Completing and Honors Thesis in History

To be certain that all requirements are met, honors candidates should review the Charles Center’s guidelines and the History Department’s “Honors Program” guidelines. The following dates are particularly
important. Please note that some History Department dates and deadlines (e.g., April 1 deadline for a complete final draft, oral exam deadline, etc.) precede those of the Charles Center.

  • Mid-January. A solid working draft of the entire thesis should be completed.
  • February 1. After consulting with the thesis director and other faculty members, the candidate should submit to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in History the names of faculty who have agreed to serve on the examination committee. Remember that committees must consist of at least three faculty members—two from History and one from another department or program.
  • April 1. A complete final draft of the entire thesis must be submitted to the thesis director.
  • Two weeks before the last day of classes. Copies of the final version of the completed thesis must be submitted to all members of the thesis committee. Sufficient time must be allowed for all members to read and comment on the thesis. Only minor editorial changes will be allowed to the document after this submission. The thesis must conform to the specifications outlined in the honors guidelines, though it need not be on acid-free paper at this stage.
  • Last two weeks of classes. The student must schedule an oral defense of the thesis to take place before the final day of classes or, at the latest, during the first three days of the examination period. Contact members of the thesis committee well in advance to determine dates of availability for the defense. Call, email, or go to the department office (Daneene Kelley, 221-3720, dmkelley@wm.edu, BLR 330) to reserve the department library for the oral defense.
  • On the day of the oral thesis examination, print the final cover page on acid-free paper to take to the defense, in order to obtain the signatures of the committee members upon completion of the defense.
  • Immediately after completing the oral examination, the student should bring the signed cover page to the department office for administrative copies to be made. The department will then notify the Charles Center of the level of Honors awarded.
  • No later than the last day of the exam period, one final corrected copies of the thesis, on acidfree paper and conforming to all specifications for the Honors thesis, must be submitted. One copy should be delivered to the Department of History office. Candidates must also complete Swem Library’s online submission form.
  • Failure to meet these deadlines and requirements may result in cancellation of the honors designation.
  • Final grades for History 495-496 will not be processed until both final corrected copies have been submitted.
  • The Department of History can arrange to have personal copies of the thesis bound at a cost of $40 per copy, which includes shipping. The student must provide the necessary copies of the thesis printed on acid free paper and pay for the binding in advance. A form is available in the department office to take to the Bursar’s Office along with the payment for the personal copies. Once payment is made, the student returns a copy of the receipt to the department office. The bound copies will be shipped directly from the bindery to the student’s home over the summer.