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How to Apply for Departmental Honors


See Departmental Honors for timeline and important dates.

Second-Semester Juniors

Submit your honors application to the director of honors in your department or program before the last departmental meeting of the spring semester. Contact the director of honors to get the exact date.

The director of honors will forward approved applications to the Subcommittee on Honors and Independent Programs (SHIP) after graduation. You will be informed of the decision by late June.

First-Semester Seniors

Submit your honors application to your department or program before the first departmental meeting of the semester. Contact the director of honors to get the exact date.

The director will forward all approved applications to SHIP by the end of the second week of the semester. The subcommittee will consider all applications, and the chair of SHIP will officially enroll you in the appropriate honors course by the end of the third week of the semester.

How to Apply

There are five steps to honors applications:

1. Request a form for a Calculation of Your Grade Point Average

  • Write to to request the form for calculation of your GPA
  • Include your ID number and your major in the email (you can only pursue honors in one major)
  • The form will be sent to you as an email attachment

2. Calculate your GPA with Your Adviser

Use the GPA form to calculate your GPA inside the major (and outside the major if required by your department). You should do this with your adviser. The minimum GPA to be eligible for a thesis is set by your department or program.

3. Submit Your Project Proposal and completed application by the Deadline

Be sure to submit your project proposal and completed application to the director of honors in your major department on time.

Your proposal should contain:

  • a signed Application with checklist to Enter Departmental Honors Form as a cover sheet (students should download Word to complete the application)

  • a 500- to 1,000-word description of the broader scholarly issue you will investigate
  • the specific issue you will discuss or investigate
  • an explanation of your approach and evidence of your experience with this approach
  • an account of your relevant preparation and skills (previous coursework related to the project topic, quantitative skills, foreign language ability, etc.)
  • a bibliography
  • a copy of the completed and signed calculation of GPA requirements form
  • The application form is double-sided; the reverse side has a checklist of steps you must take to submit a proposal. Please complete all the steps and sign and date the checklist when you hand in your thesis project proposal. If your application is not signed by an adviser in your department, it cannot be considered.

4. Submit a Certification Letter

You must certify that you have not been sanctioned by the Honor Board at a serious level (one-third-step grade reduction or more) for a serious violation in your sophomore, junior or senior year.

Submit the Departmental Honors Certification Letter to the chair of SHIP by mail to College Hall 101, or attach it in an email to

(Word document)


5. Submit Your Thesis Project Funding Request

If you are applying for funding through the Nancy Kershaw Tomlinson Memorial Fund, please submit your request with your thesis project proposal.

Once Accepted

After your thesis project has been approved by SHIP and you have been enrolled in honors, you should discuss with your adviser whether or not you should participate in a meeting with the appropriate research librarian for your field. A consultation with the librarian can help you keep track of the documentation for your thesis. Meetings will take place in small groups of thesis writers with similar interests.

Moodle Site

All approved honors students, their thesis advisers and departmental directors of honors are automatically enrolled in a Moodle site for honors managed by the honors coordinator in the class deans office. It provides basic information, important deadlines, and is where students upload their honors thesis title page and a final PDF of their theses/projects for cataloging by the library.

See Departmental Honors for timeline and all important dates.