History Honors students are a special group. In addition to Honors and History coursework, students complete an honors thesis, based on original research and usually forty or more pages in length. In addition, students are encouraged to attend History department functions and to join our local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honors society which features speakers, films and other gatherings that bring together undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.
Honors students should meet with the Honors preceptor, Dr. Stephen Harp, for History at least once each semester. (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Honors preceptor and other faculty can help you in choosing classes and in thinking about graduate school and career possibilities. Moreover, we can assist you in deciding what you would like to do for your thesis and with whom you would like to work. All students should have had at least one upper-division course, whose content relates to the proposed thesis topic, from the faculty member with whom s/he wishes to work.This means that you will want to choose your topic early, so that you will have had the course work that you will need for researching and writing your thesis.
Although your advisor will have the final word, plan to use MLA or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines for your thesis. All History faculty members expect original research in primary sources as well as a command of the necessary secondary sources. Your advisor and the Honors preceptor can also advise which other faculty you might ask to be on your committee. The Honors program allows an extra-muros reader, so your thesis advisor might well choose someone from another university, or from our joint-PhD program partner, Kent State. Your advisor and readers are also the final arbiters of the quality of your thesis. Your thesis advisor submits the grade for your honors thesis.
The Honors College requires you to submit a thesis proposal and to constitute a committee one calendar year before you intend to submit the final copy of the thesis. In addition, History requires that a complete draft be submitted to your thesis advisor at least 60 days before the final date of submission to the Honors College. Your advisor will let you know when it is time to distribute to other committee members; normally, everything goes through the advisor first.
We admire our Honors students, past and present. History Honors work is challenging, and we are proud to have students who are willing to pursue the thesis in addition to the usual requirements. The Honors College has copies of History Honors theses from the last few years for your perusal. Among others, have a look at those by Jillian Hinegardner and Kyle Liston, whose thesis work helped to get them into leading PhD programs with full funding.