Students eligible to apply to the History Honors Program are History majors who, by the fall term of their senior year, have achieved an overall College grade point average of 3.0 and one of 3.5 in History, based upon a minimum of five graded History courses. If you meet these eligibility criteria, you should consider applying to the Honors Program. Keep in mind that a successful thesis requires a substantial commitment of time, energy, intelligence, and especially self-motivation. While in most courses, a syllabus tells you what you are to accomplish, week by week; to research and write a thesis you must set your own goals and work schedule. Your advisor will help you and monitor your progress, but the responsibility falls very much upon you.
This responsibility brings anxieties, but also enormous satisfaction and a justified sense of accomplishment. An Honors thesis allows you to "do" history, to conduct original research into a subject that fascinates you, to interpret and analyze your findings, and to make them your own by formulating them as a coherent narrative or argument. Such an experience is essential if you are considering graduate work, especially graduate work in history. It is also extremely valuable if you are not. The ability to conceive, structure, and see to the end a large independent project of this scope is a serious accomplishment, that will teach you – and convey to others – intellectual and organizational capacities that mere transcripts do not.