Honors in German or Russian

Honors Expectations: German and Russian Studies

General Description

Honors in German or Russian is a special distinction reserved for those students who have excelled in their academic accomplishments throughout their time at Bates and have completed a thesis project with certain distinguishing characteristics and features. The awarding of Honors requires that the student and the thesis meet all of the criteria specified below. The thesis advisor has the authority to withdraw the student from the Honors program at any time prior to the submission deadline for the written thesis. The oral examination committee members have final authority in judging whether the student has satisfactorily met the criteria for the awarding of Honors.

Honors Criteria

1. General Approach

The thesis must explore a novel question or topic within the field of German or Russian studies and use methods appropriate to the field of inquiry. This exploration should be exemplary in its design, methodological rigor, breadth, or depth and ideally will be characterized by exceptional work in more than one of these facets. The student must demonstrate a high level of self-motivation, independence, and continuous engagement in the project over the entire two semesters.

2. Scholarly Foundation

In the written thesis and oral defense, the student must be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the historical, theoretical, and methodological foundation of the project. One or more chapters of the thesis must develop the necessary background, theory, and/or methodology through a thorough discussion and citation of relevant, published literature.

3. Breadth of Knowledge

In the written thesis and oral defense, the student must demonstrate facility and expertise within the broad field of German or Russian studies, as well as the more focused topic of her or his project.

4. Written Thesis

The thesis must be well written and accessible to expert and non-expert audiences. A high quality thesis is well organized, concise, coherent, logical in its arguments and development of ideas, and grammatically and stylistically correct. It cites appropriate sources that inform the project. Language must be precise, sophisticated, and incorporate terminology appropriate to the topic of the thesis. The Honors thesis in German must be written in German.

5. Oral Exam

The student must be able to answer questions posed by the examination committee and engage with members of the committee in a scholarly discussion of all facets of the project.

See Honors Deadlines for German and Russian Studies