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Department Honors

The Departmental Honors program provides qualifying students of studio art and the history of art with an opportunity of intellectual and creative stimulation and development through independent study. The Departmental Honors Program is administered by the Charles Center. Students admitted to the program may, as a result of distinguished work, be awarded the A.B. Degree with Honors. Students interested in the program should consult the College Catalog and the guidelines published by the Charles CenterAlso, please check the Charles Center website for summer funding deadlines.

You might also want to take a look at previous Honors projects in Art and Art History.

A summary of the overall requirements and of those in effect in the Department of Art and Art History:

  1. Eligibility is contingent upon a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the junior year or a 3.0 for the junior year alone, unless permission to enter the program is granted by the Committee on Honors and Experimental Programs. This committee will consider only proposals submitted by student and recommended by the Department. Honors in Art and Art History may not be undertaken by students engaged in practice teaching.
  2. An admission to the program is granted when the Charles Center has determined the student's eligibility and when written proposals for research have been approved by all members of the faculty of Art and Art History. Students are expected to have sufficient prior study of the subject or area proposed for research, which should be so defined as to permit in-depth study. The recommended deadline for a fall honors program is the last day of classes of the second semester of the Junior Year. It must be submitted to the proposed advisor who will bring it before the Faculty for consideration at the next departmental meeting.
  3. Continuance in the program depends upon maintaining a high-standard of work which will be determined by the student's advisor. Both advisor and student may consult with the Department's Educational Policy Committee or with the faculty of the Department as a whole in any review of work.

Students awarded the A. B. Degree with Honors must complete six hours of credit in Art and Art History 495-496, complete the general degree requirements, present an Honors essay or project acceptable to their Honors Committee by the deadline established by the Charles Center, and perform satisfactorily in their oral examination. Each Honors essay, project, and oral examination will be judged by the Honors Committee which shall be comprised of at least three members, two of whom are members of the Department of Art and Art History (one serving as the advisor), and one from another department within in the university.   

This committee shall be appointed by the Director of the Roy R. Charles Center in the candidate's final semester upon recommendation of the Honors Advisor. The latter committee shall consult with the student and his/her advisor about membership on the Honors Committee and it may review the progress of the student's work.

The Honors Committee shall determine the award, taking into consideration the recommendation of the student's advisor and the student's defense of his/her essay or project. All students and faculty of W&M are eligible to attend, but not participate in these proceedings which must be announced by April 15. Honors shall be awarded for work judged essentially comparable to first year graduate work. In the event a project or essay does not meet the minimum requirements for Honors, the student's advisor will determined the grade in Art and Art History 495-496. Normally, it is expected that a grade of A be awarded in these courses for Honors.

Honor Students in Art and Art History will conform to the standards established by W&M in their essays, research papers, or supporting statements. The following specifications for Honors theses are stated by the Roy R. Charles Center.

More detailed guidelines regarding these requirements can be found on the Charles Center’s website under II. Timetable / H. Submission of the Thesis to Archives.

  1. An electronic copy, the original and three copies of the Honors thesis must be submitted. You are required to submit an electronic copy to W&M Libraries’ online scholarship platform, W&M ScholarWorks.The original; the first copy will be kept by the Department, the second, by the advisor, the third, by the student.

  2. A binding margin of 1 ½ inches must be provided on the left side of each page. All other margins must be at least one inch.
  3. The original copy must be on white acid-free 20 pound weight or heavier, 8 ½” x 11” bond paper. “Erasable Bond” is not acceptable. Rag content is not a criterion. If it does not say acid-free, assume it is not. Copies must be photocopied.
  4. Any illustration included in the thesis must include slides in the library copy and slides or photocopies of photographs of theses in the others. Any original maps or diagrams must be executed in indelible ink or paint.
  5. The title page must conform to the format prescribed by the College Committee on Honors and Experimental Programs.

Students undertaking Honors in Studio Art shall have an exhibition of their Honors Thesis artwork during the second semester of the thesis project (see thesis advisor and gallery director to schedule exact dates). In addition, Studio Art Honors students shall submit a written thesis containing images of their artworks, either embedded in the text of the document or in an appendix. Images should be high resolution, full color, and representative of the original works. At least one week prior to the defense, students shall also submit their written thesis (images included) to the Thesis Advisor and Honors Thesis Committee members. Following the thesis defense, the student shall address any suggestions made by the committee to edit the written component. After the appropriate adjustments have been made, the student shall submit a digital version of the document (images included) to SWEM (see #1 above).