Senior Honors in Anthropology

The Honors Program for majors in Anthropology offers the superior student an opportunity to pursue in-depth independent research under direct supervision of faculty. Honors work involves the opportunity to analyze seminal theoretical issues in the discipline; to deploy anthropological research methodology in data collection and analysis; and to complete a substantial written thesis of scholarly merit. Engagement in the Honors process begins in the fall semester of the junior year.

If admitted to the Honors Program, the student prepares a thesis during the senior year under the supervision of the Thesis Director, and carries out a defense through a comprehensive oral examination by three or more faculty examiners. If the candidate successfully completes the program, he or she will be granted the award of Honors, High Honors or Highest Honors.

Students who wish to register for Honors should consult with a faculty member early in their junior year. At this time, it's good to discuss problem definition, appropriate methodology, and so on. Students typically select as their Thesis Director a faculty member who is familiar with their work and who is knowledgeable about the research topic. The exact course of study, including the readings, the schedule and plan for any field or laboratory research, the types of written assignments, deadlines, and the time and location of weekly meetings, is decided in consultation with the Thesis Director.

A Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Anthropology is awarded based on completion of the following: general requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts; submission of the completed Honors Thesis by the designated deadline during the student's senior year; and presentation and defense of the thesis before an Examining Committee comprised of the Thesis Director, another faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, and a third faculty member from outside the Department. The award of Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors is determined by the Examining Committee.


To be eligible to apply for Honors, a student must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in Anthropology and a 3.0 cumulative GPA overall at the time of application, or, must obtain special permission of the Committee on Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies, which will consider appeals only when initiated by the Department as well as by the student.

Additional Key Information

Course enrollment with the Thesis Director: The Honors Thesis Director must be an Anthropology faculty member who is either tenured or tenure-eligible, a Research professor, or a continuing faculty member of the Department. Each faculty member may enroll only two Honors students per year.

The Examining Committee: The Examining Committee is composed of at least three members: the Thesis Director (committee chair); one additional faculty member from Anthropology who must be either a tenured or tenure-eligible faculty member, a Research Professor, or a continuing faculty member; and a faculty member from outside of Anthropology. A fourth member may occasionally be added to serve on the Examining Committee. The student consults with the Thesis Director before inviting other faculty members to join the examining committee.

Approval of the Examining Committee: The final selection of the Examining Committee must be approved by the Undergraduate Committee.

Contact Information

For any questions or to submit material, please contact [[blweis, Prof. Weiss]], Director of Undergraduate Studies and Chair of the Undergraduate Committee.