Honors in History. Students graduating with Honors in History will be appropriately recognized at Commencement and will receive a certificate of achievement from the Department of History as well as the "Honors" designation on their permanent University record.