All departments and interdisciplinary programs offer Honors versions of their majors, which are coded as Honors Plans. At the beginning of the third year, or when it is appropriate in the department's process, students may apply to a departmental Honors major. Students who meet departmental criteria are eligible to apply whether or not they have previously been in the Honors Program. Admission of upperclass students is determined by LSA departments and programs. Students will be required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 to graduate with Honors; they may embark on an Honors major before they have reached that threshold, but the minimum should be attainable by the time they graduate.
Students who are accepted into an Honors plan automatically become LSA Honors students.
Honors majors are described under the relevant departmental listings. Candidates for graduation with Honors must perform very well in courses and also demonstrate ability in original thesis work, and, in some majors, pass a comprehensive examination. Effective in Fall 2004, students graduating with an Honors plan are required to earn an overall GPA of 3.4. Individual departments may have higher GPA requirements for courses in the major. Check Honors plan guidelines in individual departments..
Many departments require their Honors majors to register for special seminars and independent study research courses. During the senior year, Honors majors carry out research and write a thesis under the direction of a faculty mentor. With only a few exceptions, graduation with Honors requires the completion of a Senior Honors thesis.
After an evaluation of the thesis and the overall academic record, Honors department advisors recommend that students graduate with an Honors degree.
The department will then send one of four possible recommendations to the Honors Office: "No Honors," "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors." No Honors is given for work that does not meet departmental standards, and for students with GPAs under 3.4 ("No Honors" is not noted on the transcript or diploma). The other three will be posted on the final transcript and diploma. Honors majors are described under the relevant departmental listings under Majors & Minors.
Students may also petition the Honors Program for approval of an Honors Individual Major Program (HIMP). Information about the Honors Individual Major Program is available in 1330 Mason Hall.
In some rare circumstances, departments may ask the Honors Academic Board to graduate with Honors a student whose cumulative GPA is below the required threshold at the time of graduation. The request should be made by the faculty advisors who knows the student's work and history best, but must be endorsed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Chair of the Department. The letter(s) for this request should explain the student's circumstances, describe the Honors work, and provide a justification for making an exception to the GPA requirement.
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