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The Honors Program in Chinese Studies is an opportunity to complete a year-long research project under the direction of a thesis advisor. Honors students must have an overall GPA of 3.0, and a strong record in Chinese Studies. Admission to the Honors Program depends on the strength of your academic record and the proposal. We also consider other factors, such as being able to find a thesis advisor.

You will complete your Honors project over the course of your last year at W&M, but the entire process takes two years. Check out the completed projects.

Stage 1: Junior year: Apply for admission to the Honors Program
  • Meet with the Director of Chinese Studies during the fall semester of the junior year. During this meeting you will discuss your ideas for a project, and find a thesis advisor.
  • Submit an application to the Program Director by March 15 of your junior year. If student is studying abroad, the student should contact the Program Director and declare intent to do honors at this time.
Stage 2: Junior year: Apply for the Senior Honors Sequence (CHIN 495-496)
  • The Charles Center coordinates all applications to the Honors Program. Follow their process for completing your application.
  • If you plan on applying for an Honors Fellowship, your applications both for entry into the Honors program and for the Fellowship is due early in the spring semester before your senior year. If you don't apply for a Fellowship, the Honors application is due on the first day of the semester you intend to enroll in CHIN 495 (usually the first day of the fall semester).
  • If admitted into the program, the Charles Center will enroll you in CHIN 495. Typically, this will be in the fall of your senior year. If you are making good progress, you will be enrolled in CHIN 496 for the spring of your senior year.
  • You should begin the research for your thesis during the summer between your junior and senior year.
Stage 3: Senior year: The thesis
  • You will spend the year working with a thesis advisor on a project while enrolled in CHIN 495-496.
  • You may write your Chinese Studies Honors thesis in English.
  • In the fall of the senior year, you will ask at least two faculty members to serve on your examining committee. Each examining committee must consist of three or more faculty members. One member will be your advisor. The others must represent at least two academic departments. Any current faculty member who is eligible to assign grades may serve on an Honors committee, including visiting and adjunct faculty. You should meet with each committee member to discuss your project.
  • The thesis is due by mid-April of your senior year (two weeks before the end of spring classes). Submission of your thesis is followed by an oral examination (before the last day of spring classes). Your examining committee determines the level of honors (no honors, Honors, High Honors, Highest Honors) and assigns a grade for CHIN 496. Your thesis advisor also then assigns a grade for CHIN 495.

For more detailed guidelines, contact the Program Director and please refer to the Honors Guidelines published by the Charles Center. Information about honors fellowships and support for research is also available from the Charles Center.