The purpose of the College’s Honors Program is to promote, develop, and recognize work of higher quality than ordinarily required for the baccalaureate degree. The program encourages students to achieve mastery of a specific topic within the context of a major by giving qualified students an opportunity to conduct extensive independent study and research in their majors. Honors study proceeds throughout fall and winter semesters of the senior year under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Nomination of students for honors is determined by the College’s academic departments and programs. Students interested in pursuing Honors should consult in their junior year with the chair of their major department or program regarding the standards and procedures for the nomination process.
The award of Honors is given to those students who distinguish themselves in their major and who successfully complete the two-semester writing, performance or creative project. The expectation is that to receive Honors, the submitted written portion and examined thesis should be the equivalent of an “A” thesis. While faculty and the committee recognize the importance of the growth that occurs during the process of researching and writing the thesis, to receive Honors, the student’s submitted product should be an exceptional one that meets the department or program’s standards for the award of honors.
The Honors Program consists of writing a substantial thesis and an oral examination on the thesis. In an alternative offered by some departments, eligible students elect a program consisting of a performance or a project in the creative arts; a written component based on the project; and an oral examination on the project. Oral-examination committees include the thesis advisor, a member of the major department or program, at least one faculty member from a different department or program, and an examiner who specializes in the field of study and is from another institution.
Honors theses become part of the holdings of the archives of the College and are made available to patrons for research purposes. Electronic copies are stored and made available in SCARAB, the online repository available at: http://scarab.bates.edu/honorstheses/