The Honors Program
East Asian Studies offers qualified students, in their senior year, the opportunity to undertake a sustained research and writing project that, ideally, will result not merely in a long term paper, but in a piece of original scholarship.
The awarding of Honors in East Asian Studies will occur only if the Honors Thesis receives a final grade of A. If an A is not received, the student will still receive academic credit for EAST 1930-1940.
To enroll in the Honors Program, the student must be a senior East Asian Studies concentrator, with at least a high B average in concentration courses. Candidates for Honors are required to have developed a competence in an East Asian language sufficient to allow them to use East Asian language materials in carrying out their research. Students must also successfully obtain the support of at least two faculty members who will agree to serve as thesis director and second reader for the thesis. Normally both the director and the second reader must be regular (usually tenured or tenure-track) faculty at Brown with expertise in East Asia, and one of them must be a member of the Department of East Asian Studies. Prospective writers submit a thesis prospectus, brief bibliography, and completed application forms (with signatures), ordinarily late in the student’s six semester, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who provides the final permission to proceed. Synopses of successful thesis proposals will be distributed to Department faculty.
Thesis writers enroll in advisor-specific sections of the thesis-writing course EAST 1930 (Fall) and EAST 1940 (Spring), meet regularly with their advisors over the course of both semesters, and submit final versions of their theses to the Department in mid-April. They also meet regularly together to workshop their drafts and receive guidance from department faculty. Advisors and students are required to provide updates of their progress to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at regular intervals. Details about all thesis-related deadlines are listed on the downloadable files below.
The completed thesis is evaluated for Honors by the thesis director and by a second reader. In case of a difference of judgment between the two readers, a third opinion may be sought. Students are notified in mid-May whether the Department has recommended the awarding of Honors. Copies of readers’ comments are provided to the student.
All graduating concentrators will present the results of their senior theses in the department’s Senior Project Forum. The Forum will usually take place at the end of the spring semester, but may also occur at the end of the fall semester to accommodate mid-year graduates.