We invite and encourage senior religious studies majors who meet the college's general honors requirements, and have an interest in research, to consider the department's honors program.

Honors Program Purpose

The program reflects the department's commitment to encourage advanced student research within specialized areas of the field of religious studies. Faculty work individually with students, providing guidance and support for students’ independent projects.

Students accepted into the honors program propose, research, and create a specialized honors project that integrates various aspects of their study of religion.

Eligibility and Completion Requirements

Consideration for the Religious Studies Department honors program requires that senior religious studies majors meet the following standards:

  • Have a 3.2 overall grade point average (general college honors requirement).
  • Have a 3.5 grade point average in the religious studies major.
  • File a thesis proposal and area bibliography with the department chair no later than October 31 for spring semester graduation.
  • Complete a supervised honors thesis and an oral defense with selected department faculty and others, as appropriate.

Program Acceptance

After the October 31 deadline, the faculty thesis adviser will outline the appropriate form, content, and purpose of the thesis proposal and bibliography. Applicants accepted to the honors program should register for Religion 498 (Honors Thesis) for the spring semester of their senior year.


The criteria for being awarded honors in religious studies are:

  • Maintaining the GPA requirements listed above.
  • Completion of a thesis that shows sustained, coherent argument; awareness of critical literature on the topic; a writing style of evident clarity, care, and polish.
  • An oral defense that demonstrates command of the thesis topic and area bibliography, clear oral delivery, and ability to think critically in terms of the thesis's implications.
  • Engagement in the thesis process characterized by meeting of deadlines, willingness to revise, and responsiveness to faculty guidance.
  • Overall quality that shows the candidate to be on the verge of graduate-level work.