Achievement of honors in History requires researching and writing a thesis that is judged in a blind review by two History faculty. In other words, one's honors thesis advisor does not decide whether or not one's thesis is awarded honors, but the guidance of a thesis advisor is nonetheless essential to a successful thesis.
Selection of a Thesis Advisor
A student interested in pursuing honors should approach History faculty member with interest or expertise in the topic the student would like to research. Go to the faculty member's office hours and discuss the possibility of the faculty member serving as the thesis advisor. If the faculty member cannot serve as an advisor--for instance, because the professor is going to be on leave--ask for suggestions as to who else may be able to serve as an advisor and approach these other faculty.
- Keep in mind that many History faculty will agree to advise only those students who have previously taken a class with them or, possibly, are currently taking a class with them.
Honors is normally a three-semester sequential "History Honors Workshop." All courses in the sequence will be offered every semester, so that 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.
|HIST 1992, “History Honors Workshop for Prospective Thesis Writers”||
|HIST 1993 “History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, I"||
|HIST 1994 “History Honors Workshop for Thesis Writers, II”||
Admission into the Honors Program
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 fulfills the following requirements:
- 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.
- Students must write a prospectus outlining a viable honors thesis topic and research plan. Please look at Prospectus Writing Tips.
- Students can fulfill the requirement for a prospectus in one of three ways.
- By completing HIST 1992 with a grade of A (or an S grade with a course performance report indicating achievement at the A level)
- 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
- By writing a prospectus independently--without taking HIST 1992--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.
Submitting a Completed Thesis
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History Department theses are subject to the principles of the Brown University Academic Code. The Academic Code may be found here.
The Department is able to offer modest support to Honors Students to defray expenses of research in off-campus archives. Contact the Honors Advisor, normally the DUS, for information.