An honors thesis is a well-researched, advanced essay on an important philosophical topic written during the course of a student's senior year. To be eligible, College guidelines stipulate that you must have maintained a 3.5 average in your philosophy courses at or above the 200 level during your sophomore year and the first semester of your junior year. Otherwise you must petition the department for an exception.
Those who successfully complete an honors thesis in philosophy receive a grade of 'A' or 'A-' for the two-semester honors study, and graduate with Honors in Philosophy.
While honors theses typically run anywhere from 40 to 80 pages in length, the department of philosophy has no specific guidelines concerning the length or precise format of the thesis. These are, rather, to be negotiated between you and your advisor, as is your precise topic.
Successful topics in recent years:
- the concept of a hero in science fiction
- ethical issues involved in stem-cell research
- the nature of linguistic meaning
- Descartes's controversial views about the extent of God's power.
The department ends each academic year with an exciting banquet at which the year's honors students present their work, amongst tasty treats and hearty debate, to the faculty and to their fellow majors and minors.