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Requirements for Classes 2009 & 2010

A student interested in honoring in the Department of Afro-American Studies must complete all the major requirements and a thesis. The thesis consists of an 8-credit honors course, pursued over one or two semesters and during which the student completes a long document of original research, followed by a public presentation and an oral examination. The credits for the thesis substitute for one or two of the elective courses in the major.


A student must have at least a 3.5 GPA for all courses in the major, and at least a 3.3 GPA for courses outside the major through the junior year. A student must also otherwise fit the College’s criteria for honors eligibility, as defined by the Subcommittee on Honors and Independent Programs (SHIP).


A completed application consists of all the required forms from SHIP (available from the Class Deans Office), including the "Application to Enter Departmental Honors" and a two- to three-page proposal that describes the topic. This proposal should include the organizing questions, methods of analysis, and a short bibliography, and should have received the approval of the thesis adviser. The proposal should also discuss the student's preparedness to undertake the topic (including a discussion of coursework).

The student may also be required to attend a meeting with faculty to answer questions about her proposal. The department will vote on the proposal and then forward a recommendation to SHIP for final approval.

A student may submit an application in the spring semester of her junior year (due by 12 noon on the last day of classes), or in the fall semester of her senior year (due by 12 noon on the first Friday of the semester). The application should be submitted to 130 Wright Hall to the attention of the director of honors. A student who is intending to graduate in December should contact the director of honors for application guidelines.


Any regularly appointed faculty in the department can serve as an adviser to the thesis. A student should contact the director of honors for the department if there are questions. Early in the thesis writing process the adviser, in consultation with the student, will choose a second reader. This reader can be outside of the department.


The specific deadlines for the thesis can be established by the thesis adviser but must fit within the overall guidelines put forth by SHIP. A student must complete a significant draft of her thesis by the first day of classes in spring semester of her senior year. The final revised thesis is due the first day of April of that semester, and a student will schedule two presentations: one to her committee to take place before the start of final exams, and one open to the public. The dates and procedures for final submission of the thesis are outlined in the SHIP document and are the responsibility of the student.


The thesis should be at least 40 pages in length, or the equivalent if a creative project. In calculating the honors designation, the thesis counts 60%, the public presentation 10%, and the average of all courses taken in the department counts 30%.

For questions, a student should contact the director of honors in the department or the senior class dean.