We believe strongly in recognizing high achievement and honors-level work. Learn more about how we recognize the scholarly accomplishments of our students.


Normally, the department presents the following annual awards:

  • Honors and High Honors
  • Majors with an overall GPA of 3.3 and a departmental GPA of 3.3 are eligible for graduation with honors. A departmental GPA of 3.5 is required for high honors. Students must complete a research methods course prior to undertaking honors research. In the senior year, each candidate submits an honors paper that must be defended orally before a department honors committee. Additional information for honors candidates is available in the department office.
  • The Award For Excellence in Childhood Education
  • The Award for Excellence in Adolescent Education
  • The Charles H. Thurber Award
  • Named after the first professor of pedagogy at Colgate (1893), and awarded by the Education Department to an outstanding senior major.

The Honors or High Honors Thesis

The honors or high honors thesis in Educational Studies should demonstrate the candidate's ability to work independently and creatively, and to synthesize theoretical, methodological, and substantive materials. The thesis should be an integrative paper which brings together a variety of perspectives on a topic. It should show a grasp of the subject matter and include a thorough review of the literature. The paper should be well written, at least 40 typed pages in length, free of grammatical or spelling errors, and ready for binding. The honors thesis must be defended orally by the candidate before a departmental honors committee after the thesis if complete.

  1. The thesis is usually written for independent study credit but may be written in conjunction with a senior seminar.
  2. If the honors thesis is written for independent study credit, the grade in that course will be used in calculating the honors or high honors GPA.
  3. Students may count only two independent studies for major credit. Independent studies may substitute for elective major courses but not for Area requirements except in extraordinary situations and with the approval of the chair of the department.
  4. All faculty in the department may read all honors and high honors theses and are invited to take part in the oral examination of each candidate.
  5. The number of honors theses that a faculty member may sponsor is limited to three in any one year.
  1. All students receive information about honors and high honors policies at the time they are admitted to the major.
  2. Students who may be eligible for honors or high honors by virtue of their grade point average are notified by letter by the department chair before the beginning of the spring term of their junior and again senior year.
  3. Students must declare their intention to write an honors thesis prior to the term in which they write it.
  4. One copy of the thesis is to be filed with the thesis adviser one week before the reading period begins. This copy must be double spaced and follow the bibliographic style required by the thesis adviser. This copy may be in the form of a dot matrix computer printout.
  5. An oral defense of the thesis should be scheduled on or before the last day of classes before reading period begins, or during the study period prior to final examinations.
  6. A final revised copy of the thesis must be submitted to the thesis adviser following the oral defense and by the last day of final exams.
  1. The final copy of the thesis should be ready for binding when it is submitted to the thesis adviser. The thesis should be printed on bond paper.
  2. The body of the paper should be double spaced. Footnotes, bibliography, and longer quotes may be single spaced. Leave at least a 1-1/2 inch margin from the left edge of the paper to allow for binging. Leave 1 inch margins from the top, bottom, and right edges.
  3. Thesis advisers will insist on good literacy style and a meticulously accurate completed version. Students should consult with their adviser regarding their preferred style for citations, footnotes, bibliography, etc. A variety of style manuals are available at the Colgate bookstore.
  4. The final copy of the thesis will be bound and placed in the Education Department. Students wishing to obtain bound copies of their thesis for themselves should make arrangements to have additional copies printed. The library will have your copies bound for a modest charge.
  5. Copies of honors theses from previous years are on file in the Education Department and may be consulted regarding form, style, or content.