Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

Honors Program

Students interested and eligible for honors in the Early Modern World concentration can petition to write a thesis. Admission into the honors program is based upon the quality of the application, the preparedness of the student to undertake the project, and the availability of appropriate advisors for the subject.


Students wishing to write an Honors thesis must have an A average in the concentration, which means that they will not have received more than one B or S in any course used for the concentration. Classes taken S/NC may be considered as qualifying the student for Honors if they are marked “S with distinction,” meaning that had the student taken the course for a grade, the grade would have been an A.

The faculty makes every effort to accommodate all eligible proposals. It is preferable to have taken at least one class with the person who will advise the thesis and to have already written a research paper before choosing to undertake this year-long writing project.

Students planning a December graduation will not be eligible for the Honors thesis program, but they are welcome to work out other ways to pursue projects of independent interest in consultation with an academic advisor.

Application Process

Applications are due to the Director of the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World in mid-April of the student’s junior year. Each application for the Honors Program shall consist of:

  1. A very brief (one- or two-paragraph) cover letter identifying the most appropriate advisor and second readers and stating also the student’s preparation for the project. Second readers may be professors who work in areas related to the topic, or in some very special cases (and with advisor’s approval) may be practitioners with whom the student has already worked closely, for example.
  2. A two-page double-spaced abstract stating and explaining the topic (subject and argument) of the research to be undertaken, written as clearly as possible.
  3. A one-page working bibliography of the most relevant books and major articles to be consulted for the project.
  4. A current resumé.
  5. The most recent transcript.

Enrollment and Completion

Students accepted in the Honors program sign up for EMOW 1980 in the fall and again in the spring, with the section number of their advisor. Honors students are strongly encouraged not to take more than four classes either semester of their senior year — the Honors class being considered one of the four classes.

Students must meet regularly with their advisors and second readers throughout the year according to a schedule determined by each student and advisor. Finished drafts of the thesis (which will be about 35 pages in length, not counting bibliography and visual or other supporting materials) will be due to the advisor and second reader on April 1 of the spring semester. Comments will be returned to the students for final polishing and corrections at that point.

Students will receive Honors when both their primary advisor and their second reader have provided written statements in support of the finished project. The finished paper, which should be a polished and revised, edited, professional work of original research, will be made available to the entire Early Modern World faculty for comments. There will be a public presentation of the Honors work at the end of the spring semester.