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Anthropology and Museum Studies

Handbook: Honors

The honors program in anthropology is open to students in all the BA programs, and all majors are urged to consider applying.

The honors program is designed to facilitate individualized research and study in a sub-area of anthropology. It is open to students with a major GPA of 3.00; honors students are eligible to graduate "with honors in anthropology." Application should be made during the sophomore or junior year, no later than spring quarter of the junior year.

Unlike ordinary majors, who meet faculty members primarily in classes, honors candidates work closely with a faculty advisor on an independent research project, culminating in an honors thesis. Those students wishing to apply to the honors program should select an advisor and a research topic before submitting a formal application. Students may often wish to combine summer fieldwork projects or internships with an honors paper on that work.

Application to the Honors Program is through the student's major advisor. A program proposal is developed with the advisor and presented for approval to the department faculty. If the program is approved the student will work with a specific faculty member on the proposed project. Normally such programs include at least 10 credits of directed individual study for the honors thesis, as well as focused research in connection with regular departmental coursework. Further information on the program is available from the Department Chair.

The following outline of the honors program summarizes the steps a student should follow to earn the undergraduate degree with departmental honors:

  1. When you are a sophomore or junior standing you may apply for admission to the honors program by submitting a description of your proposed research topic, a short paper, and a letter of recommendation from the professor who will supervise your honors program.
  2. Applications are reviewed by the Department acting as a committee-of-the-whole, which approve you to become a candidate for honors.
  3. Throughout your junior/senior year, you work closely with your advisors to plan and conduct the research and then to write the honors paper. If you have done a summer project you will probably be basing the honors paper on that work.

Your honors paper is to be completed no later than spring quarter of your senior year. The final version is submitted to the student's advisor in May (or November or February 15 for those receiving degrees in Fall or Winter quarters, respectively). The paper is read and evaluated by the advisor. If the paper is judged of honors quality (letter grade of A or A- from both readers) a presentation will be made to the departmental committee of the whole, who will, if accepted, award honors. A copy is kept on permanent file in the Anthropology Reading Room.

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