Honors Program Admissions

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Robert Mapplethorpe, Christ, 1988
Robert Mapplethorpe Estate

The Religious Studies Honors Program

The Department of Religious Studies offers an Honors Program through the University Honors College that allows majors in RELS to deepen their consideration of approaches to the study of religion and to explore a well-articulated question in a written thesis. Candidates must have GPA of 3.25 or above in RELS courses, an overall GPA of at least 3.0, and complete all requirements of the B.A. in Religious Studies degree. Students complete the two course sequence, RELS 4790 and RELS 4791 their final two semesters with grades of A, culminating in a written Honors thesis accepted by the department. Following successful completion, the honors notation will appear on a student’s official transcript.

(a) Admission. Although faculty members in the Department of Religious Studies normally identify students with exceptional potential as candidates to its Honors Program, any qualifying Religious Studies major may seek admission to Religious Studies Honors by enrolling in RELS 4790 with the permission of the Honors Director. Admission is contingent upon the availability and consent of a faculty member to serve as advisor along with two readers.

(b) Process. The process for graduating with Honors is laid out in a two-semester sequence with applications forms submitted electronically by the posted deadlines, see Honors College Graduation Process.

Step One, is undertaken the semester before graduation with enrollment in RELS 4790. In this course students must satisfactory complete of a 4-6-page research proposal with a bibliography, a layperson’s summary, and the approval signatures of the student’s advisor, readers, and the director of RELS Honors by Reading Day.

Step Two is undertaken the semester of graduation with enrollment in RELS 4791. In this capstone course students complete the Honors thesis itself, an oral defense with representative faculty, and submit the approved thesis with signatures by Reading Day.

Students may be removed from the Honors Program at any time upon their own request or upon recommendation of the thesis advisor. The student will then withdraw from the honors course in accordance with the University policy on withdrawal.

For more information, contact Dr. Alexandra Kaloyanides, RELS Honors Program Director.