Honors in Philosophy


The Honors Program is designed to enable high-achieving students to do independent study and research under the supervision of a Philosophy faculty member. The program culminates in the writing of a senior thesis.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Honors Program, a student must:

  • Be a Philosophy Major
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher
  • Have a GPA of 3.70 or higher in the Philosophy coursework they have taken at UNM

Application Procedures

Students interested in the Honors Program in Philosophy should submit an application to the Philosophy Honors Advisor during their junior year and absolutely no later than the beginning of their senior year. Admission to the Honors Program cannot be granted after 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.

The Honors Sequence: PHIL 497 (Honors Seminar) & PHIL 499 (Honors Thesis)

Students approved for Honors in Philosophy must complete PHIL 497 and 499 for at least a total of 6 credit hours.

PHIL 497: Honors Seminar 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 their thesis advisor and then registers for PHIL 497 (3 credits) with that instructor. By the end of the course, the student will have developed a 750-1500 word thesis proposal and a preliminary bibliography.

PHIL 499: Senior Thesis is ordinarily taken for 3 credits during the spring semester of the senior year with the same faculty member who supervised PHIL 497. (With the permission of the Honors Advisor, PHIL 497 and PHIL 499 may be taken in the same semester.) Building on the work completed in PHIL 497 during the previous semester, the honors candidate should complete in PHIL 499 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.

Grading the Thesis

Each honors thesis will be read and graded by a thesis committee, composed of the thesis advisor and a second reader chosen by the department. The department may assign additional readers to the committee if appropriate.

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 (with a designation of 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 PHIL 499 and graduate, albeit without Honors.


Questions about the Honors Program in Philosophy should be directed to our Honors Advisor.