Honors Program

In the fall, there will be a meeting for all thesis writers to discuss the process of thesis writing and to answer any questions you may have.  We also need to begin scheduling the fall honors thesis colloquia.  Be sure to bring the current working title of your thesis to that meeting . It will be used for the colloquium sign-up sheet. Of course, we appreciate that these titles can change as the project grows and evolves.

Senior Honors Thesis:  To write an Honors thesis (typically at least 80 pages long) a student finds a thesis supervisor (preferably in the spring of his or her junior year), enrolls in a senior thesis tutorial (HIST 409) at the start of the senior year, and continues during the second semester (HIST 410) until completion of the thesis, due on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 4pm. Applicants will be notified of the Department decision by early May. The writers of successful theses not only satisfy the research requirement and receive two tutorial credits, but also graduate with Honors in History.  Majors who are writing theses are expected to make a presentation about their research to the department's Honors Colloquium, which meets each week in the fall semester.  Please refer to the Honors Program at Wesleyan at http://www.wesleyan.edu/registrar/honors for helpful honors information.  The Junior History Majors Research Requirement Planning Form must be completed by Junior majors during course registration, signed by their advisor and then submitted to the History Department office by May 1.  (NB: History thesis writers are normally eligible for Davenport Study Grants that provide research support during the preceding summer; this can give the work an advantageous head start.)  Especially useful are the Jellybean Papers (so-called because they used to come in many colors), which will tell you how to register your thesis project with the Coordinator of the university-wide Honors Program at the beginning of your senior year.

Essays:  Only essays submitted by the first day of the exam period each semester will be considered for the distinction.  Essays of high quality, characterized by substantial primary research, original argument, and excellent prose, may be nominated by the advisor.

Phi Beta Kappa:  The oldest national scholastic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa at Wesleyan is limited to 12 percent of the graduating class each year. Election to the society is based on grades and fulfillment of the eligibility requirements described below.

Fall election is based on grades through the end of a student's junior year and fulfillment of the general education expectations (Stages 1 and 2). Normally, between 10 and 15 students are elected in the fall; transfer students are not eligible for consideration in the fall.

Spring election is based on grades through the end of a student's first semester of the senior year and fulfillment of the general education expectations (Stages 1 and 2). Transfer students are eligible for consideration in the spring. It is preferred that students complete their general education expectations in their first semester senior year. However, a rationale for second-semester completion is not required, provided that the secretary of the Gamma Chapter continuously monitors those students to guarantee completion of Stage 2 of the general education expectations.

In addition to fulfilling the general education expectations, students are expected to have a grade point average of 90 or above to be considered for election in the spring. The minimum grade point average for the fall election is 93. Students are nominated by their major departments.

University Honors:  Is the highest award Wesleyan bestows.  To be eligible, a student must fulfill General Education Expectations, earn High Honors on their thesis/project, be recommended for University Honors by their department, and qualify in an oral exam administered by the honors Committee.  For further information a good link to use is at University Honors at Wesleyan.

Prizes Awarded by the History Department

Butler Prize:  Is awarded for the best Honors thesis in African, Asian or Latin American History.
Dutcher Prize
:  Is awarded to the graduating senior with the best record within the major.
Meyer Prize
:  Is awarded for the best Honors thesis in American History.
Morgan Prize
:  To a senior major or majors in History who best demonstrated the integrity and commitment to the community that characterized David Morgan's thirty-seven years of service to his college, to his department and to the University.
Robins Prize
:  Is awarded for excellence in European History.
Taylor Scholarship:  Is awarded annually to a History major based on outstanding academic achievement and other qualities such as fine character, good fellowship, leadership, and service to the Wesleyan community.
White Fellowship
:  Is awarded to two of the department's outstanding juniors to support summer research on a senior thesis.


BUTLER PRIZE:  Xinyue Cynthia Zhang

DAVENPORT GRANT:  Harry Bagenstos, Christina Lu, and Jack McEvoy

DUTCHER PRIZE:  Julia Gyourko, Phoebe Vlahoplus, and Xinyue Cynthia Zhang

MEYER PRIZE:  Benjamin Cahill

MORGAN PRIZE:  Edward Yanez

ROBINS PRIZE:  Phoebe Vlahoplus

TAYLOR SCHOLARSHIP:  Zubaida Bello and Isabelle Salazar


PHI BETA KAPPA: Fall 2020: Julia Gyourko Spring 2021:  Phoebe Vlahoplus

HALLOWELL PRIZE:  Xinyue Cynthia Zhang