History Honors Program


Honors is normally a three-semester process, with students taking the sequence HIST 1992, “History Honors Workshop for Prospective Thesis Writers,” HIST 1993, “History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, I” and HIST 1994 “History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, II”. The combined meetings of students in HIST 1992, HIST 1993, HIST 1994 constitute the “History Honors Workshop.” All courses in the sequence will be offered every semester, so students may begin the process with HIST 1992 in either their 5th  or 6th semesters. We encourage students who are going abroad during their 6th semester to take HIST 1992 in semester 5, to prepare them for research in foreign archives.  Seniors may complete their theses in either semester 7 or semester 8.

Students who are considering applying for Honors are encouraged to meet with the History Department Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).

The Department is able to offer modest support to Honors Students to defray expenses of research in off-campus archives. Contact the DUS for information.

History Department theses are subject to the principles of the Brown University Academic Code. The Academic Code may be found here.

HIST 1992
HIST 1992 may count as one of the 10 courses required for graduation in History. As the normal entry to the Honors program, it is recommended, not required. We encourage you to enroll in HIST 1992 to work through the steps of defining and framing a thesis and writing a prospectus. It will also help you identify and build a relationship with an advisor. If you prefer to write a prospectus outside of HIST 1992, we recommend that you secure the consent of a thesis advisor before it becomes too late for you to take the class in your 6th semester. 

HIST 1993 
In order to participate in HIST 1993 students must be History concentrators, have the consent of an advisor from the History Department, and fulfill requirements for admission to the Honors program. HIST 1993 requires students at the beginning of the thesis process to research, write, and present their work-in-progress in mid-semester. 

HIST 1994 
Students in HIST 1994 work independently to complete the thesis. They join the Workshop only at the end of the semester to present their work. HIST 1993-HIST 1994 are graded as a year-long course. 

History Honors Workshop


Students must be admitted to the Honors program in order to enroll for HIST 1993. The DUS will determine admission to the Honors program by ensuring the student fulfils the following requirements:

1) Quality Grades Students must have achieved two-thirds “quality grades” in History department courses. A “quality grade” is defined as a grade of “A” or a grade of “S” accompanied by a course performance report indicating a performance at the “A” standard.

2) Prospectus Students can fulfill the requirement for a prospectus in one of three ways.

a) By completing HIST 1992 with a grade of A (or an S grade with a course performance report indicating achievement at the A level).

b) By completing HIST 1992 with a grade of B, but demonstrating improvement over the original prospectus to the History professor serving as thesis advisor and Director of Undergraduate Studies by the first day of their 7th semester.

c) By writing a prospectus independently and submitting it to the History professor serving as the thesis advisor and the DUS no later than the first day of their 7th semester. If it is graded at A- or above it will fulfill the requirement. This method of entry into HIST 1993 is geared especially, but not limited to, students who have spent their junior year away from Brown. Students entering the program in their 7th semester must demonstrate progress in a primary source archive.

Prospectus writing tips

Submitting a Completed Thesis

1.     Due Date 

Three copies of the thesis must be submitted to the History Department by 4:00 p.m. on the due date. No extensions of the due date can be made.  If a thesis is turned in late but before the end of the term, credit and grade for HIST 1993 may still be granted.

The Fall 2016 due date is November 23.  The Spring 2017 due date is April 7.

2. Printing, Binding, and Notes

The thesis may be printed single or double sided.  It may be single spaced or double spaced.  The thesis must be suitably bound (spiral binding is recommended) by a professional service.  Footnotes are encouraged over endnotes.  Citations must adhere to the Chicago Style.

3. Title Page.

The thesis title page should present the following information:

“Title of Thesis”



Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

Degree of Bachelor of Arts

In the Department of History at Brown University

Thesis Advisor:  “Name of your advisor”


4.     Readers

Each thesis will be read by two instructors other than the thesis advisors. The DUS is responsible for assigning readers. The ideal is that one reader has some expertise in the area. If students are aware of faculty who would be particularly well qualified readers of their theses, they may suggest them to the DUS. This must be done at least two weeks before the thesis deadline. The DUS is receptive to these requests, but cannot guarantee thay they will be honored .

Honors Rubric