Since 1927 Bates has offered an Honors Program 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. The program gives 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. Students who wish to be nominated to the Honors Program should consult with their major advisor by the end of their junior year.

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. 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.

Honors theses become a part of the archives of the college through SCARAB, Bates’ online repository for publications.

Honors Program Committee

  • Krista Aronson, ex officio
  • Ryan Bavis
  • Helen Boucher
  • Mfon Diduff ’24
  • Ian-Khara Ellasante
  • Karen Melvin, Chair