Honors Program

Anthropology majors with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade-point average and a 3.4 or better average in anthropology halfway through their junior year, may apply for honors to the Undergraduate Director in the spring term of their junior year or the first week of their senior year. Candidates who are accepted spend two terms (for 3 credits per term) writing an honors thesis under the supervision of their honors advisor, a faculty member in anthropology (or other qualified faculty chosen by the Undergraduate Director). Candidates give an oral defense of their thesis conducted by the advisor and at least one other faculty member in anthropology, toward the end of their senior year (IMPORTANT: this defense should take place around April 1, since the deadline for reporting honors outcomes to the various college and university deans is April 15th).

Students wishing to do this should start, in the spring semester of their junior year, by proposing a project to a particular faculty member (usually one with whom they have already studied) to be their honors advisor. If the faculty member agrees, the form available for downloading here should then be filled out and submitted to the Undergraduate Director, who will approve the application if the student meets all the requirements.

Sometime during the senior year, the advisor and the student should identify at least one other faculty member in anthropology (or from another field, as approved by the Undergraduate Director) who will read the completed honors thesis along with the advisor and participate in the oral. At the Oral Defense the advisor and other faculty member will decide if the project has been carried out well enough to deserve honors, and if so, at which of the following levels:

1. "Honors" is a considerable accomplishment and should be given to 60-70% of acceptable projects. (If a project does not merit basic honors but is adequate to earn a grade and credit for the work, the student can be re-registered for two independent studies, and retroactively graded, so as not to lose the six credits of senior year work.)

2. "High honors" should mark work that shows unusual excellence and/or effort in research and should be given to no more than 20-30% of the projects.

3. "Highest honors" should only be awarded very occasionally (once every few years) for work so good that it might be considered publishable in a scholarly journal.

In addition to department honors, senior honors projects are available through the colleges. (See above for more information on these honors programs.) If you chose to do one of these college-supported senior honors programs in anthropology, with a main advisor in anthropology, you will receive departmental honors for successful completion. To make sure we get word that you are doing this, after completing the college-level paperwork for these honors programs, please also make out the departmental form to ensure that you will receive department honors:
  pdf Honors Form (101 KB)

REMINDER -- to receive credit for honors in anthropology you must register for 01:070:497/498 with a special permission number from the Undergraduate Director.

Bigel Fellowship. Provides funds for undergraduate research projects. The goal of these grants are to fund travel, laboratory and other expenses for original research (e.g., as part of a Senior Honor's Thesis).

For an example of what one Anthropology professor expects from his honors students, read "A Guide to Honors and Independent Study with Dr. Lee Cronk."