Qualified seniors have the opportunity to participate in the Honors Program. Students selected for this program will take a graduate seminar, complete an honors thesis, and will defend that thesis in an oral examination.  Successful Honors candidates are awarded the degree with honors, high honors, or highest honors. Qualified individuals are presented with fourrageres to be worn at Commencement.  There are also mandatory College requirements in the Fall and Spring semesters, including meetings, deadlines for degree applications, and the electronic submission of the thesis. 

Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Honors Program Recommendations

Step 1: Rules and Application. Click here for the Honors Application.

  • Submit your application by the deadline 
  • Students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA must apply for admission their junior year. Students must submit a writing sample (preferably a research paper) and a 1 paragraph description of their proposed research topic.
  • Students without a 3.5 GPA may still apply to the WGS Honors Program but must obtain a faculty sponsor who has agreed to serve as their Honors Advisor in order to do so. 

Human Subjects Research and IRB Applications: Students whose research projects involve human subjects must obtain IRB approval for their project before beginning their research. The IRB application must be submitted by your faculty advisor two months prior to the start date for your research.

Step 2: Faculty Evaluations after application submission

  • The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) will solicit evaluations from at least two of the WGS faculty (core and associated) who have had the student in a class.
  • Students who have not taken WGS courses must obtain a faculty sponsor.

Step 3: Acceptance into the Honors Program.

  • Students will receive a decision by March.
  • The DUS will inform the applicant in writing of her/his acceptance.
  • Accepted students without the required 3.5 GPA will be admitted provisionally and must successfully petition the College Honors Committee for a waiver of this requirement.

Step 4: Select a Thesis Advisor and Project Proposal deadline. Click here for the submission form.

  • Identify a thesis advisor and submit a project proposal your junior year.
  • Your thesis advisor must be a WGS core or associated faculty member.
  • Students who do not meet the deadline will be dropped from the program.

Thesis: Honors work must both display interdisciplinary scholarship on gender, sexuality and/or women, and engage the themes, texts, principles, approaches, or methods of an additional discipline.

Step 5: Register for WGS 495 (Honors Research) and satisfying progress.

  • Students must register for WGS 495 (Honors Research) both semesters the senior year.
  • Students must make satisfactory progress as judged by their thesis advisor.
  • Students must also maintain a 3.5 overall GPA to remain in the Honors Program.

Step 6: Register for a Graduate Course.

  • Review offered courses and descriptions
  • Select a course and email the Professor for permission
  • Request a registration access code. Forward the professor's approval email to the WGS Graduate Coordinator, Marybeth Smith 

Step 7: Committee Formation. Click here for the Honors Thesis Committee Form.

  • This committee will guide the student's independent research on a topic and will judge the quality of the completed Honors Thesis and the student's defense of the thesis in an oral examination.
  • Students must choose two additional faculty members to serve on their Honors committee their senior year.
  • Additional members should include a member of the WGS core or associated faculty who is not a member of the advisor's department and one other member of the faculty.

Step 8: Oral Thesis Defense. Click here for the Oral Defense schedule.

  • Students must submit their completed thesis to their thesis committee no later than April.
  • Students must successfully defend their thesis in an oral examination before their thesis committee no later than April.