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toward the end of your junior year, you should contact


Director of Undergraduate Studies
Angelika Bammer
Senior Program Coordinator

Kathy Ly-Nguyen


What is Honors?

Honors is a two-semester program extending over your senior year. It involves: (1) enrolling in CPLT 495R ("Honors Thesis") during the last two semesters of your college curriculum; (2) designing, completing, and defending an Honors thesis. CPLT 495R is normally 4 credit hours per semester with the Fall semester taken as S/U and the Spring semester being letter-grade.

Who is eligible?

Comparative Literature majors with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher at the end of their junior year are eligible to apply for participation in the Honors program. Students with a lower overall GPA may petition to be allowed to participate; the final decision is made by the College Honors Committee on the recommendation of the department.

What is the process like?

No formal application is required. However, we ask you to provide a brief statement outlining the project you intend to work on and, if possible, the name of a Comparative Literature faculty member who has agreed to supervise your work on this project. Your statement will enable us to provide preliminary advising for your Honors work, including help direct you to potential faculty advisors.

What does an Honors committee look like?

Your Honors committee must have at least 3 faculty members (occasionally, students will add a fourth). The committee chair must be a core faculty member in Comparative Literature, and one of the committee members must be from another department. By the end of your first semester of Honors, you should secure permission from the two additional readers on your committee.

When do you need to complete your Honors Thesis and schedule your defense?

You will need to secure a defense date around the end of March (at least one week before the final Honors Program ETD submission deadline in early April). This means that you should have your entire Honors thesis written by latest March (during the second semester of your Honors Thesis year). You will not have until the very end of the semester so please pay very careful attention to these deadlines.

What does a Comparative Literature Honors thesis look like?

You determine the topic of your Honors thesis in light of your particular intellectual and/or professional interests. The shape, scope, and form of the thesis is elaborated in consultation between you, your thesis advisor, and the other members of your committee.

While the choice of topics may—and will—range widely, a Comparative Literature Honors thesis should reflect one or more of the stated objectives of proficiency in this field:
  • The ability to work with literary texts across different national traditions
  • The ability to work with texts across different languages
  • The ability to reflect on the theoretical assumptions of your work within particular theoretical frameworks
  • The ability to discuss literary and cultural texts cogently and critically

There is no set length expectation. However, Comparative Literature Honors theses typically range from 50 to 75 pages.
For more information, please refer to the Honors website & FAQ page for more information about pursuing an Honors degree in Comparative Literature.