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Senior Honors Seminar (History 194AH/194BH)

Senior Honors Seminar
History 194AH/History 194BH

Students must apply for admission to enroll in the Senior Honors Seminar. In this two-quarter seminar students write a senior thesis on a research topic of substantial depth and complexity, under the guidance of a faculty mentor and the seminar director. In the fall quarter, senior honors seminar candidates begin their research and develop a prospectus and working bibliography for their thesis. Participants submit applications to the campus-wide competition for undergraduate research funding.

The remaining term is devoted to independent research, conducted in consultation with the student’s individual mentors, and to writing, under the guidance of the seminar director. The theses are usually 50-100 pages in length. A copy of the final thesis is shelved in the departmental reading room. History, History of Public Policy and Medieval Studies majors who successfully complete this course earn Distinction in the Major at graduation.

Prerequisites to Apply for Consideration:

  • Upper division GPA in the major of 3.5 or above.
  • Completion of a minimum of four upper-division HIST courses (16 units) at the end of the Spring quarter prior to the Fall quarter of the year you graduate.
  • Writing samples must be presented to the seminar director.
  • A professor-sponsor (mentor) for the research project who is familiar with your work and willing and able to work with you for two quarters must submit a letter of support to the seminar director.
  • Priority given to students who have completed an Undergraduate Research Seminar or an Independent Study course.

Note: Applications are accepted every spring quarter. Please be on the lookout for an email from the History Undergraduate advisor with more information on how to apply! 

Study Abroad: If you are considering Study Abroad in your junior year, you may consider speaking with a faculty member in that area before you go about the possibility of various topics that you could research while you are abroad.

*Students who have not completed the honors seminar will not normally be eligible to graduate with distinction in the major, although under unusual circumstances, supported by evidence of superior research and writing done in other history courses (such as the research seminars), a student may petition the department’s Undergraduate Studies Committee . In order to graduate with Distinction in the Major, a student must complete a paper that is recognized by a history faculty member as distinguished. If a student wants to do this, they must submit the following information to the undergrad advisor, who will pass it along to the DUS for review:

1.) Your paper for which you believe you should receive honors (either your thesis paper from the 195 course, or an exceptional paper from a research seminar aka R course you have taken)

2.) Two letters of support from two different faculty members who have worked with you on these papers

3.) A brief statement of why you think you should receive distinction in the major

Archive of Senior Honors Theses

In 2020, owing to the pandemic, we were not able to hold our annual research colloquium for students in both the Senior Honors Seminar and the History of Public Policy Seminar, but you can view all of their research topics below!