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NOTE: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the timeline and guidelines for Class of 2021 honors thesis proposals have changed. For more detailed information, please see the Honors page.
To apply to the History Honors Program, you must propose a thesis topic and plan for research, endorsed by a faculty member who has agreed to advise your thesis project. If you are interested in participating in the History Honors Program, you should consider topics of interest to you and discuss them with potential faculty advisors as early as possible. All ideas for thesis topics require discussion, development and preliminary research to transform them into viable proposals. We strongly advise you to secure the endorsement of a faculty advisor by the end of the winter term of your junior year, at the very latest, to help you develop and refine your thesis proposal.
A thesis proposal should consist of a 3-5 page discussion of the topic with relevant bibliography. Click here for some examples of successful proposals from years past to give you a better idea of what a thesis proposal contains. Be sure to also include the Honors Proposal Coversheet. Click _thesis_proposal_coversheet.pdf to access the Coversheet. If you missed the deadline, you may petition for admission to the program (see next question).
If you have a research project that you wish to pursue as part of the Honors Program but you do not meet the criteria of eligibility, either because your grades fall short of the required grade point average or because you have not yet taken enough History courses, you may petition for admission to the program. If there is space in the program, the History Department will consider such petitions. You should submit a petition, explaining why you should be admitted to the History Honors Program, as well as a thesis proposal endorsed by your faculty advisor, to Ms. Lehmann by 4 PM, Monday, May 3, 2021. Candidates who meet all criteria of eligibility but missed the April deadline, may also petition for admission by May 3rd.
The History Department awards prizes every year to the best Honors theses in History. Go to our prizes page for a complete listing of prizes including current recipients. We announce the winners of the various prizes at the History Department's Senior Reception on the Saturday evening of Commencement Weekend and their names appear in the Commencement Program.
Part of your thesis proposal is a plan for research—what primary sources you plan to use, where they are located and how you will get access to them. There are various grants for which you may apply in order to fund thesis research, if, for example, your project depends upon you using libraries or archives elsewhere in the United States or abroad. See the Office of the Dean of the Faculty's website about undergraduate research funding. The History Department also has some, although limited, funds available for History Honors projects.