The Honors Program is a year-long research project for senior majors resulting in a written thesis to be publicly presented and defended at the end of the academic year.

brianne w franko

It was standing room only for BriAnne Illich’s Global Studies honors presentation based on her Hunt funded fieldwork in Paraguay on food sovereignty.

Eligibility: Senior Global Studies majors who have a grade point average of 3.5 or better, both overall and in the major can apply.  Students must demonstrate that they have the methodological skills (i.e. through the completion of a research methods course) required to carry out their proposed project. Students also need formal approval from the thesis advisory committee.

Procedures to Apply for Honors:  Students must submit a letter of intent to apply for the Honors Program by May 1 of their junior year. Students should conduct a preliminary review of the relevant literatures over the summer. Also over the summer, students should begin to draft the proposal – preferably under the supervision of an appropriate adviser and second reader.  In this case, appropriate means having expertise in the subject area. It is also recommended that at least one of the advisers have already taught the student in a course relevant to the intended study. The proposal must indicate both the adviser and second reader. The polished proposal should be submitted to the Director of the Program by the third Friday of the fall semester. A thesis advisory committee will review proposals and make a decision. If the proposal is successful, the student may apply for travel funds for January field research from the Hunt Grant. The deadline for funding applications will be announced.

Procedures Once Admitted to the Program:  Students are expected to have submitted at least a research design or the equivalent of a first chapter by the end of the fall semester.  This work should be submitted to both the principal supervisor and the second reader and should be made available to other members of the thesis advisory committee and to the other honors students.  By the end of the semester, the student is expected to give the thesis advisory committee and any other IS faculty who wish to attend a brief presentation of the thesis.  Following that presentation, the thesis advisory committee will make a decision as to whether the student has made sufficient progress to continue in the Honors Program.  If the project is determined not to have honors potential, the student will complete the write-up and be graded on a one semester independent.  If progress has been substantial, the student receives a grade of IP, and the final grade given in May will be retroactively applied to the year-long project.

Students are expected to submit a final draft of their thesis by the middle of April.  A public presentation and defense will be scheduled during Colby’s Celebration of Scholarship.  Students who successfully complete and defend their theses will graduate with “Honors in Global Studies.”