Honors and Capstone Project for Both Concentrations


Honors Program

During the second semester of the junior year all concentrators will be invited to apply for admission to the Honor Program in History of Art and Architecture and Architectural Studies.

Admission to the Honors Program

  1. To be admitted to the Honors Program you should have produced consistently excellent work and maintained a high level of achievement in all your concentration course. You should have earned an A grade in most of your concentration courses.
  2. The key project for honors is to write an honors thesis. When you apply for admission you will be asked to submit a proposal of no more than two double-spaced pages that states the topic (subject and argument) of the research to be undertaken as clearly as possible, and add a one-page bibliography of the most relevant books and major articles to be consulted for the project. This three page application should be submitted, along with a resumé and a printout of the student's most recent available transcript and submitted to the Department with a short cover letter stating who you feel the most appropriate advisor and second readers are for the thesis and why, and what your preparation is for this project. Clarity and brevity are considered persuasive virtues in this process. Applicants will be notified about the success of their applications at the end of the semester.
  3. For admission to the Honor Program you must include with your proposal a letter of support from a faculty member of the History of Art and Architecture Department who has agreed to serve as your thesis advisor. You should discuss the thesis topic with your advisor before you submit your proposal. During the process of researching and writing you will meet regularly with your advisor to discuss your work.

Writing the Honors Thesis

If you are accepted into the Honors Program you will register for HIAA 1990 during the two semesters when you are working on a thesis.  HIAA 1990 carries one credit a semester. The concentration advisor must enter an override for you to register in the course. This is a seminar led by the Department Undergraduate Concentration Advisor in which all honors students meet once a month to present the current progress of their work. It is a valuable opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback from your fellow honors students and faculty alike. The honors seminar also offers a practical framework around which you can organize the progress of your work.

  1. You will meet regularly with your thesis advisor and with a second reader to develop your ideas and writing.
  2. Finished drafts of the thesis, which will generally be no more than 30-35 pages in length (exceptions to be determined in consultation with the instructor), not counting bibliography and visual materials, will be due to the advisor and second reader by April 1 of the Spring semester or by November 1 of the Fall semester if you plan on graduating in December. Comments will be returned to the students for final corrections at that point. There will be a public presentation of the Honors work at the end of the Spring semester.

Capstone Project

At the beginning of your senior year you will be actively encouraged to propose and undertake a Capstone Project. The Capstone Project is intended to challenge you with an opportunity to synthesize at a high level of achievement the knowledge and understanding you have gained by concentrating in the History of Art and Architecture or Architectural Studies. To propose and work on a Capstone Project you will need the support of a faculty sponsor. Capstone Projects embrace many possibilities. You can perfect a seminar paper in which you have developed a strong interest. You can participate in a graduate seminar to which the instructor has admitted you. You can serve as an undergraduate TA. You can work as an intern in museums and auction houses such as Christie's. You might work on an archaeological excavation. You can participate in the Honors Program. Beyond these opportunities, the Department is open to other approaches. You should work with a faculty sponsor and with the Undergraduate Concentration Advisor to decide what will work best for you.