Honors Program

UPDATE: Given the current COVID-19 crisis, the default grading option for all undergraduate classes taken during the spring 2020 semester is P/NP. Students who are pursuing honors during the spring 2020 semester can receive a P in ISF 190, which would be listed on their transcript, and the ISF 190 instructors will decide what level of honors the students will receive. The letter grade that students would have received would be provided upon request. Students still retain the right to request a letter grade instead of P/NP for ISF 190 this semester as well.  

All ISF students seeking honors enroll in the senior thesis seminar with other majors (ISF 190); there will no longer be a separate Honors Thesis Seminar (ISF H195).  Students will first need to identify and seek out Senate faculty members from other departments for advice and to serve as second readers. Students must then let their ISF 190 instructor know that they intend to pursue honors in the major. This notification should take place early in the semester in which the student is enrolled in ISF 190.

Student grades in ISF 190 will be constituted by an average of grades assigned by the ISF 190 Instructor and the second readers. Senior honors theses that receive honors will be no different in length and baseline requirements than other ISF senior theses, although they will inevitably use more primary and secondary sources, employ a more sophisticated methodology, and offer more rigorous and sophisticated interpretations. 

Students eligible for honors must still have a cumulative and major GPA of at least 3.6. But the degree of honors in ISF Program will no longer be tied to a particular GPA. Instead, students in the honors option will be nominated for a degree of honors (Honors, High Honors, Highest Honors) by the ISF instructor, the second reader, or another ladder faculty member.  

The assessment of the degree of honors will be made by an ISF Honors Committee consisting of no fewer than two teaching faculty of the ISF Program and two Academic Senate members under the oversight of the ISF director.  The ISF Honors Committee will use the criteria of scholarly originality, methodological sophistication (including interdisciplinarity), the quality of source interpretation, and excellence in writing and argumentation to adjudicate the degree of honors to be conferred.

Upon completion of all requirements, students will receive their diploma with a special label affixed indicating the awarding of honors.