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    Newly Revised Honors Thesis Guideline



    Purpose:  The Honors Thesis in Women's Studies seeks to encourage independent feminist thought and research among outstanding undergraduate majors in WMST.

    Eligibility:  Women's Studies majors who wish to write an honors thesis must have a GPA of at least 3.5 and the endorsement of a faculty advisor who is willing to direct the honors thesis.  Whenever possible, the student should choose as an honor's advisor a faculty member with whom he or she has taken at least one class.  Students must secure the advisor's consent, and ideally the consent of at least one committee member, and declare their intention to write an honors thesis in the spring semester of their junior year.  Proposals must be approved by the Chair of the WMST Department no later than the last day of classes of their junior year.  (See Attachment A)

    In consultation with the thesis advisor, the student will carefully define, pursue and complete a substantive research project of approximately 30-40 pages plus bibliography and endnotes.  It is expected that the student will work in close consultation with the advisor throughout the process of conceptualizing, researching and writing the honors thesis during his/her senior year.

    Program:  In the fall semester of the senior year, the student will enroll in WMST 695 (3 credits) followed by WMST 691 (3 credits) in the spring semester. Honors thesis students enrolled in WMST 695 are expected to engage with the materials and assignments in the course. The primary goal, however, for the honors thesis student in WMST 695 is to produce a draft chapter of the honors thesis project. While enrolled in WMST 695, the student will meet with the faculty advisor once a week.  During the spring semester consultation will occur as needed.  At the close of each semester, the faculty advisor will award a grade for three credit hours of work completed according to the following schedule:

    Fall Semester:

    In the first few weeks of the semester, the student will devise, in consultation with the thesis advisor, a detailed workplan to be submitted to the Chair of Women's Studies for approval (See Attachment B).  The first stage of the work plan will most likely be a preliminary bibliography to be followed, sometime before Thanksgiving, by a lengthier, annotated bibliography and an outline or prospectus in which the student will define the problem to be addressed and outline the approach to be used.  It is important that the student begin the writing process in some form before the close of the fall semester.

    Spring Semester:

    The student will continue writing according to the established timetable.  (See model Workplan in Attachment B). 

    Mechanics:  The student should follow rules of style and format described in the MLA Style handbook or the University of Chicago Manual of Style.

    Thesis Defense:  Successful completion of the honors work does not automatically confer honors in WMST.  Once the student has submitted his or her honors thesis to the faculty advisor, a committee composed of the advisor and two additional faculty members will review the thesis and conduct an oral defense of about one hour in length.  After having determined whether the thesis justifies the award of honors, the committee will recommend to the Chair of the Department of WMST whether the student should be awarded a degree "with honors" or, in rare cases, "with highest honors."  (See Attachment C).  The award "with highest honors" indicated superior achievement in all aspects of the student's honors work.

    Following the oral examination, the student will make any changes deemed necessary by the committee members and submit one unbound copy of the finished thesis prepared according to the "Guidelines for the Submission of Honors Essays" (please refer to the Honors Program’s website: to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. An additional bound copy should be given to the Women's Studies Department for our library.

    Funding: The Honors Program offers financial awards to support honors thesis research (please see Funding is also available through the of Office of Undergraduate Research (please see





    Initial Contract

    (Must be filed in the Spring Semester of the student's junior year)*.


    Date:   ________________




    Campus Address:  ___________________________________________


    GPA: ________ PID:_________________________


    Brief description of proposed topic (to be written after consultation with faculty advisor): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




         Faculty Advisor:_________________________Date: ___________


    Committee Member(s): (encouraged, but not required at this stage)


             ___________________________________Date: ___________

             ___________________________________Date: ___________

    Chair of Women's Studies:______________________________

    Date:                                    _______________________________ 


    *Students will make three copies of this form. One is given to the faculty advisor, one is turned in to the Student Services Manager and one is kept as a personal copy.


                                                    ATTACHMENT B



    (Must be filed during the first two weeks of the Fall semester of the student's senior year).


    Date: ____________________


    Student's Name: _____________________________________

    Honors Thesis Advisor: ________________________________

    Committee Members: _________________________________


    Topic of Study:  _________________________________________


    Detailed Workplan

    (Please indicate a series of due dates as appropriate to your project.  The following is a model that may be adjusted by the student and the advisor.

    Model:                                    Student's Workplan

    Fall Semester:                    Fall Semester: 

    First week of October:         Preliminary bibliography  due                     

    Before Thanksgiving break:  Preliminary outline of thesis or prospectus

                                            due, including annotated bibliography

    First week of Dec:               Student to begin writing  

    Spring Semester:                Spring Semester:

    First week of February:        Rough draft of first 15-20 pages due

    First week of April:              Final draft of the thesis due          


    Student and Faculty advisor to follow the Honors Program’s deadline for submission. This deadline changes yearly. For most accurate information, please see: enrolled/research.html?start=2               


    Student:__________________________________ Date: _____________

    Faculty Advisor:____________________________ Date: _____________


    Members:_________________________________ Date: _____________

                 _________________________________ Date: _____________


    *Students will make three copies of this form. One is given to the faculty advisor, one is turned in to the Student Services Manager in Women's Studies and one is kept as a personal copy.

                                                                                                                                           ATTACHMENT C

    Honors Thesis in Women's Studies*

    Student's Name: ______________________________________

    Title of Honor's Thesis: _________________________________


    Faculty Advisor: _______________________________________

    Committee Members: ___________________________________


     The Committee judges that the student has:


     _____not passed

    the defense of the Honor's Thesis.  We recommend that the student be awarded her/his degree   

    _____with Honors 

    _____with Highest Honors



    Faculty Advisor: ______________________________________

    Committee Members: __________________________________


    Chair of Women's Studies: ______________________________

    Date:                                      ______________________________ 


    *After the Honors Thesis defense, students will turn this form in to the Chair of Women’s Studies and provide a copy to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  


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