The Department Honors program in Arts and Sciences is administered by the Charles Center for the Committee on Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The Application for Admission to Honors Study must be completed on this form, which will need to be printed and signed by the applicant, the Honors advisor, and the department Chair or program Director. Then turn the form into the Charles Center upon completion. For questions concerning Departmental Honors, please email [[jrcraft,Jabria Craft]].
Prospective candidates for the Department Honors program should first familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Honors program as described in this document and in the College catalog, and with any additional requirements or deadlines applicable in specific departments or programs.
I. REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO DEPARTMENTAL HONORS
A. Grade Point Average. A grade point average of either 3.0 (ungrounded) on a cumulative basis by the end of the junior year or 3.0 (ungrounded) for the junior year alone is required. Note that some departments/programs require a higher grade point average - students should check with their department/program to determine their eligibility.
B. Completion of the department/program approval process and submission of the Application for Admission for Department Honors with the signature of the student, the Honors advisor, and the department Chair (or program Director, if applicable) to the Charles Center. This Application form is due by Noon on the first day of class of the semester in which the student is to begin the Honors project.
The following timetable will be adhered to rigidly. Candidates are advised to plan ahead in order to avoid delays in thesis preparation involving research, writing, computers, etc.
The candidate is also responsible for checking with his or her home department and thesis director for any additional deadlines that may be applicable, and for meeting those deadlines. For example, a department or program may require that a draft of the entire thesis is ready for final corrections by April 1.
A. Eligibility Certification
B. Registration for Honors 495 and 496
C. Appointment of Examining Committee
*Please note that committee recommendations must be submitted by the department chair or program director (or their designated representative) and emails from students will not be accepted*
Once the committee recommendations are submitted the formal committee appointments will be made by the Charles Center through an email to the committee chair with copies to the remaining committee members and the Honors student.
Each examining committee must consist of three or more faculty members, with representation from at least two academic departments. Any current William and Mary faculty member who is eligible to assign grades may serve on an Honors committee, including visiting and adjunct faculty. Departments/programs have different methods of selecting faculty for committees. For example, in some departments the selection is centralized, in others, the selection is up to the thesis advisor and student. Students should ask their Honors advisor and/or department about the procedure for selecting faculty in their department or program.
D. Thesis Submission
E. Oral Examination
Please note: It is up to the student to schedule the defense date and time in coordination with all of the committee members and to arrange for a location for the defense. It is also the student's responsibility to remind the committee members of the date, time, and location of the defense. *The Charles Center does not schedule Honors defenses*
The exam will consist of an oral examination lasting at least one hour. The main purpose of the examination will be to ask questions about the honors thesis, but the candidate may also be asked to discuss other topics that are related to the thesis. Students should check with their advisors about the protocol for oral exams within the department or program.
The examining committee will determine if an honors designation will be awarded, and if so, at what level (Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors). In reaching its decision about awarding honors, the committee will be guided by the quality of the honors thesis and by the candidate's performance on the oral examination. Please note that the Art & Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental and Health Sciences, Government, International Relations, Kinesiology & Health Science, Film & Media Studies, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychological Sciences, Public Policy, and Religious Studies departments/programs assign only Honors (rather than High or Highest) to successful projects. Geology only awards Honors and High Honors to successful projects.
G. Reporting of Level of Honors
In addition, the Honors thesis advisor must submit an online form reporting the level of Honors. Advisors will receive email instructions on how to do so prior to the deadlines.
Please note: The Charles Center requires only a copy of the signed cover sheet, not the original. Honors students should take at least one cover sheet to the defense in order to collect the signatures of the committee members.
H. Submission of the Thesis to Archives
Students are *required* to submit electronic copies (commonly called ETDs) to W&M Libraries' online scholarship platform, W&M ScholarWorks.
The deadlines for Honors students to upload the final version of their thesis, including the signature cover sheet, to W&M ScholarWorks are:
To see full instructions and to submit your thesis, click here.
Note: The student and/or the department may elect to have additional acid-free copies bound at their own expense. Please check with the department or program to find out its specific policy regarding binding. Swem Library does not coordinate binding of theses.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Failure to meet these deadlines may result in the loss of honors*
III. CREDIT AND INCOMPLETE GUIDELINES
A. Successful Honors Projects
B. Unsuccessful Honors Projects
1. If it becomes evident before the end of the first term that the student will not complete the project, either
2. If the project continues into the second semester and it then becomes evident that the project will not be completed by the submission deadline (two weeks before the last day of classes of the student's graduating semester), the faculty advisor must either:
3. If upon reading the thesis the members of the examining committee decide that the thesis does not merit honors and elect not to examine the student, or if, upon completion of the oral defense the examination committee determines that the thesis does not merit honors, the advisor must change Honors 495 and 496 to appropriate alternatives (by submitting this form) and award the student grades for these courses.