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Department of Global Studies and Geography Honors Thesis Guidelines

A Global Studies or Geography major who meets the current GPA requirements (a cumulative grade GPA of at least 3.4 and at least 3.5 in the major), may decide to write an Honors Dissertation in the senior year.

Honors Thesis Committee Approval Form: [PDF]

Weeks 1-2, but PREFERABLY prior to the beginning of the semester

  • Constitute the thesis committee. In consultation with the thesis advisor, choose two faculty members to serve as readers.
  • The readers should be carefully chosen: their disciplines and areas of expertise should be relevant to the thesis topic and ideally would complement the discipline and expertise of the advisor.
  • The advisor need not be from the Department, but a minimum of two committee members must be from the Global Studies and Geography department.
  • If an advisor from another Department is selected this needs prior approval from the Chair of the Department of Global Studies. This needs to be completed within the first week of the semester as the HCLAS Deans Office needs to be alerted so that the advisor gets paid.
  • The student should talk to the advisor and readers no later than these first two weeks and get a clear sense of what each committee member expects from the thesis.

Week 3 or earlier:

  • File the "Departmental Honors Thesis Committee Approval Form" in the office of the Department of Global Studies and Geography.
  • This form requires the signature of the student, the three members of the committee, and the Department Chair.
  • It should be filed together with a 1-page thesis proposal which includes a research topic and a brief bibliography.
  • No permission for honors will be approved after week 3 of a semester.

Weeks 4-8:

  • The student should work in close consultation with the thesis advisor.
  • They should also meet with the readers as needed.

Week 9 or earlier:

  • The student must give the advisor and readers a full draft of the thesis.

Weeks 10-11 or earlier:

  • The student keeps on editing and improving the draft.
  • During these two weeks the members of the committee will give feedback to the student to help polish the thesis.

Week 12 or earlier:

  • The student continues to edit the thesis.

Week 13 or earlier:

  • The final draft is given to the committee.
  • There must be a minimum of one week between the day in which the draft is turned in and the thesis defense.

Examination week or earlier:

  • Thesis defense.
  • Any additional changes must be made within one week of the defense.
  • The complete corrected thesis must be submitted as a PDF file to the entire committee and to the Department Chair.
  • An electronic copy of the thesis will be placed on our website.
  • No grade will be awarded prior to submitting the corrected thesis.

Students undertaking the Department honors option should be aware that it is open to only our most talented and committed students. We strongly encourage you to do this option, but it is also a commitment on your part to continue providing the type of excellent work that you have done in the past.

Part of this commitment is to meet all deadlines and complete the work within a given semester. Incompletes will only be granted under the most compelling of circumstances. We will do our utmost to make sure that we provide you with the guidance to complete your honors within the semester. The honors thesis is perfect preparation for graduate school or the challenges you will face in your career. We thus strongly hope that all eligible majors will embark on the honors process.

Grades for honors are as follows:

  • High Honors: Exceptional work, original, theoretically and empirically of the highest order,
  • Honors: Excellent work, deserving of Department Honors,
  • No honors: Work not completed or work not of honors caliber.