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Honors Program

The senior honors program in SHC is for outstanding adjunct majors who wish to take on the challenge of actively conducting research on their own chosen topic and writing a senior thesis. In three years of classroom learning, students will have acquired a great deal of information and a variety of interpretive skills. But for those with a passionate interest in treating science in context, there is no substitute for actually doing a sustained piece of research and writing.

The rewards they reap are many: the chance to work closely with a faculty advisor, to craft an original research project, to sample the pleasures of sustained intellectual study, and to sharpen their skills in writing and research.

Click here for information on past honors theses completed in SHC in recent years.

The Recommendation for Honors

Completion of the SHC-398 Honors Seminar is necessary to be eligible for departmental honors, but it does not assure the granting of honors. The SHC program merely recommends students for honors, and their recommendation is subject to approval by the WCAS Honors Committee . SHC uses the following criteria in its deliberations:

  1. Two readers of the thesis must judge it to be of very high quality. One will be the students faculty advisor; the other is the director of SHC. Readers must submit a written evaluation of the thesis, explaining their recommendation for (or against) the granting of honors, and commenting on the originality and quality of the work. In instances where there is a division of opinion, a third faculty member of SHC will report on the thesis as well.
  2. The candidate should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in SHC courses.
  3. The candidate should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 overall.
  4. Exceptions will be made to the minimum GPA requirement in items 2 and 3 if the thesis is judged of extraordinarily high quality.

The WCAS Committee on Academic Excellence makes the final determination of honors.


In the case of complaints or difficulties, students may address themselves to the director of SHC, and if they remain unsatisfied, to the director of undergraduate studies in their home department who will then resolve the issue.

Questions and Further Information

If you have any questions about the program, or simply wish to discuss possible topics, feel free to contact the SHC director, Prof. Paul Ramirez at