Religious Studies Honors Thesis

Honors Thesis Schedule and Criteria for Nomination

Candidates for an Honors thesis are highly motivated, exceptionally independent, and curious about the study and exploration of questions in religious studies. They also possess a strong academic record, demonstrate substantial scholarly engagement, show a depth of knowledge in at least one area of religious studies, and work in a responsible and collaborative fashion with other scholars. The Honors process is designed to be both challenging and rewarding. Students who wish to be considered for the Honors Thesis Program should consult the Honors Program website for general guidelines, calendars, forms, standards, and procedures.

Religious Studies majors must apply to the department for approval as candidates for an Honors thesis.  The following criteria will be used to assess each student’s candidacy and continuation in the Honors Program.

  1. To be considered for Honors in Religious Studies, students should have a 3.75 GPA or better in the major.
  2. Candidates meeting the criteria should approach a departmental faculty person for a preliminary conversation regarding Honors work in the spring before the senior year.
  3. Based on the faculty advisor’s recommendation, a candidate will be allowed to register for Religious Studies 457, the first half of the two-semester Honors Thesis.
  4. Working with a faculty advisor, Honors candidates submit a formal prospectus to the Religious Studies department by September 15 of the first semester of senior year.  This prospectus should:
    1. identify the central question of the project;
    2. explain the method and approach for presenting and addressing the thesis;
    3. include a working bibliography.
  5. Departmental faculty will review the Honors Thesis prospectus and will decide whether a candidate may pursue Honors research. Candidates will be notified of the department’s decision by the end of September.
  6. Honors candidates will submit at least one draft chapter of the thesis (generally a review of scholarly literature on their topic) by November 15.
  7. A final determination for Honors nominations will be based on the submitted draft and a progress report from the faculty advisor.  The candidate will be notified of the department’s decision by the end of December.  The College Honors Committee requires nominations of successful candidates by the start of winter semester.
  8. Candidates will be expected to make progress during the second semester, meet deadlines, and meet with their advisor regularly. Students may withdraw from the Honors program up until a week before the thesis deadline in March; the department may require a student to withdraw from the Honors program if the student has not made adequate progress on the thesis.