Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics

Departmental Honors Program

Highly qualified majors in Religion, Philosophy, and Classics may choose to graduate with Departmental Honors. The student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a GPA in the major of at least a 3.5.

In order to obtain Departmental Honors, the student must successfully complete an Honors project. It is expected that the student will have significant course work in the area being investigated.The project will usually extend over two consecutive terms and earn six hours of credit upon its successful completion. The project will normally culminate in the writing of a major research paper (25-30 pages) or a series of related shorter papers during the second term and an oral defense of the project with the department faculty. A letter grade will be assigned to the two-term project as a whole, based essentially on the written project.


  1. Consult with the department chairperson who will explain the policy and suggest an appropriate faculty advisor.
  2. Discuss the proposed project with the suggested faculty member.
  3. Draft a concise statement on the scope and purpose of the project.
  4. Compile a preliminary bibliography of books and articles.
  5. Submit a request for the approval of the Honors project and an application for independent study to the department faculty.
  6. Establish with the faculty advisor the precise goals to be achieved by the end of the first term in order to continue the project into the second term.
  7. Meet regularly with the advisor to discuss readings, explore possible topics, refine ideas and work toward articulating a thesis, outline, and bibliography by the end of the term.
  8. If the faculty advisor and the student agree to continue the project for a second term, submit a brief progress report and another application for independent study to the department. If the proposal has undergone a major change, departmental approval must be obtained.
  9. Early in the second term, students preparing a written research paper must submit their working outlines to the department faculty for their information and constructive criticism.
  10. Continue regular meetings with the faculty advisor to explore further research and criticize drafts of the final project.
  11. Submit enough copies of the final project for each member of the department. Written projects should generally be 25-30 pages in length and should follow consistently a standard style manual such as Turabian (Chicago) or the Modern Language Association.


  1. Normally an Honors project should be completed one full term before the student expects to graduate. The final project should be submitted to the department one week before the end of classes. In the exceptional case when an Honors project is being completed in the term the student expects to graduate, the final project should be submitted at least two weeks before the end of the term.
  2. Independent study applications, using the course number 4970 (Senior Project), should be submitted to the departmental office by the beginning of the ninth week of classes in the term prior to the term in which the project will be pursued. For projects beginning in the Fall term, the application should be received no later than one week before the start of classes.
  3. The progress report and second application for independent study should be submitted to the chair at the beginning of the ninth week of the first term.
  4. Notify the University Honors Program upon successful completion of the project to insure that graduation with Honors is recognized.

Application and Policy

Honors Application and Policy (PDF)


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