Thesis Guidelines

Eligibility:
From MHC Faculty Legislation: "A senior who has maintained a cumulative average of 3.00 in her major field may undertake an honors program with the approval of the department or major committee concerned. Honors ordinarily are pursed in the major field, but may be undertaken in another field if the student has sufficient background in that field and has the approval of both the department or major committee concerned and the Dean of the College. Sufficient background usually entails the student’s already having taken course work at the 300-level, and being familiar with the methodology of the discipline to such a degree that she can reasonably be expected to work independently."

More information is available in the Handbook of Faculty Legislation.  Please consult "Section X: Guidelines for the Honors Program and Honors Thesis," pp. 115-118.

Time-line:
Thesis work is not required of history majors.  Students considering this option can consult theses submitted to the History department in the past.  Typically, producing a thesis involves two semesters of independent study work in the student's senior year (enrollment in History 395).  In the second semester of her junior year, a student should begin discussing enrolling in History 395 with a faculty member in the department.  In the second semester of the following year, her advisor will decide whether her writing should be submitted and defended as a thesis.

Guidelines for Submission of Honors Thesis:
1.   Deadline:
By noon, Thursday, April 24, 2014, student is to deliver to Holly Sharac, Sr. Administrative Assistant, in the History Department Office (309 Skinner Hall) one bound copy of her thesis. (Black thesis binders are available in the Mount Holyoke College bookstore.) In turn, this submitted copy will be given to the student’s thesis advisor.

2.   Thesis Committee: In consultation with her thesis advisor, the student will take responsibility for contacting members of the faculty to serve on her thesis committee.

From MHC Faculty Legislation: “In the case of a single-department major or honors project, the paper or its equivalent shall be evaluated by an examining committee appointed by the department and composed of at least three members: two or more members of the department in which the honors work has been done, including the director of the project and, ordinarily, the chair of the department, as well as a member of another department at Mount Holyoke or an examiner from outside the College. In the case of an interdisciplinary or special major or honors project, the paper or its equivalent shall be evaluated by an examining committee composed of at least three members drawn from at least two departments and shall include the director or directors of the honors project and the student's advisor or advising committee.”

3.   Additional Copies:
It is the student’s responsibility to give a copy of her thesis to the members of her thesis committee. This copy does not need to be bound in the black thesis binder (see #1 above). 

4.   Thesis Defense:
It is the student’s responsibility to schedule her thesis defense; once a day/date/time has been agreed upon by members of the thesis committee, the student should be in contact with Holly Sharac in the History Department to reserve the History Department Lounge in 310 Skinner for her thesis defense.

5.   Copies to LITS:
After her defense, and after she has made (if needed) any changes to her written thesis, it is the student’s responsibility to submit the corrected bound copy to the History department, as well as a corrected electronic copy of her thesis to the library.  See more details on Submitting Honors Papers... 

Please contact your thesis advisor should you have any questions.