Departmental Honors at Lafayette College

Departmental honors and honors in interdisciplinary major programs are awarded for outstanding performance in writing a senior thesis or in conducting senior undergraduate research. Departments that have honors programs offer a sequence of two courses titled “Thesis” or “Honors Thesis.”

Students who hope to become candidates for departmental honors must register for the courses in Thesis during the senior year. Discussions about pursuing honors should be held with faculty well in advance of the senior year. Work in these courses will be supervised by a faculty member and will be graded in the usual way.

Candidates for honors must have and maintain cumulative averages of 3.00 and averages of 3.20 in the honors department and must fulfill such other requirements as may be established by the department with the approval of the Academic Progress Committee. Students who wish to do honors work in departments other than the major department must separately petition the Committee for permission to do so. Such students must have taken at least six courses, exclusive of Thesis, in the honors department, four of which must be at or above the sophomore (200) level.

The transcripts of students who receive honors bear the legend Honors in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies with Thesis.

Honors in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Requirements for Honors

In keeping with College policy, candidates for honors in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies must have and maintain cumulative averages of 3.00 and an average of 3.20 in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses. Candidates must complete a minimum of 6 courses that count towards WGSS prior to registration in Thesis.


The following procedures will apply to candidates seeking honors in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies:

  • The honors process is typically initiated by an interested student in consultation with his/her faculty advisor by the conclusion of junior year.
  • The thesis requires 2 semesters of work. The candidate will typically register for WGS 495: Thesis (fall) and WGS 496: Thesis (spring).
  • The thesis committee is comprised of three faculty members, one of whom serves as thesis director. At least 2 faculty on the committee must be selected from the WGSS Affiliates List; 2 different departments/programs must be represented on the committee (including WGSS).
  • At the conclusion of WGS 495, candidates will present and defend their work-in-progress to the committee. The committee may approve continuation to WGS 496. If continuation is not approved, the student will receive credit for WGS 391 Independent Study and will not continue with honors candidacy.
  • “A” level work is required for continuation to WGS 496.
  • On completion of WGS 496 at the end of the spring semester, the candidate will defend his/her thesis work to the committee and interested WGSS affiliated faculty. The defense must take place before or during final exam week of the second semester. The candidate may invite (only) current students and/or WGSS affiliated faculty to attend the defense.
  • Students who do not pass with honors receive Independent Study credit for WGS 496.