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Going for honors? Here is what you need to know...

The honors program in Religious Studies involves a larger research project and lengthier process from inception to completion than the regular capstone experience. In addition, students must meet several prerequisites in order to apply to the honors track.

Students applying to fulfill their capstone by writing an Honors Thesis in Religious Studies must begin developing their topic and preparing their application no later than spring quarter of the junior year. The Honors Thesis is a 40-80 page research paper, supported by a mastery of primary and secondary scholarship, that advances a well-reasoned, supportable thesis.

Applicants for honors must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in Religious Studies courses, and at least 3.2 overall, at the time of application in May of junior year. They must also already have demonstrated success in writing research papers. Students meeting these prerequisites are strongly encouraged to enroll in units of RELIGST 199 with a potential thesis advisor (who must be a regular member of the Religious Studies faculty) during spring quarter junior year to develop the proposal and gather other materials for the application, which is due on May 31. Students interested in projects involving the use of living human subjects must have completed approved coursework in qualitative research methods by the end of spring quarter and obtain IRB approval for their projects, if needed, before engaging in this research.

Students whose applications to write an Honors Thesis have been approved enroll in 3-5 units of RELIGST 297 in autumn and winter of the senior year. They meet with their thesis advisor weekly in autumn and weekly or bi-weekly in winter quarter as they research and draft. A complete rough draft of the paper is due the first day of spring quarter. Revisions are undertaken in the Senior Colloquium (RELIGST 298), the required capstone course taken in the spring quarter. Honors Theses are due the second Wednesday in May. The Honors Thesis is read and graded by the student’s thesis advisor and one other member of the Religious Studies faculty assigned by the DUS. Theses earning a grade of ‘B+’ or above receive honors.

For further information, contact the DUS or the Director of senior capstone research for Religious Studies.