Honors in General Scholarship
Students pursuing Honors in General Scholarship submit their thesis to the Honors Committee for honors consideration. In order to be granted permission to pursue Honors in General Scholarship, the student must meet eligibility requirements and submit all requisite application materials to the committee by the posted deadline.
The application deadline for the Class of 2017 is April 29, 2016.
The application process for Honors in General Scholarship was amended by the Honors Committee in 2010-2011. The Class of 2013 was the first class required to submit applications to pursue Honors in General Scholarship in the spring semester of their junior year. Only if a student has extenuating circumstances and is unable to meet the spring application deadline will the student be eligible to submit a petition to the Honors Committee to review the application in the fall of his/her senior year. The petition should explain why the spring deadline should be waived in their case. It is at the sole discretion of the Honors Committee whether the petitioning student has a valid reason for not meeting the spring application deadline. All petition and application materials must be submitted to the Honors Committee before the end of Drop/Add in the fall.
Students may apply for Honors in General Scholarship if they are either:
a University Major or
are working on a thesis topic or methodology that is outside of the domain appropriate for the award of Honors in your major department(s) or programs
In either case, students are eligible to apply to write a thesis for Honors in General Scholarship only if they have met the following criteria:
have met the GPA eligibility requirements in their major department or in the case of University majors, have a minimum Grade Point Average of 90.0 at the time of application
have fulfilled Stages I and II of the General Education Expectations, or have fulfilled Stage I and will fulfill Stage II in their senior year (such students must attach a plan demonstrating the feasibility of completing Stage II). In rare cases (such as a COMP major), Stage II may have been completed with Stage I not yet complete. Such students are eligible to apply if they can demonstrate how they intend to complete Stage I during their senior year.
Required Elements of Application:
There are four required elements to the application to pursue Honors in General Scholarship. These materials must be submitted to Susan Krajewski in the Registrar's Office by 4 pm on April 29, 2016. They may be submitted on paper or sent as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. The first required element is a 500-word, typed thesis proposal that includes:
- a clear thesis statement;
- a project description and rationale, its scope and limitations; (This project description should also explain the significance of the project to the field or fields under consideration. If you intend to produce a thesis in the arts--visual, music, film, performance--you need to state clearly in your written application if you will not submit a written component so the committee understands the full nature and scope of your work and the Registrar's Office is clear as to whether you will be registering any written work by the thesis deadline besides the abstract that is mentioned below.)
- a proposed methodology; (In cases where the research draws from different disciplines, the proposal should demonstrate the student's awareness of the methodological implications of crossing and linking disciplines. The proposed methodology should also include a list of questions the project hopes to answer, as well as explain the significance of the project to the field.)
- a plan for research and preparation, including a list of relevant courses;
- a brief annotated bibliography with 6 or 8 sources (in the case of written theses) or a brief annotated list of sources (for theses that contain no written component). Please consult the library website to become familiar with the format and purpose of an annotated bibliography. You can link to it here at libguides.wesleyan.edu/annotbib.
2. The second required element is a paragraph-length statement summarizing your proposal for a general audience (i.e., for readers not in your field). This requirement is particularly important for scientific and artistic thesis proposals that may be difficult for non-experts to assess and evaluate.
3. The third required element is a statement of support from the tutor commenting on the originality and feasibility of the project, the student's grasp of the material and the implications of the project. This statement should declare the understanding reached between the student and the faculty member as to the latter's role in supervising the project.
4. The fourth required element is a statement from the student's major department(s) indicating that the student has met the department's requirements to write a thesis; that this particular thesis cannot be accommodated in the student's major(s); and why it is appropriate for the student to pursue Honors in General Scholarship. In the case of the University major, the supervising Dean supplies this statement. We have created a form to assist chairs with this process. Click here to access an online form that you can complete and sign electronically using Adobe, or click here for a printable form that you can complete and send to the Registrar's office.
New Required Element at the time of thesis submission
All theses in General Scholarship must now include a 1-2 page abstract of the work submitted. An abstract should discuss the purpose of your project, your artistic or scientific process and results, and the significance of your finished thesis to your field. Please consult with your thesis advisor and/or librarian for more information about the format and purpose of an abstract. This abstract should be different from your initial proposal, and should clearly engage readers both inside and outside your field. Students producing a thesis with a written component that is registered via the online thesis management tool in portfolio, may append their abstract to the end of their thesis PDF at the time of thesis submission. Students producing a thesis in the arts without a written component--visual, music, film, performance--must submit their abstract either in person or electronically to Susan Krajewski in the Registrar's office, room 102, North College by the thesis deadline (April 12, 2016).
The Honors Committee reviews the student's transcript and Gen Ed compliance forms (gathered by the Registrar's Office) and makes the final decision whether a student may write a thesis for Honors in General Scholarship.
Petitioning the Honors Committee: Students who do not meet the posted eligibility requirements for Honors in General Scholarship may append to their application a petition explaining why a certain requirement should be waived. A requirement may be waived in exceptional cases only and at the Committee's sole discretion.
Submission of Revised Applications: The submission of revised applications to pursue Honors in General Scholarship is by invitation only. In these cases, the Honors Committee will provide the applicant with specific suggestions, questions or requests. The student will have one week (7 calendar days) to submit a revised application for further consideration.
Evaluation of General Scholarship theses: Final evaluation is done by the tutor, a second reader selected by the Honors Committee from nominations made by the tutor, and a member of the Honors Committee. In the case of conflicting evaluations, the Chair of the Honors Committee may evaluate the thesis or may appoint another colleague to do so. Students and tutors should keep in mind that a thesis for Honors in General Scholarship must attain the rigor of a work in a discipline(s) and yet be comprehensible to scholars who are not specialists in all the fields to which the thesis is connected.
Deadlines: General Scholarship candidates must meet the same deadlines as departmental honors candidates - see the Jellybean Papers for further details.
Enrolling in Thesis Tutorials: During the Drop/Add period, you must enroll in a senior thesis tutorial within the Department/Program of your thesis advisor, through the Drop/Add system, and indicate that you are pursuing General Scholarship. If you are a University Major, this will later appear on your schedule as UNIV409/410.