Honors Program

The Philosophy Honors Program allows exceptional students the opportunity to work closely with a member of the Philosophy faculty on a project, typically a 30-40 page philosophical paper (i.e., “Honors Thesis”), during the final two semesters of his/her undergraduate career. The two semesters of independent study with the faculty advisor culminate in the student presenting and defending the Honors Thesis before a committee consisting of 2-3 faculty members in addition to the advisor. Successful students will graduate with Honors in Philosophy. Requirements and Procedures

  • A prospective honors student should normally have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.75 in philosophy classes with no grade below a C in any philosophy course.
    • A prospective honors student should find a willing faculty advisor in the spring semester before the senior year.*
    • The student must present a proposal to the prospective advisor at the end of the spring semester.*
    • The proposal will typically include a list of proposed readings, a clear and appropriately narrow topic, and a projected position to be defended in the Honors Thesis.
    • This proposal will then be submitted to the Undergraduate Affairs Committee for approval.
       
  • If the proposal is approved, the student will enroll in 498F (3 credits) the following semester and the student and advisor will agree on a schedule for meetings and the work expected by the end of the semester.
     
  • At the end of the semester, the advisor will evaluate the student’s progress and will decide whether the student should continue work on the Honors Thesis for another semester.
     
  • If, at the end of the first semester, the advisor judges that the project should not continue, the student will be given a grade for 498F but will not enroll in 498G in the subsequent semester and will not receive an Honors degree.
     
  • If, at the end of the first semester, the advisor thinks the project should continue, the student will enroll in 498G (3 credits) and the student and advisor will agree on a schedule of meetings and a timeline for completion of the Honors Thesis.
     
  • The student, in consultation with the advisor, will arrange an examining committee of at least 2 faculty members in addition to the advisor. The student will present and defend the Honors Thesis before this examining committee. The faculty advisor determines the grade for 498G but the committee determines whether the student graduates with Honors.

*or, for students graduating in December, the semester prior to the student’s next to last semester.

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