145. Honors At Graduation

.1 Honors to be awarded. The B.A. degree may be awarded with honors of two kinds: Specialized Honors (in a major field) and General Honors. General Honors may be awarded in three grades: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. The various honors shall be awarded by the faculty upon the recommendation of the Committee on Honors. When earned in due course, the statement of honors awarded at graduation shall carry both the Latin designation and the English citation.

.2 No candidate shall be recommended for honors who has fewer than four semesters’ residence in the College or whose qualifying cumulative average is based upon fewer than 52 semester hours of credit. (CF 65-28)

.3 Requirements for Specialized Honors. Specialized Honors may be awarded in only one area. The diploma shall carry the designation “With honors (in a specific major field or area).” The requirements for specialized honors shall be:

  • a) An overall cumulative average of 3.2 or higher (a minimum of 3.1 for invitation in the middle of the junior year) and a cumulative average of 3.5 in the courses included in the major.
  • b) A thesis voted, at the completion of a defense, by the thesis committee as “worthy of honor.”
  • c) Students wishing to receive course credit for honors must enroll in Honors 109, 110, or both except in those cases where a departmental research course is substituted.
  • d) The student completes honors work in his/her last 2 semesters at Drew. (CLA 96-4)

146. Honors Thesis

a) In the spring of the junior year, qualified juniors will be invited by the Dean and Director of the Honors Program to apply to do honors during the senior year.  A student who does not meet the GPA requirement for honors may, with the strong support of the major department or program, petition the Committee to begin honors work.  However, if the petition is granted the student must, by graduation, have met the GPA requirement for honors to be awarded.

b) Using the honors application form, a candidate for Specialized Honors must present to the Honors Committee the subject of his or her proposed thesis approved by an adviser in his or her major. This proposed topic shall be subject to reasonable change if the candidate and his or her adviser deem it necessary as the work progresses.

c) Honor Candidates must participate in the Fall Honors Colloquium, the purpose of which is to bring young scholars together and to encourage the development of theses of high quality.  The Honors Colloquium shall be administered by the Honors Committee under its chair.

d) A final draft of the thesis shall be due to all members of the Committee during the ninth week of the spring semester.  The thesis shall be read by all members of the candidate’s thesis committee.  Committee members shall take into account substance, documentation, organization, and style. If a thesis is unsatisfactory in any one of these areas, it may be rejected on that ground alone. A thesis does not necessarily need to contain original research or a fresh contribution to knowledge, although either of these, especially if of appreciable substance, will merit high praise. The thesis will be expected, however, either to give fresh statement to a subject of intellectual importance upon which there is room for difference of opinion, or to report an investigation of some magnitude and difficulty and to explain the significance of the findings to general knowledge in the area of the investigation.  It should demonstrate the student’s intellectual comprehension of the subject about which he/she is writing and mastery of writing skills appropriate to the discipline.

e) The thesis in its final form shall conform to the requirements of a style manual appropriate to the field of research.  One laser printed copy of the accepted thesis on durable paper and in a form acceptable  to the Director of the University Library must be deposited in the  Library before the degree with honors can be conferred. The final copy shall be accompanied by:  a summary or abstract of not more than 600 words and a memo from the adviser confirming that all required revisions have been made.  The Librarian will notify the Registrar when this has been done and will arrange for binding the thesis.

f) Honors candidates who do not complete their work or who fail to meet the GPA requirement for honors to be awarded may, with the approval of the adviser, petition the Committee on Academic Standing to receive independent study credit for the honors work.  The amount of credit awarded will be determined by the adviser.

147. Honors Thesis Defense

The conduct of the honors defense, required of candidates for honors shall be the responsibility of the Honors Committee. Requirements for the defense shall include the following:

.1 The defense occurs between the date on which theses are due and the date on which the final copies must be presented to the Library for honors to be awarded.  The defense must be scheduled no sooner than 1 week after the date on which a final draft of the thesis is received by the Committee.  The honors candidate is responsible for scheduling the defense at a time convenient to all members of the Committee.  The defense date shall be announced publicly to the University community.

.2 The Thesis Committee shall consist of four members:  the adviser, two additional members selected by the student in consultation with the adviser, one faculty member from the student’s department/program, and the other a faculty member from a different department without regard to division; the chair of the defense, appointed by the Honors Committee and selected from among Honors Committee members not in the student’s division.  By the second week of the second semester, honors candidates must submit the names and signatures of the three members they have selected to the Honors Committee.

.3 The defense shall be approximately one hour in duration unless, in the judgment of the Committee, more time is desirable, in which event the defense may be extended.  Defenses shall be open to members of the faculty and to students in the College and, with the permission of the chair, to guests of the candidate. At the conclusion of the defense, all who are not members of the faculty shall leave the place of examination.

.4 Three of the four members of the Committee must vote the thesis “worthy of honors: for the honors to be awarded. (CLA 96-4)