To be eligible for departmental honors students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.6 for courses in the major. Departmental honors will be conferred only on students who have submitted a superior senior thesis that clearly demonstrates originality and excellent scholarship. Please note that the senior thesis is not required for the major.

Majors interested in undertaking a senior thesis should identify early in the fall of their senior year a faculty member who is willing to supervise their thesis work. The faculty member should be approached with a short proposal that describes the thesis project, upon which he or she will decide whether to undertake the supervision of the work. After securing an adviser, students should enroll in CPLS V3995 (“Senior Thesis in Comparative Literature and Society”) for the spring term.  The thesis director is the person responsible for assigning a final grade for this course.

The honors thesis is a rigorous research work of approximately 40-50 pages, including a bibliography of works cited, and formatted using MLA style. It may be written in English or in another language relevant to the student’s scholarly interests. Departmental Honors will be granted to those students whose work is deemed deserving of honors by a committee of faculty members that will be constituted for that purpose. The thesis should be turned in on the due date as hard copy to the DUS, who will forward it to the members of the faculty committee that will adjudicate on the awarding of honors.

Please keep in mind that, according to Columbia College rules, no more than 10% of the majors graduating in a department or program in a given year may be awarded Departmental Honors.