In order to pursue honors in an independent major, candidates will normally be juniors in good standing with a grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and 3.50 in the major. Students are responsible for designing an honors project, preparing an honors proposal, and forming an honors committee consisting of an honors advisor and at least two readers with relevant expertise. Where appropriate, one of the readers may be designated as co-advisor. The honors committee will conduct an initial review of the candidate’s academic qualifications and the suitability of the proposed honors project. Students with honors advisors from departments or programs with existing honors policies will proceed along guidelines established by these departments or programs. In some cases, independent majors may wish to work with a professor affiliated with a program or department that does not have an existing major or honors policy. In these cases, the student and honors advisor will follow the guidelines established by the ISC. In cases where an entire department normally participates in administering an Honors program, the independent honors major is exempt from this requirement.
Students may apply for admission to the ISC honors program by providing all of the following to the chair of the ISC: a copy of the honors proposal, names and affiliations of honors committee members, a current transcript, documentation that they have achieved a 3.50 GPA in the major, and a letter of support from the honors advisor (and the academic advisor, if different). The application deadline is the last day of classes of the student’s sixth semester, typically the first week of May of the Junior year.
If all the requirements are met by the deadline, the chair of the ISC will clear the student for registration for 483 Honors Research in (name of the independent major) for three or four credit hours. Continuation into 484, the second semester of the sequence, also for three to four credit hours, requires a letter from the honors committee to the chair of the ISC indicating that the student is making satisfactory progress in the honors program. If satisfactory progress has been made in 483, a grade of CR (nongraded credit) will be recorded for that semester. If progress is unsatisfactory in 483, the course reverts to a graded 491 (Independent Study), and the honors sequence it terminated.
At the end of the second semester of an honors project, the honors committee will indicate in writing to the chair of the ISC whether the student has fulfilled all the requirements for honors in the independent major, including maintaining the ISC’s required GPAs (in addition to specific departmental GPA guidelines, where applicable). The ISC chair will then notify the Registrar’s Office as to whether or not honors have been earned. If the 483, 484 sequence is completed successfully, a single grade will be assigned to both semesters (replacing the CR for 483), i.e., an A- for 483 and for 484. In cases where requirements for Honors have not been fulfilled at the end of the second semester, 483, 484 (Honors Research) will revert to a graded 491, 492 (Independent Study) sequence, with the same grade assigned to each semester.