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History Honors and Awards

We believe strongly in recognizing the outstanding work done by our students. Each year, we recognize students doing exceptional work in the history discipline with several different awards.

Honors and High Honors

Student working at a classroom desk with a stack of papersEach year, a small number of senior majors complete advanced individual research projects in competition for honors and high honors.

Candidates for honors in history must:
  1. Have a minimum GPA within the history major of 3.5 and an minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  2. Complete an honors thesis which has been judged by the major adviser and one other department faculty member to be of A or A– quality. The thesis is normally completed in two terms. It may be started in any 400-level history seminar, any history 300- or 400-level independent study, or the London History Study Group. Papers may also be developed from the term paper in any 300-level history course. A candidate is encouraged to enroll subsequently in HIST 490 to complete the thesis.
Candidates for high honors in history must:
  1. Have a minimum GPA within the history major of 3.75 and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  2. Complete an honors thesis which has been judged by the major adviser and by one other department faculty member to be of A quality.
  3. Defend the paper in an oral examination before the two faculty readers. The examination must also be judged to be of excellent quality.

Awards

Department Award for Excellence: This is awarded to the senior with the best overall performance in the history major.

Douglas K. Reading History Prize: This is awarded to an outstanding junior or senior who is majoring in history with a preference in modern European history, Russian history, or ancient or medieval history. The prize honors Professor Douglas K. "Doc" Reading, a legendary professor in the department from 1938-1980.
Scott Saunders Prize: This is awarded for the best honors thesis written by a participant of the London History Study Group. The award honors Scott Saunders '89, who was a victim on board Pan Am Flight 103 that was brought down over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a terrorist's bomb in 1988.

History Honors Award: This is awarded for the best honors thesis written by a student who did not participate in the London History Study Group.