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History of Art Honors Program


• a minimum GPA of 3.5 in History of Art courses.
• a minimum GPA of 3.4 overall.
• successful completion of a 300-level or higher seminar in History of Art.

Because seminars provide students with research skills necessary for successful completion of a senior thesis, students wishing to pursue honors are expected to take at least one 300-level or higher seminar before their senior year. At the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students whose schedules have prevented them from taking a seminar may be admitted to the program if they are judged ready to conduct advanced level research.

Applying to the Honors Program

To apply to the History of Art Honors Program, a student must first develop a viable senior thesis topic and discuss it with a faculty member. Should the faculty member express interest, the student then writes a project description (@500-1000 words), including a proposed program of research and a preliminary bibliography. The project description and an Honors Thesis Approval Form (available here) are then submitted to the faculty member. Once the faculty member has approved the project description and signed the form, the student submits both to the Director of Undergraduate studies for final approval. Applications may be submitted any time between the end of the junior year and the beginning of the senior year. The final deadline is the second Friday of the fall semester.

The Honors Seminar

Once accepted to the program, honors students are issued an override to enroll in a sequence of two 3-credit seminars during fall and winter semesters of the senior year: HISTART 498, “Honors Colloquium” and HISTART 499, “Senior Thesis.” HISTART 498 must be completed with a grade of A- or better in order to enroll in HISTART 499. In order to facilitate the enrollment of all students accepted to the program, the honors seminar is scheduled for a day/time that accommodates every participant; any potential scheduling conflicts, in other words, will be resolved.

Over the course of the senior year, honors students attend a weekly 3-hour seminar with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (who oversees the Honors Program). They also meet frequently with their respective faculty advisors, who provide their students with individual guidance. At the beginning of December, honors students deliver twenty-minute presentations on the state of their research at the annual History of Art Honors Symposium (attended by faculty, fellow students, parents, and friends). The completed senior thesis (approximately 40-45 pages) is submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the second Monday of April.

History of Art Distribution

The Honors Seminar may be used to fulfill one geographical category and one chronological category of the History of Art distribution requirement, depending on the topic of a student’s senior thesis.

The Upper Level Writing Requirement

Honors students have the option of using their senior theses to fulfill the Upper Level Writing Requirement. For students who intend to use this option, a Thesis Intent Form for ULWR (available here) must be filled out by the student and their thesis advisor. The completed form should be submitted to the Honors Office for approval at the beginning of the winter semester.