The Honors Program is designed to enable superior students to do independent study and research. The program culminates in the writing of a senior thesis.
To be eligible for the Honors Program, a student must:
Students interested in the Honors in Philosophy program should submit an application to the Department of philosophy during their junior year (But by the beginning of their senior year at the latest. Admission to Departmental Honors candidacy cannot be granted later than the beginning of the student's senior year). Once a student's application has been approved, a meeting with the Philosophy Honors Advisor should be scheduled to secure a thesis committee and obtain information on completing the Honors Program.
Students approved for Honors in Philosophy must complete Philosophy 497 an 499. Philosophy 497 is a reading and research course normally taken in the fall semester of the senior year. Before enrolling in this course, the student selects one faculty member to serve as his or her thesis advisor and then registers for Philosophy 497 with that instructor. By the end of the course, the student will have developed a 750-1500 word thesis proposal and a preliminary bibliography. Philosophy 499 is ordinarily taken during the spring semester of the senior year with the same faculty member who supervised Philosophy 497. (With the permission of the Honors Advisor, the two courses may be taken in the same semester.) Building on the work of the previous semester in Philosophy 497, the honors candidate should complete the necessary research and writing of the honors thesis in close consultation with their thesis advisor. The thesis is due no later than the Monday of the 12th week of the semester.
Each honors thesis will be read and graded by a thesis committee, composed of the thesis advisor and a second reader (or readers) chosen by the department. The thesis grade will be the average of the grades assigned by the readers. Students receiving a grade of B or better on the thesis will be awarded Honors in Philosophy (either cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude). If the student fails to earn a grade of B or higher on the senior thesis or fails to meet the GPA requirements for honors at the time of graduation, the student may still receive credit for Philosophy 499 and graduate, albeit without honors.
If you have further questions, you may contact our Honors Advisor. His/her contact information may be found on the Philosophy Department website's Undergraduate Advisement page.