American Studies

Ethnic Studies Honors Program

The 2023-24 Honors Director for both AMST and ETHN concentrators is Professor Elena Shih. After reviewing the information available here, you should email her at with any questions about the honors process.

Ethnic Studies Honors Requirements:

  1. 3.5 GPA in concentration courses
  2. 3.0 overall GPA
  3. Standard concentration requirements
  4. AMST 1800 Honors Seminar in the sixth semester (consult the Honors Director and your concentration advisor if there is a conflict with study abroad)
  5. An Honors Thesis Proposal, including a prospectus and an application form signed by a faculty member who has agreed to be your Thesis Advisor
  6. Two independent studies, taken in the 7th and 8th semester, with your Thesis Advisor
  7. Completed project submitted in accordance with the current Honors Schedule
  8. Recommendation for honors from your Thesis Advisor and Reader

Honors Thesis Proposal

Honors proposal materials are submitted to the Honors Director late in the 6th semester (as a culmination of the Honors Seminar), or early in the 7th semester (if the student could not take the Honors Seminar), following the current Honors Schedule.


Students need to work with two faculty members – an Advisor and a Reader. At least one should be Ethnic Studies faculty (see designations here). If a student wants to work with two professors, neither of whom is Ethnic Studies faculty, then they must have a third Reader from the Ethnic Studies faculty 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.

Independent Study

In their seventh and eight semesters, students seeking honors must enroll in an independent study class (ETHN 1910) with their Advisor during which they will follow through on the plan devised in the spring of their junior year. Students and thesis advisors 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 Advisor, students should also plan to meet with their second Reader during this time.

Guidelines for thesis directors and readers

Thesis Completion Process

See general guidelines on the form of the thesis here, and submission deadlines in the current Honors Schedule.

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