Graduation with Honors
As is the case of students who pursue degrees within traditional departments, it is possible for those with Individualized Interdepartmental majors to receive their degrees with honors. To be awarded a degree with honors is the College's way of acknowledging the achievements of the truly outstanding students in each year's graduating class.
Criteria for Honors
The awarding of honors is determined by three criteria:
- HONORS COURSEWORK: Successful completion of twelve credits of honors coursework. Specifically, honors students complete two 4-credit independent study courses in the senior year, one devoted to honors research in the fall (XXX 391 Independent Study), and another devoted to thesis writing in the spring (XXX 393 Senior Project). In addition, students complete one 4-credit, advanced level course or seminar. With input from the student and the thesis adviser, this course will be designated by the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Concentrations (CIIC). All three courses may count toward the student's concentration.
- THE SENIOR THESIS: The senior thesis is an extensive and substantial report of a project completed during the senior year. It may be based in part on work performed before the senior year. The thesis should represent original thought or an exceptional conceptualization of a problem. It is expected to exceed what might be considered an A paper for a seminar course. The completed thesis may be in whatever format is considered appropriate to its subject, and will be evaluated according to the criteria of excellence normally applied in that area.
- ORAL DEFENSE OF THE THESIS: The student presents and defends the arguments of the thesis before the professors who read and evaluated the thesis. The oral defense is open to the UR public and the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs will assist in publicizing the defense. The student is to notify the Center well in advance of the date of the Defense.
Applying for Honors
A degree with honors is awarded to students who specifically pursue it and arrange to complete all of the requirements. Students plan carefully in order to meet these requirements according to the time frame specified below. The staff and faculty involved in the Interdepartmental Majors program can assist students in the planning process, but students should understand that it is their responsibility to ensure that each of the requirements is met on time.
Deadlines for the Completion of Honors Requirements
- Find a faculty member willing to serve as your adviser (first reader) on the proposed thesis. The thesis adviser must have expertise in the topic area of the proposed thesis and must be a full-time faculty member or have adjunct faculty status.
- November 1st:
- Prepare a three- to five-page prospectus of your thesis project, plus an initial bibliography. Have your adviser sign it to indicate his or her endorsement. Submit the prospectus to the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs (Lattimore 206) by November 1st. The Director of the Center will then evaluate your application and may approve it, disapprove it or approve it subject to specific modifications or recommendations.
- The Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Concentrations (CIIC) will then appoint a second reader for your thesis. Both readers will be asked to evaluate the thesis and make recommendations regarding honors after the oral defense.
- Spring Semester:
- The revised four- to eight-page prospectus with signatures of both readers is due in Lattimore 206 by Friday of the first week of classes in the spring semester if you plan to graduate at the end of the spring semester.
- Complete the work involved in the thesis under the supervision of both readers and prepare your report. Your readers should have ample opportunity to see early drafts of your report so that their suggestions can be incorporated in the final version. Copies of the final thesis should be given to both readers and a copy registered in the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs.
- The final draft of the thesis must be registered no later than four Fridays before commencement if you plan to graduate at the end of the spring semester.
- Schedule an oral defense of your thesis with your two readers and inform the staff in the Center when and where it will be held. They will send a formal notice of the defense to your two readers, who, after the defense, will send a recommendation to the CIIC regarding the award of honors. The staff of the CSAIP will publicize the defense.
- The recommendations of the readers must be received in Lattimore 206 no later than two Fridays before commencement if you plan to graduate at the end of the spring semester.
- The last step is the responsibility of the Committee. The CIIC will make a decision concerning honors. It will consider your thesis and the recommendations of the two readers to determine whether honors should be awarded. You will be contacted by the Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs prior to graduation and informed of the committee's action.