Honors In The History Major

Decorative PhotoWhy Honors in the Major?

The Honors in the Major track in history is intended for students who are eager to experience the excitement of original historical research and who wish to graduate with the best possible undergraduate training in this discipline. Honors in the Major is especially appropriate for students who are considering graduate work in history or who want an especially rigorous training in research, reasoning, and writing skills useful to a wide range of career or graduate school choices.

Preparing for Honors

A senior thesis is a considerable undertaking, making it crucial that students plan ahead. Because research and writing consume a large amount of time, it’s strongly recommended that honors students consider taking their History 600 before their senior year in order to focus on the thesis as a senior. Planning ahead is also instrumental for students to secure funding to support their research. Thesis writers should strongly consider applying for Hildale awards, the department’s Davis-Gerstein Fellowship, as well as other prizes that can fund travel costs, books, archive visits and more. If you’re unsure how you would use research funds, this is a good conversation to have with your thesis advisor.


In addition to the normal major requirements you must:

I. GPA Requirements
Have a 3.5 in history course work and at least a 3.3 GPA overall

II. Senior Honors Thesis Requirement
Write a senior honors thesis (an original research paper of approximately 40 pages)
Enroll concurrently in History 681/82 and History 680 (thesis colloquium), for a total of 10 honors credits over 2 semesters
(Your thesis must be approved by advisors in both History 680 and History 681/82)

III. Credit Requirements
Complete at least 36 credits in history courses
At least 21 of the 36 credits must be upper-level courses
At least 15 of the 36 credits must be honors courses—designated with an H,%, or !--taken in residence (10 of these credits will be your honors thesis and colloquium)

History Honors in the Major Worksheet (pdf)

Research in History & Senior Thesis

For questions about or to declare Honors in the Major, please see your Undergraduate Advisors.