American Studies

Ethnic Studies Honors Program

Ethnic Studies Honors Program Requirements

Admittance to the Ethnic Studies Honors Program requires:

  1. 3.5 GPA in concentration courses
  2. 3.0 overall GPA
  3. Standard concentration requirements
  4. AMST/ETHN 1800 - Honors Seminar in the sixth semester 
  5. An Honors Thesis Proposal and an application for the Ethnic Studies Honors Program
  6. Two independent studies, taken in the 7th and 8th semester, with the Director of your honors thesis 
  7. Completed project, delivered the third week of April if student is a May graduate (the first Monday of December if the student is a May graduate)
  8. Recommendation for honors from both Readers

Honors Thesis Proposal

Students must define their honors project in a proposal by early May (in accordance with the due dates established in the honors seminar, AMST/ETHN 1800) or near the end of their sixth semester. The proposal is comprised of a five-page, double-spaced project description along with a bibliography of relevant sources.

This proposal must be submitted for approval to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) along with the application for the Ethnic Studies Honors Program form on the same date that it is submitted in the honors seminar. The proposal should identify the problem, or question the student will focus on, and suggest approaches and possible hypotheses or outcomes.

Students need to work with two professors – a Director and a Reader. At least one should be Ethnic Studies faculty. The proposal should name a confirmed Director (who must sign your application form) and a likely second Reader (who will need to confirm their participation at the beginning of your 7th semester). If a student wants to work with two professors, neither of whom is Ethnic Studies faculty, then they should have a third Reader who will read the final draft or consult on the final project and approve it for honors in the field.

Students deciding not to do an honors thesis after completing the Honors Seminar will receive credit for the course and still be able to count it as a seminar in the concentration.

An updated thesis proposal, confirming a second thesis Reader, will be due for all thesis writers within the first the first two weeks of the senior year.

Study Abroad

Concentrators studying abroad during the second semester of the junior year, when the Honors Seminar is offered, may waive the Honors Seminar with permission of the DUS prior to the beginning of the senior year. Such a waiver of the Honors Seminar will be predicated on the submission of a detailed plan for the honors project approved by a faculty Director with a confirmed second Reader submitted to the DUS in the first two weeks of the senior year.

Independent Study

In their seventh and eight semesters, students seeking honors will enroll in an independent study class (ETHN 1910) with their Director during which they will follow through on the plan devised in the spring of their junior year. Students and thesis Directors should plan on at least a monthly meeting to discuss the research, writing and revision of sections of the thesis. In addition to meeting with their Director, students should also plan to meet their second Reader during this time.

Guidelines for thesis directors and readers

Final Draft

In their eighth semester, the deadline for a finished full draft of the student's project is the third Friday in April (for May graduates) or the first Monday in December (for December graduates).

Students should turn in a PDF of a completed (proofread, formatted, fully written) draft to their Readers by that day. A signed and bound copy of the thesis is due to the department one week after submission of the PDF, where it will be available for one year and then sent to the Hay Library.

All official Readers must recommend the project for honors, indicated by their signature on the student's cover sheet and the Director’s written report.

When written as formal research papers, honors theses are generally between 50-100 pages. When there is a creative or public component, students should work closely with their faculty team to determine the appropriate length of the written accompaniment.

Students will make a public presentation of their work to the Ethnic Studies faculty during the first week of May for May graduates and mid December for December graduates.