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Undergraduate Program

Honors Program & Lasch Fellowship

Students will be reviewed for the Honors Program and the Lasch Fellowship during the spring of their junior year. An invitation to apply will be sent prior to registration for the fall semester. Both the Honors Program and the Lasch Fellowship are by invitation only. However, if you are interested, please feel free to contact the director of undergraduate studies, Pablo Sierra Silva, or the undergraduate coordinator, Jacqui Rizzo, for more information. Invitations are based on grade-point average in the department and on progress toward finishing department degree requirements.

Requirements for Honors in History

To graduate with honors in history, students must, in addition to the regular department degree requirements:

  • Complete an additional 300W-level history course (that is two total--not including HIS 389H or HIS 393H)
  • Have a departmental cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.7
  • Complete a distinguished research paper of approximately 9,000 words under the direction of a faculty advisor

This thesis must be of at least A- quality in order to secure honors. 

Seniors who hope to graduate with honors typically start on their thesis in the fall semester, either by taking a 300W-level seminar in an area relevant to their topic, or by arranging to take HIS 389H: Senior Thesis with their thesis advisor in order to begin their research. 

In the spring, while completing their thesis, honors students ordinarily register for HIS 393H: Senior Thesis. We also strongly encourage all honors students to take the optional two-credit HIS 399H: Honors Seminar, which meets once a month in the spring semester. The purpose of the honors seminar is to provide a forum in which students present preliminary versions of their senior thesis, get critical response from both their student peers and the director of the honors program, and prepare to present their research at the Honors Colloquium. The Honors Colloquium is a half-day event at which Honors Program participants present their research for a small audience. 

Requirements for Lasch Fellowship

Lasch Fellows are invited to complete one or both semesters of HIS 500 and HIS 501, courses designed to introduce graduate students to the history of the historical profession, styles of writing, historical methods, and the functions of history as criticism and as social memory. 

These courses can be a capstone to your history major and, if you are considering graduate school, will introduce you to professional historical study. Because these graduate-level courses require a significant amount of reading and writing, most Lasch Fellows do not also participate in the Honors Program, although they may with permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Those who successfully complete either or both semesters of the course will be recognized at graduation as Christopher Lasch Fellows in History-- named for a distinguished historian and social critic who worked in our department from 1970-1994. 

Requirements for Distinction in History

To graduate with distinction in history, students must have a GPA of 3.7 in the major. To receive highest distinction in history, students must have a GPA of 3.8 in the major.