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Departmental Honors

The Departmental Honors Program is an opportunity for qualified students to complete a significant independent research project. Completing an Honors project can be one of the most academically rewarding experiences of a student's undergraduate career and can enhance career opportunities and graduate school applications.

Honors projects

  • extend over two semesters, and are worth a total of six credit hours,
  • are performed under the supervision of a faculty advisor, and
  • culminate in a written thesis and an oral defense before an examining committee.
See the Undergraduate Catalog for the rules and procedures that structure this program. Check out our collection of completed Honors projects.
How to complete an Honors project
  • Start here: check qualifications, know your topic, find an advisor, apply for admission
  • Honors 495: registration, working with your advisor, finding funding
  • Honors 496: examining committee, thesis, oral defense
  • Wrap-up: reporting of Honors level, archiving thesis
A Note on Latin Honors

To recognize outstanding academic achievement, William & Mary awards degrees summa cum laude (overall grade point average >3.80), magna cum laude (>3.65), and cum laude (>3.50). This honor is noted on the student’s diploma and on the academic transcript, and is not related to completion of a departmental Honors project.