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Stand for Honors

For Prospective Honors Students

Are you considering standing for honors?

We encourage you to meet with the DUS about standing for honors. If you meet the required GPA of 3.5, please contact the DUS about scheduling a meeting.

You should also carefully review the College Honors Program (CHP) website, including FAQs. More information is outlined below.

  • What are the components of the Honors program?

    There are three main components to the Honors program in addition to meeting the IDS/AMST major requirements details in the ILA Handbook. You should consider carefully the significant additional work required by these components:

    1. A graduate seminar in any discipline approved by your adviser and by the ILA’s director of undergraduate studies (DUS); OR IDS 450 Honors Proseminar (offered in spring semester for senior Honors candidates). You must earn a grade of B or better in one or the other of these two courses.
    2. Completion of your senior project according to all deadlines and requirements set by the Honors program, including a formal oral defense
    3. The oral defense takes place before a committee of three faculty (at least one from the ILA and at least one from outside the ILA) all of whom must agree to serve on the student’s committee

    In addition to these components, there are a number of meetings and other events administered by Emory College for all Honors students. You will receive information about this after you enroll in the program. You must abide by all Emory College Honors regulations in order to remain in the program.

  • When is the deadline for honors?

    The deadline for indicating your intention to stand for Honors is spring of junior year. The deadline for students graduating in Spring is in Mid September.

    The ILA undergraduate program coordinator will contact you via e-mail to solicit your intention to stand.

  • What are the requirements?

    An honors thesis is an independent research project. You must plan and carry out your research in consultation with faculty. You are responsible for meeting with faculty and seeking appropriate feedback.

    The final paper for the fall Senior Seminar makes up part of the thesis, but the Senior Seminar covers other content and is not primarily focused on writing of the thesis.

    The Honors program requirements in the College and/or ILA are:

    • A minimum GPA of 3.5 (waiver petition considered in exceptional cases for GPA ≥ 3.45)
    • Completion of one graduate course or the ILA Proseminar (with grade of B or better)
    • Following strict deadlines for the process:
      • Final electronic submission (no exceptions; date in mid-April)
      • Oral defense (scheduled in advance of final submission, in case changes are needed)
      • Draft to committee 10 days before defense
      • Regular meetings with advisor(s) and committee members leading up to defense
    • A completed honors thesis of 50-70 written pages. (The nonhonors ILA senior thesis - the “capstone” thesis - is 30-50 pages.) The honors thesis is more rigorous and must meet higher standards than a class term paper. The degree of honors is roughly:
      • Honors is roughly an A
      • High honors is roughly an A+ and presentable at a professional conference
      • Highest honors is publishable and rare among successful ILA
    • Creative scholarship (e.g., performance, visual art, film) can form part of the honors thesis, with approval of the student’s thesis committee
    • Presentation at the ILA Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium at the end of the spring semester.
    • Registration for at least one credit in AMST 495 or IDS 495 in your final semester—governed by ILA guidelines for research credit found in the ILA Handbook
  • What is the process?

    Spring of Junior Year: Send intention to stand for honors in writing by (email) to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). A reminder email will be sent to prompt you.

    December of Senior Year: Honors candidates will receive a recommendation (green, yellow, or red light) from the instructor of the ILA Senior Seminar about whether the honors project is on track as of December. In some cases, the ILA Undergraduate Committee may be consulted as part of this recommendation.

    January of Senior Year: Honors candidates must submit names of their faculty committee members (typically three, with at least one from the ILA and at least one from a department other than the ILA) to the College Honors Program (CHP) by January of senior year. Email agreements from committee members must come before to submitting their names. The CHP website outlines rules for which faculty qualify to serve on committee.

    Spring of Senior Year: Complete either a graduate-level course (if you haven’t done so earlier) or IDS 450 Honors Proseminar.

  • How can you petition the GPA requirement?

    If you have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.45 you may petition to waive the 3.5 minimum requirement. The deadline to petition for Spring is in Mid August.

    To complete a petition, the following should be sent to before the deadline:

    1. A detailed letter written by the student outlining why they should be admitted to the Honors Program, the kind of work/research they want to do, why their GPA is lower than 3.5, and any other pertinent information
    2. A strong letter of support from the student's potential thesis advisor
    3. A strong letter of support from the faculty honors coordinator or chair of the department in which the student is pursuing honors
    4. The committee will also consider the student’s transcript, which OUE will pull from OPUS