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Spanish Honors Program

The department gives seniors who do outstanding work in their majors the opportunity to pursue an individual research project on Spanish and/or Latin American literature and culture as the culmination of their intellectual work in the department. The approval and supervision of a faculty member is necessary. Since our faculty covers a diverse range of periods, geographies and theoretical approaches, students have a number of directions in which they can take their proposals.

The program is administered by the Department's Honors Committee which consists of the Honors Coordinator and two faculty appointed by the Chair. The research project culminates in an Honors thesis which together with the student's academic record, forms the basis for the committee's recommendation on awarding Honors. This recommendation is forwarded to the Weinberg Dean's Office, and the final decision is made by the Weinberg College Committee on Superior Students and Honors.

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Minimum Requirements for Participation in the Program


I. The student is invited by the department to consider participating in the Honors Program or s/he contacts a faculty member or the Honors coordinator to express her/his interest in pursuing Honors.

II. The student consults with a faculty member or the Honors coordinator and, together, they discuss the feasibility of an Honors project. The faculty member decides whether she/he is willing to serve as the project director. The honors coordinator assists the student in finding the appropriate adviser for the thesis.

III.  If a faculty member agrees to supervise the Honors Thesis, the student submits an Independent Study (399) for Honors Petition, with all supporting materials, to the Honors Coordinator who acknowledges the student’s candidacy to Honors.

IV. Normally, the student declares her/his intention of doing honors during Spring quarter of her/his junior year. Applications for honors may also be accepted during Fall quarter of the student’s senior year. The Independent Study courses for honors must be taken either during the Fall and Winter, or during the Winter and Spring quarters of the senior year.

V.  The Honors project director advises and assists the student during the research and writing phases of the project. The student selects a second reader for her/his thesis among the faculty of the department (or, if appropriate, another department) by the end of the first quarter of Independent Study. However, the student bears sole responsibility for the academic content and scholarly apparatus of the completed Honors Thesis.

VI. If, during the course of her/his work on the Honors project, the student has any questions that cannot be resolved by the thesis director, s/he may direct her/his concerns to the Honors Coordinator who will discuss the matter with the Honors Committee and propose appropriate and feasible solutions to the student.

VII. If, during the first quarter of an Independent Study (399) for Honors, the thesis director believes that the student's work has very little, if any, potential for achieving the quality required for Honors level work, she/he should inform the Honors Coordinator of her/his evaluation. The student may then complete the course and receive a grade for her/his work for that quarter, but in this case will not register for a second quarter of Independent Study (399) for Honors.

VIII. Upon completion, the Honors Thesis is submitted to the Honors Coordinator.

A. Both the director and the second reader write and present an evaluation of the student’s progress to the Honors Coordinator, with a recommendation about the awarding of Honors for the thesis.

B. The two members of the thesis committee (i.e., the first and second readers) evaluate the Honors Thesis and each submits a written evaluation of the thesis and a recommendation regarding the awarding of Honors. The Honors Coordinator will nominate a third reader and, in some cases, may also chose to read and evaluate the thesis, before making the final recommendation.

C. The Honors Coordinator sends written notification of the Honors Committee's decision to the student, the director and the second reader.

D. The Honors Coordinator submits the departmental nomination materials for the Honors candidate to the WCAS Committee on Superior Students and Honors, who make the final decision about the awarding of Honors.

IX. Students in a dual B.A./M.A. program may not submit their M.A. thesis as an Honors Thesis for the B.A.


Guidelines for honors thesis preparation

1. Description of the thesis

The thesis must constitute a significant contribution to the academic field of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and must consist substantially of independent research undertaken by the Honors candidate. A paper that merely reviews and summarizes a body of literature on a particular topic, or that presents a compilation of data and does not adequately interpret or apply such data, is not acceptable as an Honors Thesis.

2. Format and Structure

3. Deadline

The Honors Thesis must be submitted to the Department no later than April 30.