The degree with honors in Philosophy is awarded to the student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in a program of study that extends beyond the requirements of the major. The extension beyond major requirements may take the form either of independent work culminating in a senior essay or thesis (the independent-study route) or of additional course work (the directed-study route). Candidates must have GPAs of 3.6 or higher in their courses in philosophy, both at the time of applying for candidacy and at the end of senior year. Juniors interested in pursuing honors should so inform the Department Chair no later than mid-April.
The independent-study route to honors requires the completion and defense of either a senior essay produced in the fall semester plus winter study period (maximum 40 pages) or a year-long senior thesis (maximum 75 pages). Plans for either essay or thesis (including a brief proposal and bibliography, worked out in consultation with an advisor) must be submitted to the department in April of the junior year. A recommendation for graduation with honors will be made on the basis of the thoroughness, independence, and originality of the student’s work.
The directed-study route to honors requires the completion of two courses in philosophy in addition to the nine required for the major. Candidates taking this route must also submit to the department revised copies of two term papers (10 pages or longer) written for philosophy courses they have taken; each student will be assigned an adviser to help guide the process of revision. A recommendation for graduation with honors will be made on the basis of the scope of the student’s course work, the quality of the student’s participation in Philosophy 401, and the thoroughness, independence, and originality reflected in the submitted papers.