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Honors Program

The Honors Program in African American Studies provides exceptionally qualified students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research in the African American Studies-related fields of their greatest interest. Under the supervision of a chosen faculty member, students will produce original research that should be their crowning academic achievement as an undergraduate, help to prepare them for graduate school, and promote scholarly excellence in the field of African American Studies.

Honors Submission Form



Students majoring in African American Studies must maintain a 3.50 overall grade point average and apply for the Honors Program at the end of their junior year.


Students selected for the Honors Program must:

  • Complete an honors course in research methods (AAS 495A, fall semester)
  • Complete an honors thesis while enrolled in AAS 495B (spring semester)
  • Defend the thesis orally (spring semester)
  • Complete a graduate course or seminar (fall or spring semester)

Students interested in the Honors Program should, in the spring semester of their junior year, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies and identify a faculty member to serve as their advisor for the project. (In consultation with their advisors, students should begin their background research during the summer after their junior year.) Students will complete a course in research methods (a special honors course, AAS 495) during the fall semester of their senior year. This course will include the writing of the proposal for the research project. Students then will write the honors thesis during the spring semester of their senior year.

Students subsequently will defend the thesis. The oral defense will be conducted by the thesis director and a faculty committee consisting of one additional member of the core faculty of African American Studies and a faculty member from another department.

In addition to writing a thesis, students will be required to take a graduate seminar in any discipline related to African American Studies and to the students' area of study.

Students also are required to attend the meetings and events administered by the College for all Honors Program students, and must abide by all College Honors regulations in order to remain in the program. Furthermore, student and faculty advisor must agree on their method of working together and on a schedule, and the student must satisfy any additional requirements stipulated by the faculty advisor.

The final draft of the thesis must be submitted by mid-April to the Thesis Committee. The thesis must be defended orally before the Thesis Committee and submitted to the College Honors Committee by the established deadline.

Students must comply with all of the requirements for the preparation and binding of the thesis. Information on these requirements is available from the Honors Program Office.