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Honors Seniors

For Current Honors Students

As an honors student, you are responsible for meeting the requirements and completing the necessary steps outlined below.

Carefully review the processes outlined below and the Honors Cycle which outlines the steps in the timeline. If you have questions, please contact the DUS or the undergraduate program coordinator.

Committees must consist of at least three core members. Core committee members must be regular Emory University faculty members from any school or unit. One member must be from the student’s honors major and at least one member must be from Emory College. You may have additional committee members, including faculty from other universities, beyond the required three core members. Only core members vote on level of honors. Your advisor counts as one of the three core members.

Regular faculty titles typically include professor, associate professor, assistant professor, professor of pedagogy, senior lecturer, lecturer, but might also include titles such as Instructor or Research Associate.

Adjunct, visiting, emeritus, and post-doctoral fellows must petition to the Honors Committee to be permitted to serve on committees.

Members of the staff are not eligible to serve on committees.

If you have questions about someone’s eligibility or about the petition process, contact

Honors candidates must orally defend their thesis in the spring of their senior year. The purpose of the oral defense is to allow faculty committee members to examine, challenge, or seek clarification about your thesis. The level of honors is determined by the committee immediately following the oral defense.

The final draft of their honors thesis is due to their committee at least 10 days before their oral defense. The committee may ask for revisions, and the attainment of honors may be contingent upon completion of requested revisions before the CHP deadline.

Review the following guidelines with your advisor (chair), who may want to make specific alterations.

  • Duration:The approximate duration of the oral defense is 90 minutes:
    • 10 minutes: student remarks
    • 45 minutes: faculty questions
    • 10 minutes: faculty deliberations (student and others asked to leave room)
    • 10 minutes: student called back in for announcement regarding honors and, if awarded, the level of honors
  • Open to the public, but only faculty ask questions (unless the chair opens the floor to others).
  • Student remarks should not summarize the thesis—assume that the faculty committee has already read the thesis. Instead, put the thesis in a broader context: what has the thesis accomplished? What new questions does the thesis raise? What are the next directions of this research? What weaknesses do you feel the thesis has? How would you address any such weaknesses?
  • A PowerPoint presentation is optional, but not expected. Again, the focus of the defense is faculty questions, and these are often best introduced through oral comment, based on notes or read from a prepared text. A PowerPoint might be appropriate if images are integral to the discussion, for example.
  • Schedule defense date Honors candidates are responsible for arranging the defense date with their honors committee by no later than January 31. Once confirmed, the student must notify the DUS and the undergraduate program coordinator. The undergraduate program coordinator is available to assist honors candidates with reserving an appropriate room for the defense.

Complete the following steps after your defense:

  1. Immediately after your defense, have your committee sign the Honors Examination Report form. Submit this form via Canvas no later than the April 8, 2022, deadline.
  2. Submit your final thesis draft to the ILA via our webform. This becomes part of your student record in the ILA. Please note that this is not the ETD submission, which is a seperate process (see below).
  3. Submit your final thesis draft to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Repository by April 12, 2022. Written and audio/video instructions for this are available in Canvas.

2021-22 Honors Cycle

By When?

What do I need to do?

Junior Year - Spring Semester


Indicate interest in Honors Program to instructor of required IDS 390.


Reply to email from DUS/Undergrad Program Coordinator asking whether you intend to stand for honors.


**If GPA is 3.45–3.5, inform DUS and get information about waiver of GPA requirement petition procedure; meet with DUS and review waiver petition information on CHP website.


**If GPA is 3.45–3.5, prepare GPA waiver petition, including request for letter from DUS and other relevant faculty.

Senior Year - Fall semester

August 13, 2021

GPA waiver petition due (check date with CHP); CHP ruling usually within days.

September 2, 2021

ILA submits roster of Honors Program candidates; candidates begin receiving information directly from the Honors Program.

Optional: register for IDS 495 Honors Research—note: you must register for at least one credit (and commonly 3 credits) of IDS 495 in your final semester.

For each semester of IDS 495 credit, submit a research overview. Be sure to review the guidelines for research credit in the ILA in the ILA Handbook.

Fall semester

Check in at least monthly with your advisor/chair, more often if registered for IDS 495 Honors Research.

October 8, 2021

Committee Submission Deadline – Option 1 for spring 2022 graduates


Register for at least one credit (commonly 3) of IDS 495 Honors Research in spring of senior year if graduating in May.

End of fall semester

The final paper (20-25 pages) for AMST 490/IDS 491 Senior Seminar (core course) is part of the honors thesis; the instructor of the Senior Seminar gives red, yellow, or green light as indication of prospects for Honors Program, in addition to suggestions for specific revisions.

Senior Year - Spring Semester

First day of classes

Submit to DUS a one-page overview of IDS 495, indicating anticipated dates or regularity of meetings with advisor/ chair and other committee members. Be sure to review the guidelines for research credit in the ILA in the ILA Handbook.

January 14, 2022

Committee Submission Deadline – Option 2 for spring 2022 graduates

Late January

Email committee to set date of oral defense; date should be at least one week before CHP submission deadline—generally last week of March or first week of April.

Late January

Coordinate with the undergraduate program coordinator to reserve room for your scheduled oral defense.

Across spring semester

Meet regularly with your advisor/chair and, at advisor/chair's advice, communicate or meet with other committee members.

7-10 days before defense

Email penultimate draft, formatted according to CHP guidelines, to your honors thesis committee.

Last week of March–first week of April

Oral defense. Be sure to bring, and have your committee sign, the Honors Form. Submit this form via Canvas no later than the April 9, 2021, deadline.

Submit your final thesis draft to the undergraduate program coordinator for your student records. Please note that this is not the ETD submission, which is a seperate process (see below).

April 8, 2022

Honors Forms Deadline - Students will be able to submit their forms through Canvas.

April 12, 2022

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Repository - Submission Deadline.

Written and audio/video instructions for this are available in Canvas.

Sunday before graduation date (usually Mother’s Day)

Honors ceremony in Glenn Memorial chapel (limited tickets for family of Honors recipients).


Wear honors fouragère proudly to graduation.