Honors Program

Ann Renninger and students

Honors Special Major

Students may opt to pursue an Honors special major in Educational Studies and another department. Pre-established programs have been created with the following disciplines: English, linguistics, political science, psychology and sociology/anthropology. Honors special majors with other disciplines can be pursued with the approval of both Educational Studies and the partnering department. The Honors special major, like the Course special major, requires a total of 10 to 12 credits, at least 5 of which must be in Educational Studies. 

The prerequisite for acceptance to the Honors Educational Studies Special Major Program is EDUC 014: Introduction to Education, 1 additional educational studies course, and an average grade of B+ in all Educational Studies courses at the time of application. Students are expected to have a B+ average in their Educational Studies courses to complete an Honors special major. Additionally, students must complete external examinations upon completion of the program. Honors students may also pursue teacher certification.

Honors special majors complete four Honors preparations. These preparations must include three (two- credit) Honors preparations, at least one or two of which must be in Educational Studies and one or two in the other discipline. A two-credit special major thesis is required, and this counts as one preparation. Each of the special major partnering departments also provides specific seminar course requirements for the completion of an Honors special major, which may be found in the special major requirements list. 

Most honors preparations in Educational Studies consist of a two-credit honors seminar.

  • It is possible to complete a one-credit educational studies course and, (a) use it along with another one-credit course as an honors preparation, OR, (b) combine the one-credit course with a one-credit directed reading as an Honors preparation. Both of these options should be discussed with the Chair of the Department. 
  • A double-credit thesis is required of all Honors special majors. This thesis serves to integrate the fields of the special major and is supervised by faculty members in both departments of the special major.

Additionally, Honors special majors are encouraged to take EDUC 065: Qualitative Research Methods: Educational Research for Social Change in the spring of their sophomore or junior year. This course, which can be taken for .5 or one credit, prepares students to write the special major thesis in their senior year. 

Honors Minor

Students may opt to pursue an Honors minor in Educational Studies. The Honors minor requires five credits in Educational Studies, including EDUC 014: Introduction to Education (1 credit), one Honors seminar (2 credits), and two additional credits of the student's choice. Students are expected to have a B+ average in their Educational Studies courses and to complete the necessary external Honors examination(s). The prerequisite for acceptance to the Honors educational studies minor program is EDUC 014: Introduction to Education and one additional Educational Studies course.  Honors minors may also pursue teacher certification.

Additional Honors Program Details

External Examinations

As part of the Honors program, students complete an examination for each completed preparation. The thesis preparation for Honors special major students involves a 45-60-minute individual oral exam on their work with an outside examiner. Examinations for Honors preparations other than the thesis include a written and an oral component. The written portion of the exam is set by an external examiner who writes exam questions based on seminar syllabi. The exam may include a problem set, a case and/or additional readings relevant to the work students have undertaken in that preparation. These materials may be sent to the student in advance of the written exam. All educational studies Honors exams are written in the Educational Materials Center. A maximum of 5 hours is allowed for completion of each exam.

Intellectual Autobiography

All Honors special majors and minors in Educational Studies write a short intellectual autobiography that is sent to the Honors examiner. Furthermore, students may choose to send to the examiner a paper from an Honors seminar. The autobiography and the paper are not formally evaluated by the examiner; however, they are intended to familiarize the examiner with the student's experience and background in Educational Studies, since each student in each seminar brings different disciplinary content to his/her understanding of the material. The autobiography is written in the spring of the senior year under the supervision of the Educational Studies department chair.