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Honors Program in History

The honors program provides an opportunity for capable and highly motivated history majors to develop their interest in historical research through the writing of a thesis in the senior year.

Eligibility for Admission

  1. To be eligible for admission to the honors program, students must have completed at least 28 credits in history of which at least 16 upper-division credits have been taken at the University of Oregon.
  2. The grade point average in history must be 3.5 or above.

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Procedures for Admission

  1. Admission to the honors program is contingent upon the student’s obtaining the agreement of a faculty member in the history department to supervise the student’s research and writing and to chair the student’s oral examination committee.
  2. Potential honors students must also obtain agreements from two other history faculty members who will serve on an oral examination committee.
  3. The thesis supervisor will serve as chair of this committee.
  4. Students who satisfy the credit and grade eligibility requirements must complete a form, obtainable from the history department office or online, upon which they are to list the names of their supervising committee members and give a tentative title for their projects.
  5. This form must be approved and signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and then returned to the department office; completion of this process signals admission to the honors in history program.
  6. Note that in the case of thesis projects that are inherently interdisciplinary in nature, at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies permission may be granted for one of the secondary thesis committee members to be a professor from another UO department or program.

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Course of Study

  1. Honors students may initiate their thesis work either through enrollment in a HIST 405 “Reading and Conference” or elect to develop further a paper written in a HIST 407 seminar.
  2. When the student is ready to submit the thesis, he or she should enroll in HIST 403 “Thesis,” normally for 3 credits (P/NP only).
  3. Credits in HIST 405 (if this option is chosen) and HIST 403 directly related to the honors thesis project are expected to move students beyond the minimum requirements for the history major, and thus may not be counted toward the completion of the basic major credit and course requirements.

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The Thesis

  1. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s ability to formulate a significant research problem; to do research in original sources, including sources in at least one foreign language if they are relevant; to interpret sources with imagination and technical skill; and to present the finished work in a form meeting professional standards in history.
  2. In quality and length, the thesis will go well beyond normal expectations for the senior research paper required of history majors in HIST 407.

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Completion of Thesis and Oral Examinations

  1. At the beginning of the term in which a student intends to complete the thesis, and is enrolled in HIST 403, she or he will notify the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Undergraduate Coordinator in the history department office of that intent.
  2. When the thesis is completed, the chair of the examination committee will appoint the day and time of the oral examination on the thesis and related work.
  3. The finished thesis must be in the hands of the examining committee at least 10 days before the examination.
  4. The oral examination will be open to other students, faculty, and friends as observers.

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Honors Designation

  1. Students whose theses are approved by the committee, pass the oral examination, satisfy the history major requirements, maintain throughout their undergraduate studies at the UO a GPA of 3.5 or above in courses in the major, and have deposited a copy of the thesis with the director of undergraduate studies, will receive a baccalaureate degree with honors in history.
  2. History majors who qualify for the honors thesis may be able to count their work in a second department or unit. However, special regulations apply to such joint thesis projects, and are available online.

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